Categories
Mobile

Make your site mobile-friendly in 2 minutes

Do you know how you could make your blog or website more appealing and usable to your visitors today?

It’s quite simple – make it mobile-friendly.

Econsultancy – unoptimised for Mobile

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been finding it increasingly irksome to navigate or even just read web pages on my mobile phone. The text is tiny, the buttons and links are too small and the page takes an age to load.

Sure, they weren’t designed to read on the phone, so I should cut them some slack, right?

Well, maybe last year, but frankly it’s about time everyone got on board this train, as it ain’t stopping.

Let’s take a quick look at a couple of numbers. There are now 7.1 million people in the UK accessing the internet via their mobile devices, with 46% of users accessing mobile media daily.

That’s a lot of people. So right now, if your site isn’t mobile friendly, you’re missing a great opportunity, and hindering your visitor experience. Oh and those numbers are only set to get bigger.

So what’s the problem?

Mashable – optimised for Mobile

Most of my blog reading is done on my phone. I read posts when I’ve a spare moment – usually via Twitter. There are essentially two problems I frequently face:

1)      Slow pages – If a page is slow to load on my phone (quite possible depending on 3G or WiFi) then I might skip it and move on to the next article.

2)      Readability – If the normal desktop webpage opens up, it’s going to need some work on my part to read it. I’ll probably give it a chance and zoom in to read, but it’ll need to be a good article to keep me squinting until the end.

The problems aren’t just affecting your existing readers either. You’ve got Twitter and Facebook Like buttons on your blog and web pages, right? Smart move, that’ll help your readers share your content their networks. However, consider this – both Facebook and Twitter users are prolific mobile consumers (Facebook have 150 million active mobile users). So when they share your link and their equally mobile-enthused friends access your site via their mobile Twitter clients or Facebook apps, what kind of mobile experience are they going to get?

Given the meteoric rise of mobile use, it should be a no-brainer to fix this today.

You’re not alone

Its not just small blogs or website that are overlooking this aspect of mobile; some of the big names are too. To illustrate this point, I took a small sample of sites from my Twitter feed. There are some notable names in the No Mobile list, ironically, several of which, frequently dedicate significant screen space enthusing about the fast adoption of mobile.

Interestingly, these brands may have a separate mobile site. However, if they have, it didn’t detect my device, so you have to bear that in mind when you investigate a solution for your site.

Mobile Friendly? NO Mobile Friendly? YES
BBC ChrisBrogan.com
Clickz Mashable
Econsultancy Slideshare
Hubspot TechCrunch
HuffingtonPost.com
SearchEngineLand

So how do you make your site mobile friendly?

I’ m no expert on the technical build side of things  (check this great post from Inspiration Feed for a list of companies that are), so lets just focus on two simple solutions:

WPtouch for WordPress

If you run a blog on WordPress you’re going to laugh at how simple this fix is going to be. Simply install the WPtouch plugin. It will detect when a visitor accesses from a mobile device and will serve up an iPhone-style interface. Its very quick to load and simple to use. With WPtouch this is no excuse for a WordPress blog not to be mobile friendly in less than 2 minutes.

(I use WPtouch on all my blogs, works a dream)

MoFuse

If you want to build a mobile site you can hand code it all yourself or you can use a product such as MoFuse to do the work for you. A smart suite of tools, MoFuse lets you easily adapt your desktop site for mobile use. It includes a WYSIWYG editor (no need to learn HTML), Google Checkout, Form Builder, Image transcoding (to resize images for mobile), Google Maps, Store Locator and Mobile Analytics. Importantly, it also enables you to sync your content from your desktop site via RSS feeds.

I’d recommend you implement a mobile friendly site as soon as possible, as the number of mobile internet users is only set to rise. Check your analytics before and post-launch to monitor the impact of the change. With a better user experience you should see an increase in visits and / or time on site as visitors read further through your posts.

Happy mobile reading!

Categories
Business Performance Digital Marketer+ Personal Development

Does it make the boat go faster?

This article is part of a series entitled Digital Marketer+. The series is aimed at marketers already working in the digital marketplace, but also to others looking for new ways to promote or build their business online.

The intention of the series is to take a second look at what you’re currently doing and approach it from a different perspective. It will include tips, best practice, case studies and a fair amount of opinion. Not just my own, I’d love your input too. If you have any great ideas or experience, please do share it, as I’m keen to become a better digital marketer too.

_______

We are creatures of habit. We get comfort from routine. We struggle with change.

Generalisations, yes, but you can’t deny you’ve noticed those traits in yourself at times.

We do some things, because we did it yesterday. And the day before. We find it easier to carry on doing it that way, rather than analyse what we’re doing and change direction. Who has time to do that anyway?

Then there’s safety. It’s, of course, in our best interests not to take risks or rock the boat, better to toe the line and do it the way you’ve been told to do it, the way we’ve always done it.

Unfortunately, all that does is lead to disappointment, to average, to bland, to a loss of contention.

Albert Einstein was describing insanity when he said it was “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”, but he could have equally been referring to our unwavering routines.

Interestingly, I’ve not mentioned anything about work yet, as this could as easily apply to any aspect of our lives – relationships, sports, health and yes, our jobs.

I’ll leave the relationship advice to others, so let’s focus on our work and career. How to break the pattern? How do we change things for the better?

Work

Hopefully you have objectives (no? Okay, that’s task no.1, top priority), so you know what you supposed to be achieving.

Take a look at them. Now look at your recent output and your current task list. Be honest, are you working on the right stuff?

“Will it make the boat go faster?” was a guiding principle of Sir Peter Blake, who led his crew to the 1995 America’s Cup win. Before undertaking any activity they would ask themselves this simple, yet powerful question. If the answer was no, it wasn’t worth doing.

Look at your task list again and ask yourself the question. If it’s not making your boat go faster, why are you doing it?

Career

What are your career goals? Do you want progression, status, money, perhaps greater challenges or enriching experiences? Your goals can be varied and many.

Stop and reflect on this – is my current job helping me achieve what I want?

Or in other words, is it making my boat go faster?

The routine and inertia in our careers can be worse than in the tasks we undertake. The risk is certainly greater. We have responsibilities, such as families and mortgages to consider and the fear of the unknown, or of making the wrong decision.

Change

If you answered NO to either (or both) the work or career question then you need to make a change. This doesn’t need to be something dramatic. It could be something small, like stopping certain tasks (who reads that report anyway??) or doing something in a different, more useful or effective way.

It could just be to clarify purpose, to re-examine objectives or goals.

Or of course, it could be a rip off the plaster moment.  A big change. Something that fundamentally alters the way you work. In your current company or somewhere else.

As a friend is wont to say: “Fortune favours the bold”.

This is not the easiest route. The road less travelled is not always the safest. It might not work, but is it at least worth trying? What if it’s better than you could imagine?

If in a few years you reflect back, what will your journey have looked like? If you do things exactly the same way as you’ve always done, then you already know what the path looks like, the same as the one you’ve just trod. If today you decide to step off onto the grass, imagine where it might take you.