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on mobile phones ByLiam Patton, Mayfly Internet Marketing


rowsing behaviour is changing at a rapid rate, especially from the point

of view of how we access the internet. An Ofcom report in December shows that 75 per cent of us owned a computer, almost 60 per cent owned a SmartPhone (internet-enabled phone), and 20 per cent owned a tablet computer such as an iPad. On a worldwide scale, internet access via a mobile device should take over desktop internet usage by the end of next year. The trends differ from country to country on how people use their mobile devices on the web, whether it is for looking for directions, searching for local businesses, or interacting with social media sites. So, how do your potential franchisees and consumers view your site? Although in the UK most of us have access to the web via our phone, looking at your Google Analytics statistics will probably show that from 10 per cent to 35 per cent will view your site on a mobile device. The first thing you need to do is test

how your site works on these devices. You might find that the site may not fit the screen if viewing from a Blackberry, you might not be able to scroll to read all text, and even your checkout system or contact forms may not work. If a third of your traffic encounters these problems, you

can guarantee that some visitors will not return.

There are two options here. You can

have a mobile-specific site built. This recognises when a user is from a mobile device, directs him to a different url, and displays the content in a mobile-friendly way.

The BBC site is a good example.

You’ll notice that a lot of the information has been stripped back and there are a lot less images. This enables quicker load speeds.

‘Responsive’ site The second option is to have a

“responsive” site. Your main site is built in a very similar way as usual, but the code within it allows sections of it to tile beneath each other. These change depend on what device the site is being viewed. This is a cheaper solution than having to run two separate sites, and caters for all type of your internet visitors. An excellent example of a responsive site is that of the Boston Globe. To see if a site is responsive, simply reduce the size of your browser, if it’s responsive, you will

● How a newspaper site (below) converts into a scrolling mobile phone screen (right).

see how the information tiles underneath itself.

As with all web development, if you go ahead with a mobile or responsive site, remember to test and monitor it after launch.

Don’t forget, mobile traffic to your

site is only going to increase so this is a development you can’t afford to ignore.


April/May 2013 35

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