Going Mobile: Are You Ready to Put the “m” in “www”?

by Gaby Abi Aad, February 14, 2012

Looking for recent movie information? If you go to imdb.com on a smartphone to research this information, you’ll be welcomed by a mobile optimized version of the website. You won’t need to zoom in and out to read a content block, the navigation and links are “thumb friendly,” i.e. easy to click on with your finger, and in short, the experience is very user friendly on your phone.

You’ll find a similar experience on Wikipedia, where sections of a page are changed into buttons that expand the text you want to read as and when needed.

 

Designing a well-designed mobile site like these isn’t just polite, it’s a savvy marketing policy. According to Gartner, “by 2015, companies will generate 50 percent of Web sales via their social presence and mobile applications. Vendors in the e-commerce market will begin to offer new context-aware, mobile-based application capabilities that can be accessed via a browser or installed as an application on a phone.” 

Gartner further predicts that global mobile ad revenue, which was around $3.3 billion in 2011, will skyrocket to $20.6 billion in 2015.

Closer to home, the majority of mobile web users in developing nations are mobile-only, according to On Device Research, which estimates that 70% of Egyptians and 59% of Indians almost never use the desktop web. Firat Isbecer, the Chief Marketing Officer for Pozitron, a company specializing in mobile web and mobile apps development in Turkey, agrees. “In some parts of the Middle-East, we may skip a technology, and jump from no Internet connectivity straight to mobile connectivity,” he says.

With figures like these, it is becoming obvious that every company needs a mobile strategy, whether it’s global in scope or focused on the Middle East or other emerging markets, and whether it starts with a mobile friendly website or expands to include a mobile app.

In my previous article, I spoke about the importance of building memorable experiences for your users online, for building stronger brand affinity. Delivering a friendly mobile web experience falls in line with that. Zooming in and out to be able to read the information on a website is not the most practical way to interact with a brand and understand its key messaging.  Here is one example of the differences in experience on website which has both mobile and desktop versions, viewed from an iPhone:

 

Mobile Version of the Dubai Based Website: buckleupintheback.com

Desktop Version of the Dubai Based Website: buckleupintheback.com, seen on an iphone.

Developing a mobile version of your website may not be an easy endeavor, especially if you have a very dynamic website, with constant updates. Before beginning, it's important to do serious due diligence and investigate the various technology options with your IT team and your web agency. Yet if you don’t already have a mobile-optimized site, your total number of mobile web visitors may still be low, so you may have time to carefully think your approach through to determine a strategy which that will work for your business. It’s never too late- you can start putting the “m” in your URL today.

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Gaby is a digital marketing fan with a passion for all things web, particularly online lead generation, conversion, email marketing and marketing optimization. Gaby has worked for over 12 years in both the IT Services and digital marketing fields in the Gulf. In his spare time you will find him reading mostly about philosophy, history and theology. You follow him on twitter or connect with him on Linkedin.

 
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