What's the deal with mobile sites, and do we need one?

What's the deal with mobile sites, and do we need one?

We recently did some research.

In order to determine our ministry-related clients’ fastest-growing audience, we looked at their web traffic statistics. What we found exceeded our expectations. In September 2011, an average of 13% of all ministry-related web traffic represented mobile devices. Compared with September 2010, that’s an increase of 176%! At that rate, mobile traffic should account for 40% of all traffic by late 2013.

Obviously, the fastest-growing web audience is mobile users. What is true for churches and nonprofit organizations was quickly evident for businesses and other entities as well.  If that many of your web visitors are using your site from a mobile device, it’s probably time to adapt to the trend and convert your desktop site for mobile navigation - get a mobile site, in other words.

Mobile site: (def) a mobile translation of your desktop site, formatted for small screens and fingertips, and focused on ease of navigation.

As opposed to desktop sites, mobile sites focus on:

  • convenience for on-the-go users
  • a more natural vertical display
  • simple navigation
  • prioritized content
  • integration with smart phone features

Translating your desktop site for mobile use isn’t complicated, and won’t represent a lengthy process if you aren’t making changes to your main site. Many organizations choose to make changes to their main site at the same time, however, as they begin to see all of the ways a mobile site can serve their public and increase their business.

What might a mobile site actually DO for your organization? In general, put the most-looked-at information at center stage:

  • Engage visitors with a map, showing them the route from their home to your location.
  • Keep everyone in the loop with an interactive calendar that includes the capability of event registration.
  • Share your thoughts daily with a Blog module that users can read anywhere they go.
  • Put your media in their hands. This means audio and video - teaching series, podcasts, product demos, or video introductions to your staff, for example.
  • Import your social media feeds. Tweet about news, recommendations, or partner sites.

When we’re talking about mobile sites and mobile interaction with organizations, the topic of mobile apps inevitably comes up, and it’s a valid discussion. “If we’re going to get a mobile site, shouldn’t we just go ahead and get an app instead?” Here’s the thing - an app and a mobile site aren’t the same thing, and don’t serve the same function. They may have similar uses, but they have different users.

  • A mobile site serves the needs of those who have a specific need or question and want access on-the-go, or who interact with an organization on an occasional basis. Think of someone who wants to check out a church for the first time, or make a one-time donation to an organization. A mobile site is an Internet site, streamlined.
  • An app might be for more regular, even daily, users whose primary goal is simply to be connected. Think of someone who wants to see what’s up with their church friends, interact with an organization they support, or follow a daily blog. An app is not the Internet; it’s software, with web functions.

Ideally, looking at the statistics we mentioned at the beginning of this article, most organizations should have both a mobile site AND an app, to meet their maximum web potential. But if the budget won’t support both, or an app simply isn’t necessary (yet,) a mobile site should definitely be the next step.

Our team here at Speak Creative is ready to help you with your mobile transition, or just answer your questions. Let us know how we can help you adapt to your fastest growing audience!

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-Stacie Martin, (new) Marketing Coordinator

Posted by Speak Creative at 4:06 PM