Make your nutrition industry website mobile friendly for $100 or less.
Nutrition industry websites looking to quickly establish a mobile-friendly presence on the Web can take heart: there are scores of mobile template providers and conversion services that can now make your website mobile-ready for $100 or less.
“For websites, this is not only a good idea; it is critical,” says Rich Silver, owner, Crow Moon Marketing, a nutrition industry marketing copywriter. “Any business owner who has not optimized their website for mobile phones will have their lunch money taken away by other business owners.”
“In particular,” he continues, “if you’re hoping for free traffic to your website, especially from Google, you must optimize for mobile.”
Amy Covington, a strategy director at Hanley Wood Marketing who specializes in nutrition marketing, agrees: “Having a mobile-friendly version of your website and e-mails is table stakes in today’s market. You need to account for all of the ways consumers might try to find you or interact with your brand. How frustrating is it when you search for a business on your phone, only to find a site that’s not optimized for the mobile experience?”
Garrett Moon, co-owner, Todaymade, a Web-design firm, observes: “It’s important to consider all the browsing that is done on these devices. A large amount of search traffic is taking place on these devices. And these days, more purchasing decisions are made on mobile devices-something that matters to everyone.”
Instead of building a mobile-friendly website from the ground up, many businesses simply opt for mobile website templates, which can be easily customized by adding text and images to pre-configured layouts.
One of the easiest to use of this ilk are templates offered by AllWebCo Design. AllWebCo makes templates that can be quickly customized with a simple text editor like MS Notepad-no Web authoring software required. The company’s basic mobile website templates start at about $21; more sophisticated versions run $125 or more.
Similar template providers include Template Monster and Artisteer. Plus, businesses on the Wordpress platform can find scores of mobile-friendly Wordpress templates for as little as $8 at template clearinghouse sites like at Themeforest and Codecanyon.
Meanwhile, there are also a number of conversion services on the Web, which will convert any traditional website on the fly for anyone willing to type in their website address and press “enter.”
Essentially, these self-service online providers attempt to grab the essential data, colors, and design elements of your nutrition site, then re-display it in a mobile-friendly form-usually in a matter of seconds. Subsequently, you’re presented with a number of online tools that you can use to tweak the resulting design to your taste and preference.
Most of the services also offer free analytics with their packages, so you can track customer activity on your new mobile website. And many offer tools that allow you to effortlessly add mobile-specific features, such as click-to-call and mobile-friendly videos.
Seslija’s bMobilized service, for example, offers to do a rough, on-the-fly conversion of your nutrition site in under 30 seconds. Subsequently, you’re invited to use online tools to edit, create, or replace menus; tweak your logo; customize headers and footers; drop in advertising; and perform similar tweaks to ensure your mobile site is just right. Trial is free, and there’s a monthly $9 charge for customers who want to continue the service with tech support.
One of the coolest features of bMobilized is that it auto-updates the mobile version of your website any time you update your traditional website.
A similar service is offered by Duda Mobile, which costs $9/monthly for an ad-free version of its service.
Once you’ve decided on your own approach, you’ll want to consider these top ten best practices of mobile Web design, as recommended by mobile Web design experts. Click through our slideshow to view these best practices.
Photo Â© iStockphoto.com/Prykhodov
Keep It Quick
Given that many mobile users often use their devices during spare moments, it’s crucial that your mobile site loads fast and is pain-free to use. In practice, that means prioritizing content and features that mobile users need most. You’ll also want to reduce large blocks of text to bullet-pointed text. Plus, ensure images are small and compressed for easy loading.
Says Jerry Popowicz, director, Internet strategies for Palmer Marketing, which does Web marketing: “Traditional desktop version websites need to be optimized for speed so that they load quickly on mobile devices.”
Photo Â© iStockphoto.com/Tolimir
As much as possible, try to minimize the need for scrolling on your mobile site. Any scrolling required should be vertical. And you’ll want to establish a clear hierarchy in menus. Make navigation easier by offering clear back and home buttons. Use seven navigation links or fewer per page. And have a search box prominently available on complex sites.
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With mobile, the thumb rules. So use large, centered buttons on your mobile site for easy thumb navigation. And give users breathing room to reduce accidental clicks. Pad smaller buttons to increase the clickable area. And pad check boxes by making the text next to the boxes clickable.
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Design for Visibility
Mobile users often read in low-light environments. So always be sure to create contrast between background and text. All content should fit onscreen without forcing the mobile user to pinch or zoom. Plus, use size and color to indicate link/button priority.
Photo Â© iStockphoto.com/michal-rojek
Make It Accessible
In a perfect world, your mobile site should work across all devices. Consequently, you may want to find alternatives for Flash, since the video format does not work on all devices. HTML5 is a good alternative for interactivity and animation. Adapt your site for both vertical and horizontal screen orientation. And design to keep users in the same place when they change orientation.
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Make Transactions Easy
To increase sales and calls to action, focus on information that will spur a transaction on your website. And reduce the number of steps to complete a transaction. Forms should be short, using the fewest number of fields possible. And use check boxes, lists, and scroll menus to make data entry easier. Also, use click-to-call functionality for all phone numbers.
Photo Â© iStockphoto.com/Prykhodov
Sync Your Traditional and Mobile Sites
People now use multiple screens throughout the day. So make it easy for visitors to make multiple visits to your site on small and large screens by allowing them to save popular searches. You’ll also want to retain the look and feel of your Web presence across all screen sizes.
Photo Â© iStockphoto.com/cherezoff
Listen, Learn and Refine
Use free analytics programs like Google Analytics to understand how people are using your nutrition website and to continually improve their experience on your site. You can also to use surveys and other feedback tools to supplement that analysis.
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