As anyone who has viewed a web site through the lens of a mobile browser can tell you, it's not like viewing one on a 27' LED Cinema Display.
The fashionable thing to do these days is to create two web sites: one for desktop viewers and one for mobile viewers. Web design firms should be offering this as a standard design feature right now.
Each site would have a unique domain or subdomain such as m.mysite.com or mysite.com and mysite.mobi (.mobi as you might guess is a first level domain extension created for mobile emphasis)
Some mobile considerations:
- Keep content in context - people surfing on bite-sized monitors are probably looking for relevant, bite sized content. It's great to have a link back to all the content you have housed on your main site, but remember that the facts and most commonly read and changing content is what's most important.
- Resize those images - images that take up more than a viewer can see and are big enough to download slowly are bad anywhere, but really bad on a mobile device.
- Rethink navigation - You may have lots of room for the navigation bar and tons of links in your footer on the full size site, but it will just slow the mobile surfer down to a frustrating crawl. Limit navigation to make surfing a handful of major pages the focus.
- Avoid bad stuff - Frames, tables, pop-ups, scrolling and even flash are not welcome additions to the mobile site for now. A table renders in many mobile browsers as stacked columns and can really make a mess of your content.
- Mobile SEO - Mobile versions of the major search engines need to be taken into consideration. Adding auto discovery is the first step through. Little bits of code put into the head of your main and mobile sites can automatically forward a visitor on a mobile device to the mobile version. The mobile search engines want site maps too! Lastly, people search differently on a mobile device, analyze the keywords for mobile to optimize your content more effectively.
You can easily achieve mobile site heaven using one of the mobile site creation tools listed below:
These tools might not offer the total control associated with a design from scratch and most have costs associated with them, but they offer ways to quickly and simply create mobile versions of your current site. In addition, they offer nice mobile features such as Google Maps, Click to call or chat, QR codes, Forms, Site maps, Search, Tell a Friend, e-Commerce functions, and AdNetworks.
You can also create equally satisfying results by converting or creating your main site entirely in WordPress and using one of the mobile site creation plugins listed below from WordPress developers. (If you already have a WordPress blog this is a simple way to create a tidy mobile version.)
One last tip - start collecting those mobile phone numbers in your permission based marketing forms - Text message campaigns are the next mobile frontier!
Image Credit: shareski
John Jantsch is a marketing and digital technology coach, award winning social media publisher and author of Duct Tape Marketing.