When it comes to business websites, there's been a lot of talk lately about mobile-optimized sites and responsive design. Though it's more important for business-to-consumer sites to be mobile-ready, business-to-business sites are quickly following suit, redesigning their sites to make sure their customers can find them no matter where and on what they search.
The general rule for a mobile-ready site is this: If less than 10 percent of your site's visitors come from a phone or tablet, you don't need to worry about having a mobile-optimized site ... yet. But if more than 15 percent do, you need to get thinking pretty quickly about your mobile strategy, and if more than 20 percent do, you're already behind the eight ball and you need to make mobile readiness a priority for the third quarter.
So how hard is it to redesign your site and get it ready for viewing on phones and tablets? The good news is, it doesn't have to be a huge undertaking, and it's probably easier than you think.
There are many things you most certainly can simply revise and update rather than create from scratch:
- Your strategy and updated branding
- Review of your business's mission, vision and values
- A review of your brand personas and the buying process
- Research of your audience's needs, marketing size and a competitive analysis
- New visual standards
- An updated sitemap
- A new design
- Keyword research
As the mobile site is being developed, though, content has to be created or, at the very least, repurposed. Most businesses likely have some content already developed, while some can transfer from the existing site and some will have to be created from scratch.
If you'll have to create content for your mobile-optimized site, here's a six-step development process you can follow to get it done:
1. Content assessment. Dig into your site analytics, and determine which pages on your current site have the most unique page views. This helps determine which pages should transfer and which can die with the existing site. This plan will drive the content strategy.
2. Content marketing strategy. As you're creating your content marketing strategy, answering the following questions will help you flesh things out: What is your editorial mission? What do you want to accomplish? What stories will you tell? How will you tell them? How will the content drive your visitors through the buying process? Think carefully about your answers, then prepare a written strategy that you can share with your staff.
3. Write. Now it's time to put your editorial mission on paper. You want to tell the company's story from the perspective of the customer and build the evidence for doing business with your company. You'll create content for the keywords you've researched and prioritized for your mobile site. You'll format the content and build links. And you'll optimize the pages with title tags, ALT text, meta descriptions and rich snippets.
4. Edit. You can't edit your own work when a website's coming together. There must be a process for at least two, if not three, other people to review what you've created. In addition to seeing it on paper, have someone read the content out loud—lots of mistakes will be found that way. Have an Associated Press style expert take the next round, then get a final review from a decision maker.
5. Enter content. Now it's time to enter all this content. Most Web design firms will provide you access to the development site so you can enter—and optimize—what you've created. Others will do it for you. No matter the process, this is when you'll discover what text, images and videos you're still missing and how what you have looks in the new design.
6. Rinse and dry. You may have to work through step three again, depending on whether you're missing anything once your content gets uploaded.
Follow these steps carefully, taking time for each one, and you'll have your mobile-optimized website up before you know it.
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