Your Options For Going Mobile In 2013

Whether you like it or not, mobile devices are going to play a significant role in internet marketing during the next few years. Regardless of your source of income (PPC, affiliates etc.), if your website doesn’t carter to mobile users, you’ll be missing out on a major chunk of revenue in the long run.

IDC, a research firm, found out that internet access via mobile devices will increase at an astonishing annual rate of 16% and is likely to exceed internet access via desktops by 2015.

Another survey involving mobile marketing experts revealed that using mobiles for searching information is becoming increasingly important. Out of the participants, 90% experts tipped mobile searches as the most important trend for search engines.

The consumers visiting brick and mortar stores in the real world have grown fond of mobile internet to read reviews about product and services as it helps them make informed decisions about what to buy and where to buy it from.

The problem is that most internet marketers aren’t aware that they have options when it comes to going mobile. There are low-cost options to expensive ones, so you’re not bound by a particular way to carter mobile consumers.

Options for small businesses owners for going mobile

1. Custom responsive theme

This is the best (and one of the most expensive) options available for internet marketers. A custom responsive theme is a great option when you’re already running a website and want the design to remain the same while serving mobile readers. Such themes are usually created on CSS3 and HTML5, so they adapt beautifully to mobile and tablet displays. The domain remains the same (www.yoursite.com rather than m.yoursite.com).

These custom themes can range from $1,000 to $20,000 and take a while to be developed. This is where a savings account can come in handy. Online savings rates by Discover Bank reveal that great rates are available when saving up for something special through an online savings account.

Such accounts are also useful in setting up an automatic savings plan, so you may just be able to afford the best option for going mobile.

going mobile
Photo Credit: cote

2. Mobile plugins
Mobile plugins are the cheapest option for serving website content to mobile internet users and shoppers. A lot of plugins that make your website responsive are available for free, but there are premium options available as well.

Free versions of mobile plugins include WordPress Mobile Pack, WP Mobile Detector and Mobile Press. Premium options include Elegant themes WordPress plugin and WP Touch Pro.

While a mobile plugin may be your best resort if you have a minimum budget for going mobile, you should keep in mind that free versions can also result in problems such as content missing from certain parts of the site and the website being presented in a mobile theme to desktop users as well (a lot of internet marketers using free version of WP Touch have complained about this).

3. New responsive theme

This is perhaps the most reasonable option available for internet marketers. You can take advantage of a pre-built theme from a marketplace and this saves you from having to spend a large amount of money on a custom responsive theme.

A lot of beautiful responsive themes are available in theme markets such as StudioPress, ThemeForest and AIT themes. If you plan to buy a responsive theme after a couple of months, Discover offers an online savings account offering high yield can result in 20% of the deposited amount within few months.

You can find pre-built themes for free, but to take advantage of all the features (widgets, dedicated theme panel), it’s recommended that you go for a paid option. The themes are available at pretty reasonable prices, ranging from $20 to $100 in most instances.

4. A mobile app
This is also an expensive option like the custom responsive theme, but it’s useful if your marketing efforts are geared towards businesses such as restaurants and fashion brands. A mobile app not only allows you to serve mobile readers, but you can also take advantage of mobile marketing tactics and monetize the app separately from your website domain.

Having an app also gives you the advantage of reputation because mobile users know you have invested time and money in presenting them your website in the best manner possible. However, a mobile app may not be your best option if you’re marketing for e-books, blogging about making money online or have a review website.

A big limitation of relying on a mobile app is that you’ll need separate ones for separate platforms (Windows, BlackBerry, iOS, Android etc.), so this is going to result in a lot of investment (unless your readers are accustomed to a particular platform).

Have you optimized your website for mobile readers? Which option suits your budget?




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