I’ve been thinking a lot about web site mobilization lately and I’ve concluded that it’s a waste of time and money to mobilize an existing desktop website. I suggest that you take a fraction of the resources you are considering devoting to mobilizing your current web site and build a specific user-focused mobile web site that is designed to quickly and effectively engage those of your prospects and customers using smart phones. In other words, build and maintain two web sites – one for desktop and tablet traffic, and one for smart phone traffic.
Cornerstone’s Google Analytics team monitors and analyses web site traffic for hundreds of Clients. What it finds over and over again is that consumers accessing mobilized desktop web sites via their smart phones don’t spend much time on these sites and visit only a few pages.
This isn’t surprising. When you’re on your smart phone, and you’re searching for an organization in which you’re interested, or even more important to the organization, if you’re trying to respond to a communication sent to you by that organization, you have neither the time nor the inclination to navigate through a bunch of pages or read an inordinate amount of text, whether it’s smart phone friendly or not. You probably only want to do one of three things:
1. Effect a transaction (buy something, make a donation, etc.).
2. Better understand what the organization is or stands for.
3. Sign up for something.
Doesn’t it make sense then for the organization to meet your needs by presenting to you a simple interface to quickly do these things…and to do no more?
An obvious question concerns the costs of building a mobile web site. I can tell you from the real-world experiences of Cornerstone’s Mobile team that they are a fraction of the costs and take far less time than mobilizing an existing web site. The cheapest way to create a mobile site is to use one of several software-as-a-service solutions currently on the market. That’s what Cornerstone does when we build mobile web sites for our Clients.
So don’t try to mobilize or otherwise change your existing web site to accommodate smart phone traffic. It’s there to do the things I’ve listed above, but also to do other important things like providing more detailed information for those people who want it when they are on their pc’s or tablets.
Rather, spend your time thinking about the experience you want smart phone users to have when interacting with your organization and then create a separate mobile web site to guarantee this experience. Then turn on something like Google Analytics and analyze your mobile and desk top web site traffic. You’ll be blown away!