Are You Really Mobile Ready?
You already know how important it is to be optimized for mobile. But are you limiting your optimization efforts to the obvious areas like your website, mobile apps, and mobile advertising?
What about the other tools that make up your online marketing toolbox? Go beyond the obvious and make sure your entire online strategy is optimized for mobile!
Adding New Tools
There is nothing more frustrating than taking the time to set up a new online marketing tool only to discover later that it does not integrate with your existing tools or that it is not keeping up with current technology.
When adding a new tool or service to my online marketing toolbox, I consider several things:
- How well does it integrate with my existing tools?
- Does it have a straightforward API (Application Programming Interface) in case I need to integrate it myself?
- Is the tool hosted by a reputable company with a strong user base?
- Does it offer add-on apps or extensions that enhance its usefulness and keep up with current technologies?
- Does it have a robust support forum where I can ask questions of them as well as other users?
- Does it have the features I need today as well as a roadmap of new features to accommodate future needs?
And more recently, one of the most important questions for me is:
- Does it make the mobile cut?
Making the Mobile Cut
When determining whether a tool makes that mobile cut, I look at its mobile readiness and its mobile friendliness. A tool may claim to be mobile ready simply because it looks OK on mobile devices. But I want to know that a tool is offering the best mobile experience possible by taking advantage of available mobile device features. Mobile doesn’t only mean smaller!
Assessing Existing Tools
As painful as it may seem, it is a prudent move to take a hard look at the existing tools in your toolbox to determine whether they make the mobile cut.
I recently assessed the most important tools in my toolbox, and concluded that some of them just had to be replaced. Following are examples of a few of the tools that had to go.
From a Different Email Marketing Manager to MailChimp
I recently switched to MailChimp from another popular email marketing manager for several reasons. MailChimp integrates with almost every other relevant tool out there. Their service is more affordable and has more features. And most important, MailChimp has added many features that make it both mobile ready and mobile friendly.
When designing an email campaign, MailChimp allows you to change settings specifically for the mobile version of your campaign. You can also preview the campaign as it will appear on a desktop and on a mobile device.
Another mobile friendly aspect of MailChimp is their sign up form which adjusts beautifully to mobile devices. The form also adheres to mobile standards by defining its form fields specifically for field types like for plain text or email.
You only have a few seconds to gain a potential subscriber. Don’t lose them to a poorly designed sign up form!
From an Antiquated E-Commerce Solution to Shopify
This is a good example of a company that just does not “get” mobile. When I asked my previous e-commerce service provider when their shopping cart checkout would accommodate mobile devices, they told me that it already did since users could simply “pinch and pull” the forms as needed.
Are you kidding me? It is hard enough competing online today without making it even harder for prospective customers to buy something!
After some frustrating exchanges, I finally decided to make the leap to Shopify. Shopify passed all of my standard criteria, and had all the right answers when I questioned them about their mobile readiness and friendliness.
The entire shopping experience on my Shopify site is mobile ready and mobile friendly. Catalog and individual product pages offer a nice mobile browsing experience.
In addition, Shopify’s checkout process takes advantage of mobile device features like touch screen and mobile friendly forms.
With 30% of online purchases being made from mobile devices today and growing rapidly, you cannot afford to settle for anything less than mobile perfection from your e-commerce service provider!
From Acceptable Navigation to Mobile Mega Menu
Another change I recently made was on my WordPress website. I updated my theme to a mobile friendly theme long ago; but was never happy with the navigation. So I decided it was time to update the navigation menu to one that was more mobile friendly.
I am a big fan of mega menus. A mega menu is a navigation solution that allows the user to navigate to just about anywhere on your site right from within the main navigation menu. Check out the navigation above or on DeltinaU.com if you are reading this elsewhere.
The challenge for me was finding a mega menu solution that worked well on mobile devices. Many solutions claim to be mobile friendly just because they are responsive (adjusting to a device’s screen size). But it is important not to confuse responsiveness with mobile friendliness. Just because a menu “adjusts” to a smaller screen doesn’t mean it will be easy for mobile users to navigate.
The UberMenu mega menu WordPress plugin ended up being the best solution for me. This mega menu not only adjusts nicely to mobile screens, but provides mobile-friendly navigation using touch screen technologies.
A pleasant mobile experience on your website will keep visitors there longer and coming back. And good mobile navigation is critical to that experience!
Assessing Your Own Toolbox
Is it time to dump some of the tools in your own online marketing toolbox because they don’t make the mobile cut? I hope these examples will help you make the assessments you need so that your online presence won’t go extinct along with an outdated toolbox.
If you use a lot of tools as I do, it may not be practical to make your assessments in one sitting. Instead, you might want to keep an ongoing list of your existing tools and, as you use them, note which ones are making the cut and which ones may need further investigation.
Share your results here!
Author: Deltina Hay
DeltinaU founder, Deltina Hay, is the author of The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web and The Social Media Survival Guide. Deltina developed the graduate, Social Media Certificate program for Drury University, and serves as the board chair of the Independent Book Publishers Association.