Video: How to build a mobile website to drive revenue and brand engagement

DudaMobile’s CEO and co-founder, Itai Sadan, had a conversation with Untether.tv’s Rob Woodbridge about the mobile space and the need for creating a mobile strategy. Watch the video below via Untether.tv.

How to build a mobile website to drive revenue and brand engagement – with Itai Sadan, co-founder and CEO

Mobile websites. Everyone is talking about the need to have one but why? What is the value of having a website built from the ground up for mobile devices? What are some of the best practices in building and using mobile websites for your business? What are some examples of great mobile websites? Which ones stink?

These questions – and MANY more – are the reason I asked Itai Sadan, co-founder and CEO of DudaMobile, on to UNTETHER.tv. Itai offers some great commentary on the need for a strategy and reason for implementing what seems to be a natural extension to what we do on the web – simple in idea, somewhat challenging in executing properly.

There are lots of takeaways from this session that should help cement your mobile website strategy and the reasons for moving into this space (hint: if it isn’t generating revenue or deepening a bond between you and your customer, question everything).

10 Tips for Getting the Most out of your Duda Mobile Site

10 Tips for Getting the Most out of your Duda Mobile Site

Through beta testing, we’ve noticed a few key features and cool things our users might have missed. Before you create a mobile website with Duda (or before you go back to edit your Duda-made site), take a look at these 10 things you may have passed over.

1. Your mobile site is auto-synced to your desktop website

After creating your mobile website, you don’t have to worry about updating it. Any changes you make to your regular website are automatically updated in your mobile site.

2. We constantly add new templates

Check our templates selection frequently.  We are always adding new mobile website templates with different themes, especially for small businesses.

3. There’s an advanced editor

No, we haven’t been keeping it a secret. The advanced editor can be accessed through the tab at the top of the screen. With the advanced editor you can do a wide range of enhancements to customize your site. Like edit the underlying HTML and CSS of your mobile site

4. Upload your own background image

Along with changing the background color of your mobile website, you can also add a background image. This feature can be found in step 2. Customize your site, in the general design options section under the background tab.

5. We auto-save your work as you go

Looking for the save button? Forget about it. Our software is designed to automatically save your work as you go.

6. You can add a custom sub-title underneath your header image


Supplement your header with a small caption. This can be done in step 2. Customize Your Site. In the Design Options menu, select Header and enter your desired sub-title in Title text field.

7. iPhone users can bookmark your mobile website.


A feature was added on the features page which allows iPhone visitors to bookmark your mobile website on their phone. This feature is free for all users.

8. Create unlimited sites under one account

Yes, you can create an unlimited number of  websites under one account. Statistics for individual sites are available under the Stats tab on the top of the dashboard.

9. There’s a “send business info” via SMS feature

Make it simple for mobile site visitors to text your business info to themselves or others. This function is located in the Components section of the advanced editor.

10. Made a mistake? Reset your entire mobile website to the state it was in right after the initial conversion.

This can be done in the advanced editor. On the top navigation bar, open the advanced drop down menu. Select Reset Page Design to put your site back to its original state.

 

5 Features Every Business Mobile Website Must Have

Building a mobile website your customers will love is not the same as a standard website built for larger screen. Your mobile website needs to radically simpler, with a premium placed on quick access to the most important information a user might be looking for. When thinking about creating your mobile site for your business, make sure to include these top 5 features.

#1: One click access to contacting your business

Unlike a regular website, visitors to your mobile website are much more likely to contact your business via phone. According to recent data from Google and Ipsos OTX MediaCT, 61% of consumers who visit a mobile site from a search engine will call the businesses from their mobile phone. Make it easy for your site visitors by displaying your business phone number as a Click-to-Call button at the top of your mobile site home page.  When clicked on, customers will instantly connect with your business.

#2: Map & Directions

Similar to the Click-to-Call button, a very high percentage of visitors to your mobile site are interested in locating your business RIGHT NOW. According to the latest data by the International Data Corporation (IDC), 62% of consumers browsing a business mobile website are searching for the store location and directions. Make sure to add a simple Map & Directions button to your site that, when clicked on, opens up your address in built-in map application on the phone, enabling the user to quickly find directions to your location.

#3: Optimize your mobile website design

Choose or design a mobile site template that aligns with the theme of your desktop website. There is no such thing as a universal template, and no single mobile site template is appropriate for every webpage. Be creative with the template you choose and don’t be afraid to make simple tweaks to optimize your mobile website presence.

