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Must-have Features for your Mobile Website

Date Posted: Monday, 11 February 2013 19:51
Posted By: Kerry Butters

The mobile revolution is well and truly upon us now, as we see more mobile technology pouring onto the market. This means for most businesses, it’s imperative to have a website fully optimised for mobile, if you want to attract as many customers as possible.

People are accessing the web on mobile devices more and more, so if a business doesn’t have a dedicated mobile site, then they are likely to lose out. But what is the difference between a mobile website and your main website? How should your mobile site differ to that of the main one? It shouldn’t a great deal; brand consistency across all of the platforms you use for sales and marketing are vital for strengthening your brand and giving it the best chance of becoming well-known and respected.

Mobile Web Usage is growing

The use of a CMS can help here, one which has mobile web capability built in so that content for every platform can be created easily, quickly and for a variety of devices. Not only can a CMS with this feature help you to build and maintain brand consistency, but it can also help with SEO to ensure that you have the best chance of appearing in search results.

If your website looks and performs well and you’re about to embark on a mobile web for the first time, then it’s important that you ensure that your beautiful, professional site is not compromised by building a mobile web that doesn’t display properly, uses different branding, extends market reach and perhaps most importantly, that it enhances, rather than brings down, your existing website.

How CMS can help with mobile web sites

It’s possible for a CMS to allow you to create and control more than one website at a time, including your mobile site. This allows you to maintain consistency as employees will all be creating the same content for all sites (if necessary) and optimising it for each platform.

A good CMS should have automated mobile device detection for optimised content rendering. This should be close, if not the same as, much of the content for your main site, but it has to be considered that mobile devices naturally have less display space and so content must be created with this in mind.

Templates within some CMS are provided to suit different mobile devices so that it’s a simple affair to build and alter mobile web to suit all users. Automatic detection should be integrated into the CMS so that the appropriate content can be delivered to various mobile operating systems (OS). If you think about how many mobiles are on the market, then you will see that content has to be optimised for iOS, Windows, Android, BlackBerry and even Ubuntu.

With the use of a template for each OS, the same content can be easily altered to ensure that it is adapted for each device. This means that you should only have to create the content once, switching between each window to see how the template appears for each device.

Of course, this means choosing a CMS that has the capability of managing multiple sites so that you can run any number of sites, portals and websites. If you’re part of a large enterprise then your CMS can also be used internally to support the company intranet.

What works best for mobile?

There are a few things that are more essential to a mobile site than your main website, the most important being the inclusion of location maps. These help people to find you whilst they are out and about, unless you’re strictly a web-based business and don’t need this. Directions should also be included where applicable.

One click calling is also important. Consumers are much more likely to call a business they have found on mobile before visiting in person.

According to a Google survey of mobile users carried out last year, whilst 96% of people have visited a site that doesn’t work well on their mobile, 72% claimed that it was important to them that websites are mobile friendly.

Despite a high proportion of people coming across mobile sites which are not optimised for mobile, 79% also said that these sites were soon abandoned in order to look for one which is easier to use on their device.

This emphasises the need for creating mobile sites which are well branded, with good navigation and everything a mobile user should need. For a business who ignores the mobile platform, it’s very likely that having a bad mobile site will damage their brand. In other words, it’s better to have none at all than a bad one.

That’s all very well, but businesses who don’t take advantage of the mobile revolution are likely to get left behind. Similarly, those who don’t use a content management system to manage their main and mobile sites are likely to find the job laborious and taxing, especially when it comes to optimisation and the initial build.

Mobile users want:

  • Sites that load in 5 seconds or less
  • Not too much scrolling and pinching to be involved
  • Locations and maps
  • Mobile friendly buttons
  • Social media links
  • Easy to access information
  • Access to the main site
  • A smooth shopping experience

All of this can be delivered by choosing the right CMS for your business. Many have powerful features that can be used for optimising and managing ecommerce sites, such as order and payment processing, real time stock updates and so on.

Companies are rapidly adopting smartphone technology and tablet usage is also accelerating. Bearing this in mind, a retailer or service provider has to move with the market or risk being left behind.

Implemented a CMS that has the ability to manage multiple sites including mobile, then, is a must for businesses looking to extend and retain their market reach. The automation that a CMS provides is invaluable for carrying this out, without spending millions on research and development and then having the site hard coded.

All in all, a CMS with mobile web capability will save time and money. Not only this, but it will also ensure that a brand can reach out to its customers on every medium, which if done correctly, will improve sales alongside customer loyalty. 

Interested in learning more about designing for mobile? Check out our Designing for Mobile webinar:

Mobile Webinar

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