By CC Pearce
With 30 percent of mobile phone users having used an Internet browser on their phones, every business owner should consider having a site geared toward the mobile market.
A mobile Web site should be absolutely clear and straight-forward with no clutter. Most people browsing on a mobile device are surfing the Internet at slower speeds than on their laptops or desktops and are searching for specific information. For a small business Web site, the information must be easy to find, and a mobile site must be fundamentally based on this principle.
At the top of your mobile site, the primary point should be what the business is. The business name or listing should be clear, and if there is an iconic logo, then that may also be included. Pictures just for the sake of including pictures are not a good idea as they are slower to upload and should be in another section.
The next section should include the most essential information to the business: What it is—in a sentence, the address, the phone number and the hours of operation. These facts are the ones most important to a mobile user. With mobile devices easily able to send addresses to a map or GPS service or call the phone number with a single click, they should clearly be in a prominent place so that the business can interact with its clients.
Additional information should fall below. You can include links to other pages with pictures, testimonials or other relevant information.
Most small business owners will have very little experience in building a Web site, but this experience can be less difficult than one might expect. For the hands-on types, there are sites that will help an individual build his or her own mobile Web site. A site like www.mobisitegalore.com can aid in this process and is also free of cost. But if there are specific customizable features needed, it might be a better idea to hire a technician to work on the site.
Because mobile sites tend to be minimalist and don’t have a great deal of changing information for small businesses, a freelancer may be the best way to approach getting your mobile site made. Sites like www.odesk.com or www.getafreelancer.com are good resources for posting the kind of work that is needed. There should be enough options available where the price will be only a couple hundred dollars unless a sophisticated interface for the mobile site is needed.
As the technological landscape shifts towards mobile computing, it is important for a small business owner to have an online presence, specifically a mobile Web presence. It is worth the marginal increase to adapt a full site into a mobile version to give customers the information they are seeking.
CC Pearce is a post production coordinator at Michael Eisner’s new media company Tornante. He spends his spare time working on production for his start-up Web series, The Outside Joke.