Everywhere you go, whether you’re eating at a café on your lunch break, sitting in the waiting room of your doctor’s office, or just walking down the street, people are on their mobile smartphones. Good or bad, the fact is our modern world is obsessed with mobile devices. We can’t put them down.
So what is it about these devices that keep us hooked? They allow us to access the Web on the go. We no longer have to sit at a computer to research the answers to our questions, shop online, or check our email. Why does this matter for your funeral home?
Mobile media consumption surpassed that of desktop media consumption in 2014. According to a KPCB Internet Trends report, 51% of all digital media users access the Internet each day using their mobile device as opposed to the remaining 49% who use a desktop or other device to surf the web.
This one statistic should immediately catch the attention of any small business owner. People are not flipping through the yellow pages or the newspaper anymore to track down a service or product. The information they need is now at their fingertips anytime, anywhere. Correspondingly, you must have a site that is mobile friendly, so you can keep up in the marketplace.
So what now? Follow the steps in the chart below.
There are two options for setting up mobile friendly sites. You can 1.) create a mobile site distinct from your desktop site, or 2.) update your current website so it’s mobile responsive and compatible with all devices. Let’s explore both approaches, and you can decide which one is best for you!
Distinct Desktop and Mobile Sites
In addition to the desktop version of your site, you will create a separate mobile only site. This means that mobile visitors are redirected to your mobile website, which has a different URL (typically one that starts with an “www.m.” i.e. http://www.m.funeralhomename. com). A mobile site is easy to develop, but keep in mind you will now have two websites to maintain.
For those of you looking to unleash your inner creativity, here are a few tips to consider when constructing a mobile website.
Ensure that your mobile website is easy to navigate. Buttons and links should be large for easy clicking. Remember, mobile and tablet users don’t have a mouse to work with. You can still use drop-down menus to display additional links, but they should be activated with a tap of the finger.
Keep each page basic. Basic is best. Copious amounts of information on a page requires too much scrolling by the user. Keep the most important information at the top of the page, therefore making it easy to find. In today’s fast-paced world, people are eager to find information quickly. If it takes too long, they’ll leave and you’ll lose a potential customer.
Limit the size and quantity of images and videos. Yes, they look nice on a desktop, but you have to keep cell phone limitations in mind. Videos and images take longer to load, so you need to keep them limited in both amount and size.
Activate mobile-specific features. A mobile website offers opportunities your regular website cannot. For example, you can convert your physical address to a link that connects to Google Maps for on-the-spot driving directions, and you can utilize click-to-call functionality allowing visitors to call you in just one click.
Single Responsive Site (Mobile Friendly Site)
A single responsive site is simply one that is compatible with mobile devices, or in other words able to automatically rescale and adjust itself to fit a smaller screen such as a smartphone screen or tablet screen. This option allows you to
Maintain just one site. It is convenient as well as cost-effective because all of your content is on one URL.
Be Google friendly. Synchronous with the mobile user trend, search engines like Google have begun up-weighting mobile friendly websites. This means a Google search from a mobile device will show mobile friendly sites and demote ones that aren’t. If you want your business at the top of the search results to increase traffic to your site and not your competitors’, be mobile friendly!
Include all Website Content. Unlike a separate mobile website, a responsive site takes your entire website and “scales the text and images – so everything is accessible at any resolution.” You don’t have to pick and choose what you’d like to include.
Representing a fundamental shift in user experience, the mobile revolution has changed the way we do business in the modern world. If you don’t adapt to this change, you may be left behind in today’s competitive market. Take action today and update your website!
Interested in learning how to update your website and improve your business? Join us at Fall Forum: Dominate Technology in Indianapolis, IN on October 17 for Robin Heppell’s session on “The Hazards of the Internet: How Yelp, Your Website, & Obituaries Can Make or Break You” [learn more] or online via webinar on November 5 [register here]. For information on how your firm can get started with creating a mobile website, we recommend using the services of an OGR technology Supply Partner.
By Diane Durbin
OGR Membership Coordinator