#4: Make your site legible

Mobile phones have a small screen, a slower connection to the internet and are incompatible with different types of multi-media formats like Flash. So keep your mobile website content simple and easy to read. Enlarge links and buttons to make it easy for users to select them. Delete unnecessary images and text. And make your site easy to read.

#5: Keep your mobile site in sync with your desktop site

When you update your desktop website with the latest news and information about your business, make sure to also update your mobile site as well. This includes business information, your location, store hours, contact phone number and so on. With Dudamobile, we do this for you automatically so you don’t need to worry about it.

If you keep in mind what your customers want when browsing your mobile website, you can provide them with an amazing mobile experience that will quickly lead to more calls, visits and sales.

Mobile Web vs. Mobile Apps

Mobile Web vs. Mobile Apps

You probably already have an Internet website and are now considering to create a mobile website. One of the main questions you might be debating with is whether to create a mobile application (app) or a mobile website. There has been quite a bit of discussion on the web regarding the pros and cons of each of these options.

mobile apps vs mobile web

With the huge buzz around Apple’s App Store and Blackberry’s App World it seems that mobile applications are taking over, but is an app the right solution for everyone? Doesn’t it seem like we have gone back fifteen years and once again being required to install packaged software? An interesting research by Pinch Media shows that less than 5% of downloaded apps continue to be used 20 days after being downloaded.

There are some cases where an app makes more sense as for example: businesses who have a very large and dedicated user base (e.g . Facebook) or solutions that requires special capabilities of the mobile device that are not accessible through the web (e.g. gaming).

But in the majority of the cases businesses and individuals will gain more from going through the mobile web route. The development costs will be lower, the potential market size will be bigger and it will be much easier for people to find your site by using any search engine.

Before making a decision several criteria should be considered. Below I summarized some of the main points to help you make the right decision for your business. Feel free to comment or add to my list.

Mobile App 

Application designed to run on a specific mobile device –  download and installation required

Mobile Website 

Website created specifically for mobile devices – accessible through mobile browsers, no download or installation required

Portability Needs to be developed for each platform (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Palm and the list goes on…) Common platform – some solutions (e.g. DudaMobile) enable you to develop once and run on all web-enabled mobile devices
Hyper Links It is possible to link to an app but since most users will not have the app installed, the most effective way is to link to the download page for this app. It is possible to link from an app externally to other websites Possible to provide links to different pages on your mobile site and to link from your mobile site to other websites
Discoverability Most apps don’t achieve critical success and fade into the world of anonymity. You will need a very well defined strategy to break into the top list for your category in order to make it (AdWhirl estimates $1875 per day advertising budget can get you there , Pinch Media says the impact of being in the top 100 is a daily increase of 2.3x in the number of users) People can find your site by using any of the search engines and via links from other websites, blogs, Twitter and links embedded in emails. A good marketing strategy can definitely increase the number of visitors, especially if it is viral.
Distribution & Market Size At the mercy of the App Store police in regards to availability of your app and approvals to get it in. Requires users to download – huge barrier to entry. 

Limited to the number of users on the released platform

Anyone on the web has access to your mobile site
Usage of Device Capabilities Able to use all device capabilities (GPS, camera, voice, RFID, address book, calendar, etc.) It is possible to use features like GPS, offline data storage and video from within mobile websites using the latest mobile browsers which support HTML5. Access from the web to some native capabilities of mobile devices is still limited due to security and privacy concerns (e.g. access to address book or calendar)
Supportability & Upgradeability Difficult to support and maintain after app is downloaded. Every new release with bug fixes requires to go through the entire approval process of the app store

After new version of application is placed in the store, it requires all existing users to upgrade in order to get it- big barrier

Easier to support and maintain as developer has complete access to the site 

No need to upgrade, all users see the latest version

Entry Costs some app stores charge extra fees for publishing or certifying your app (Apple charges developers $99 and enterprises $299, RIM charges $200 ) None
Revenue Share Need to share sales revenue with the app stores (Apple takes 30%, RIM takes 20%) It’s all yours
User Experience Full control of User Interface Limited to the capabilities of HTML/CSS. User experience will largely depend on how the mobile website is designed
Performance Able to achieve high performance through app code that runs locally on the device Performance will largely depend on how the mobile website is designed
Offline Browsing Possible HTML5 enables it to some extent, but is supported only on selected devices