It would seem that it’s just as easy to make money online building websites for mobile phones as it is to build any other, regular website. Hold on, though. Not so fast. Mobile sites differ greatly from your standard sites and this affects not only the way you build those sites, but some of your marketing methods, as well.
If you want to make money building mobile sites then you need to let potential new clients know that you understand the difference between a standard site and a site that someone’s going to look at on their iPhone while they’re traveling at 75 mph down the freeway. Most clients understand the importance of having a comprehensive online presence, but they don’t understand that in the world of mobile websites two rules apply – K.I.S.S. and Less Is Better!
Keep It Simple On A Mobile Site
You and your clients both understand that, when building a standard website, it’s expected that it will have dozens, or maybe even hundreds, of pages. In fact, the more quality information you offer the better.
That’s fine when the target audience is leisurely surfing the Internet and they have time to browse the site and a desire to learn more about the company. But people who look for information on a mobile device are generally in a hurry. They’re on the move, not sitting comfortably at their desk. They’re looking for one or two specific pieces of information – an address or a phone number, maybe a brief description of the service or a link.
It’s essential then that you identify the target audience for your mobile site and present only that information which they would consider most important. Ask yourself why would someone riding a bus or walking down the street be coming to this site now? What information would they be looking for at that time? What would they be looking for that’s so urgent they can’t wait until they get home in front of their PC?
Less Is Better On A Mobile Site
If you want to make money online building mobile websites one of your biggest obstacles is going to be convincing your client that less really is better. He’s seen all of those flashy sites, heavy with graphics and videos, banner ads and pages and pages of content. But a site like that just won’t work on a mobile device.
All of your optimization has to be handled differently for a mobile site. Coding has to be clean and structured, you need to diligently use alt tags for mobile users who can’t see images, you need to label forms, etc, and all of that, combined with images, drags down load time. And load time is a major consideration with mobile sites because it varies so much from one device to the other.
The range of screen sizes is another important consideration that limits what you should and shouldn’t do with a mobile site. Cluttering up that small screen with lots of images and text only makes it that much more difficult for the reader to find the link he’s looking for.
Educate Your Clients
Mobile websites are still a new concept to many small businesses and, in a lot of cases, you’ll have to educate your clients not only on the technical aspects of the design but also on the benefits of stepping into this marketplace.
Currently, more than 130 million people purchase a new smart phone every year in the US. In 2010, more than 63% of the entire population owned an Internet enabled phone or other mobile device – and the numbers just keep growing. The reason these people purchase these devices is because they enable them to access the Internet anywhere, any time, no matter what they’re doing.
If you really want to make money online building mobile websites, one of the best things you can do is just show your client what his site looks like when viewed on a mobile device. Most businesses owners have never used a mobile device to view their own website and don’t realize that very few standard sites convert well to mobile viewing – regardless of any plug-ins or programming tweaks you use. Show him how terrible his site looks from your iPhone and he’ll sign on the dotted line in a heart beat!
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!