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How To Get Started With Your Mobile Website Strategy

June 27, 2012

As smart phones become increasingly ingrained in our day-to-day life, we are talking to an increasing number of business / website owners looking for help in making the most from their growing audience of mobile users.

Some quick analysis of a cross section of our clients shows mobile traffic at approximately 10.5% of total visitors during over the most recent quarter. By comparison, the same quarter in the previous year had mobile traffic at 2.8%.

Suffice to say we are seeing strong growth in mobile use for many of our client’s websites.

For many NZ business owners it's still very early days for mobile websites and with so many options when it comes to choosing which implementation path to take, it's vital to get your mobile strategy right from the outset. Strategy starts with research, and time spent during this phase will equate to savings in both money and time down the track, not to mention better results for your efforts.

What follows are some considerations and questions that will help you to make an informed decision on the best approach to take with your mobile strategy.

Should mobile be a priority for you?

First things first - before delving deep into your mobile strategy, it pays to carry out some simple quantitative analysis using Google Analytics to identify just how much priority you should give to creating and implementing a mobile strategy. Consider how much mobile traffic to your site has changed over the past 12-15 months. Remember too that some businesses lend themselves to mobile more naturally than others (think ‘local restaurant’ vs ‘photocopier supplier’), so don’t get caught up in the mobile website hype unless your data suggests you should.

Use data to drive your mobile strategy

Chances are you’ve been running Google Analytics on your site and have a good chunk data sitting at your fingertips. Use Google Analytics’ built in mobile segments to learn how mobile users are finding and interacting with your current site. Get a feel for the types of content your visitors are looking for. Use this information to prioritise objectives, determine functionality requirements and identify the kind of content you need to deliver to mobile users. Thinking about how mobile users engage with you via mobile will also help you determine the right mobile platform to implement e.g. mobile website or mobile app.

Identify the problem you want to solve for mobile users

Mobile users don’t browse the same way as desktop users. It’s quite likely that their goals are different too. As a business owner you need to understand what the mobile user is trying to do when they visit your site. Are they able to do it easily?

If you’re an accommodation provider perhaps you’ve identified that mobile users find it difficult to book accommodation via your existing website. Do you want to make it easier for them to book? Alternatively, you might find that a high proportion of your mobile visitors are looking for your location or contact details, but are having trouble finding them. How could you make this information more prominent for mobile users?

Google Analytics is a great tool not only for helping to identify the needs of mobile users, but also determining how far your site goes toward addressing those needs quickly and easily.

Research what your competitors and similar sites overseas are doing

Competitor research is a vital component of creating a strategy. It’s all about arming yourself with as much information as you can before nailing down your final direction. It’s helpful to spend some time looking at what similar companies / niches are doing overseas and identifying the types of content/platform/functionality they are offering their mobile audience. See if you can tie your findings back to the information you’ve collected from researching the needs and content consumption of your own mobile audience. Don’t just limit yourself looking at online marketing either; look at how other businesses are integrating mobile into their offline marketing activities through use of QR codes in print ads, flyers and business cards etc.

A few final words...

Before getting started on your strategy take a step back and understand your mobile audience. Also, take time to consider how a mobile strategy might best fit with your broader marketing and business goals.

Remember a mobile strategy is not ‘creating a web app’, nor is it simply taking your desktop friendly website and ‘making it look ok’ on a mobile device. Learn about your mobile audience, their needs and the problems they’re trying to solve – then look at all available options for addressing those needs and problems in the most effective, efficient manner.

A carefully considered research phase will go a long way to helping you create a mobile strategy that will support your business, brand and users well into the future.

Have you created a mobile strategy for your brand or business? What are some of the steps you took into account before getting started?

Drop us a comment – we’d love to hear from you.

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Filed under Digital Marketing

Written by

Mark is the Manager of Digital Marketing at Apex and has worked in the digital marketing industry since 2004. Prior to joining Apex he worked in a variety of traditional marketing roles in both the corporate and SME environment in NZ and abroad, but these days much prefers the tangible measurability and transparency of digital marketing.

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