Have you ever tried visiting your favorite website through your mobile phone? If the site doesn’t have a mobile version, chances are it took you minutes before finally successfully loading the page.
No – it’s not a slow internet connection problem. The plain fact is that you are trying to load a large-sized webpage on a gadget not equipped to handle images/scripts.
This is where mobile version websites come in. From the name itself, you can tell that these domains are basically websites that are specifically made for mobile browsing. Note that they’re not exact replicas of a website but rather, a simpler version of it. The biggest social media website today – Facebook – has it and so do thousands of other websites. Due to the different layout and design of mobile version websites, they also carry different characteristics compared to their bigger counterparts.
- Less images and virtually no videos or music.
- More textual information.
- Simpler layouts.
- Easier navigation
Why Get a Mobile Version for your Domain?
Mobile version of websites may seem like unnecessary for some Filipino Entrepreneurs – but they’re actually incredibly useful business-wise. Here are some of the information that should
start you into considering a mobile version for your domain.
- First off, the Philippines is fast becoming a smart phone haven. Smart phone operation in the country as of last year is pegged at 29% and a promise of further growth.
- WiFi hotspots in the country are growing as well. Practically every establishment offers free WiFi. Combine this with the fact that many Filipinos have a Smart Phone and you’ve got millions of potential customers capable of connecting to the internet and using their phone for searches.
- Studies show that more Filipinos like to use their mobile phones to check out new locations, shops and products.
- People who use their mobile phones to check a product or a shop are more likely to buy the same product within a matter of days. As for computer users, the gap between searching for a product and buying it may take weeks, months or even never.
- Most mobile searches are local. This means that you’ve got people browsing for your products located in YOUR area. That’s your target market right there.
- Mobiles are more travel friendly compared to laptops or even tablets. It stands to reason that more people will be carrying them throughout the day and using the gadget to find what they’re looking for.
- There are actually more mobile phone owners than there are laptop/tablet/desktop owners. Hence, a mobile website basically allows you to reach a wider market with little effort.
With a large pool of people using their mobile phones to search and buy, it only makes sense that YOU place yourself in a position to be found. A mobile version of your website increases the likelihood of the target market locating your products and turning into a successful sale.
Optimizing Your Mobile Version Website
Obviously, creating a mobile-friendly website is not enough. You need to make sure that it’s geared to be found and used by your target market in the Philippines. In order to do this, following are some of factors you need to keep in mind.
- Maps and Directions – most mobile searches are local which means you have to make it easier for your clients to find you. For example, you’re a restaurant offering Japanese food and a local just happens to be craving for one. They start a search and find your website – but where exactly are you? Don’t let them change their mind – provide an easily visible “Getting Here” page so your potential client immediately turns into a sale.
- Make it Legible – the most important information that your mobile website should contain includes your location, contact number, store hours and business information. Make sure that all these data are easily seen through your website. Remember, your visitors are using mobile phones so the screen is obviously smaller. Textual information is the best content you can put on a mobile website – but keep it at a minimum. More content usually means it would take longer for the page to load.
- Keep it Simple – take some inspiration from Facebook’s mobile version. It offers the same design as the desktop website but with a different layout. Keep in mind that you’re using a smaller screen so putting more icons can be confusing. Facebook understands that more often than not, mobile users only want to check their feeds and update a status so those are the ones that focus on through their mobile website.
- Branding – take a good look at the picture below and compare it with the previous picture shown above. Notice that even though one is more streamlined, there’s no doubt that they’re the same website. This is crucial – you want to make sure that the same branding elements are present in your mobile version so that it would leave an “impression” on your visitor. Typically, this means choosing the right color and placing an important logo on the mobile website.
- Redirect – now this is very important – make sure that you’ve got an application set up that can sense if the visitor is using a mobile for browsing. Without this, the searcher would land on the full-page website which defeats the purpose of having a mobile version.
- Offer a Full Page View – the main problem with mobile-version websites is that they don’t offer the full content of your domain. What if someone wants to find something that’s not available through the smaller version? Give visitors the option to go to your full-pledge website through a link.
Paul’s Last Words
In essence, mobile websites aren’t meant to impress your target market. You can save the funny GIF and relaxing melody for your desktop website – the mobile version demands simple efficiency. Filipinos are going to your mobile website to FIND WHAT THEY WANT FAST. Hence, keep everything neat, orderly and visible. Mobile version websites best serve the local businesses although they’re also being used by large-scale companies to meet a wider market. Note that your mobile website should be in synch with the desktop version when it comes to the important information like location, contact information and open hours.