Posted by: larnymackblog | March 1, 2011

Mobile Websites – The new business card

In the last article I spoke about QR codes, those funny looking squiggly boxes that you scan with your smart phone. Boy did I get a lot of inquires! There were quite a few of you who dove right in and started using them on business cards and brochures/fliers. But some of you ran into a problem. You sent them to your website. And you found out that your website either doesn’t look good on the phone or it failed completely.

So, we’re going to talk a little about mobile websites. Some of you may already be poo pooing the idea. Why do I need another website? Because this is new technology for smart phones and those users want your information. It’s that simple. So I’m going to make mobile websites real easy for you.

First a few mobile phone facts:

  • Currently, 1/3 of cell phone users have smart phones. The estimates say it will triple in 2011.
  • Sales of smart phones are overtaking PC sales.
  • 49% of small business owners use smart phones.
  • Less is expected from a mobile website than a traditional one. Before you holler, this fact will change and evolve with time.

Mobile sites can be as simple as:

  • Display your contact info. This would be a vCard, info that drops into their phones’ contact list.
  • You can have a portfolio of your work.
  • Send your blog to the mobile site.
  • Take deposits
  • Accept credit cards. There are special card readers that attach to your phone. Really!
  • Shopping carts etc.
  • Keep in mind that smart phones are only going to grow in usage. Anyone who thinks this won’t happen needs only to stand in line, any line, anywhere. The number of conversations are dwindling while the use of phones to search, check email, text message, look at photos, or research an idea, is increasing.  If you’re under 40, you expect to find anything you want on the internet. If you’re over 50 you simply wait till you get home or back to the office. That’s fine, but a growing segment of your customer base is looking for you. Remember those 40 and younger? Not only are they becoming your customers, many of them already are.

    Before some of you go on a tirade about how “phones are eliminating conversations, person to person interaction and the downfall of civilization as we know it”, consider this: They said the same thing about, oh the light bulb, printing presses, computers and microwave ovens. In order to reach our customer base, we need to speak the language.

    If you’re familiar with WordPress, there are more and more templates being developed for smart phones. Here is just one of many: They’re called iFolios. It’s the one I use for my mobile website. Sure, I have my portfolio on my standard, non-mobile website, but my mobile website is simple, clean, displays my portfolio and does it on all the popular smart devices. This entailed the standard WordPress setup, then purchasing their plug-in template. Add all my content and I was done. Of course, if you’re a programmer, you can write your own.

    Remember the QR codes? If someone clicks on your code, they can be immediately taken to your mobile site, or your vCard info. The QR code simply eliminates typing any URL information. They click and go. Put your mobile info on the back of your business card. When users see it, bam, they scan it and have your information.

    There is much more that smart phones, iPads and tablets are capable of. However, it isn’t difficult to get yourself out there on the smart phones. You just need to decide that you want that audience.

    Contact me with any questions. I’m happy to help.

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