Moving Your Channel Towards Mobile Readiness

January 25, 2016 Ben Heyworth

We have known for years about the emergence of mobile. At SproutLoud, we have written about this for several years. We have discussed its impact on business that operate through distributed marketing and sales relationships, the consequence of an unprepared channel, and tips/strategies to help your partners be discovered in the local results of search engines and successfully advertise on them.    

Now that we’re into 2016, mobile search queries have exceeded those of desktop and you have to take notice. You and your partners have had time to prepare, now you are being compelled to act. If you haven’t, you are not alone. According to BuzzBoard, 47.3% of all SMB websites across the US are not mobile ready. Small business haven’t been the only ones responding slowly to the shift to mobile; today a large percentage of big companies haven’t. Having a mobile responsive site matters, because there is an expectation that there is going to be an even experience. They will be intolerant to sites that aren’t mobile responsive.

There are some considerations when building a mobile site (because having a terrible looking and performing mobile website isn’t better than not having one at all):

Load time: People who are surfing on mobile aren’t known to be particularly patient. Waiting for a website to load on a tiny screen while you’re on the go will have people looking in another direction. Google penalizes sites that load slowly. Make sure your pages load quickly!

Touch-friendly: Don’t try to put too much on your website. Your visitor should be able to easily access different parts of your site by using just their fingers. Again with a small screen, they will have a hard time finding their way around if it’s cluttered. If you have a list of links, think how easy it would be for someone to touch the right one on that screen.

Simple navigation: Having straightforward, touch friendly menus, simple site navigation and uncrowded links are all important. Your typical mobile visitor is not going to be patient enough to drill down on a complex or confusing menu to get to what they want.

Contact information: Since mobile users are usually closer to making the purchase. You need to make sure that they can quickly find your contact information to contact you. Don’t bring them to your website only to have them search your site and “discover” how to contact you.

Form: Whether it be a newsletter sign-up, request for info, or payment form- you need to make sure your form is simple and to the point. People don’t want to fill out a personal biography to read your newsletter. Make sure that your forms can auto-complete with the requested user’s data. Chrome and Safari are examples of browsers that have auto-complete functionality.

Images vs. text: Images are alluring, they can be powerful in making a statement and drawing attention to your website, but there needs to be the right balance between text and images. As stated, load speed is very important. An image heavy page will take longer time to load.   

Your Checklist:

  • Discover if their website is mobile responsive. Google will tell you here: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly.
  • They can choose to simultaneously build mobile and PC versions of their site or you can have them build out a single responsive site that looks great on both. Address both needs by helping them build out a responsive site.   
  • Answer: Is their mobile site ready and gut check, does it work? Have them look at it from a customer’s perspective- have them “experience” it.
  • If separate mobile and pc/desktop desktop sites are created or are already in existence, make sure that your business details, and resource links are the same on both and from any referral sites that send traffic over to to them.  
  • Make sure that your business listings are up-to-date and current.
  • If you have a separate mobile site, observe your visitors behavior, it might make sense to build out an app that will more quickly address their needs and move them in the right direction.
  • Make sure your mobile or mobile responsive website looks great and addresses their needs. Mobile users are impatient and unforgiving with sites that aren’t. There are an estimated 3.65B unique global mobile users, 1.91B of which have smartphones. 80% consumers use smartphones to shop. Your competition knows this, and is working as hard as you are to grab their attention, win their confidence, and earn their business.

Your channel needs to be ready. A visit to a website, might be their customer’s first encounter and experience with your brand. Your partner’s must take into account their customers overall experience on their website in addressing their customers needs. When they’re mindful of the relationship between this experience and its impact on their bottom line, and take steps to improve and change it, it will perform better and everyone wins.

 

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About the Author

Marketing and Sales Coordinator at SproutLoud

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