Unit 3: Site and Content
Part 4: Mobile and Tablets: What do authors need to know?
In previous articles we raised the importance of owning a user-friendly website that engages your audience and drives them towards purchasing your work, signing up to your mailing list, or even sharing their love for you with their peers. Nowadays over 50% of internet usage is done through a mobile device, so it is very important to keep this in mind when creating your website. You want your content to be available to as many people as possible.
There are currently two ways to access online content via a mobile device: either through a browser or a mobile app. You want your users or readers to have the same experience whether they are on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. As an authorpreneur it makes the most sense to start off with ensuring that your website is responsive and mobile-friendly, meaning that it automatically detects the browser and device that it is being opened in and scales itself accordingly. A mobile app differs from a responsive website in that it is downloaded onto a device, and can either be used when online or, in some cases, depending on how the app is built, offline. You may be just fine with a mobile website, but the idea of having your own app may also appeal to you too. In any case, a mobile website is pretty much a must-have in order to reach the broadest audience possible.
This graphic from Mashable is helpful for understanding the differences between a mobile website and a mobile app.
A mobile website has many advantages over an app, mainly in terms of accessibility and reach. In the time it takes to download an app you can peruse a website and make a purchase. A responsive website will render correctly no matter the device or browser used, while an app has to be adapted specifically for each device. Other advantages of a mobile website are that it can easily be found, via a search, a URL, or a call to action, can easily be shared from a mobile device via a simple click, cannot be deleted, and doesn’t require an upgrade or update, as this happens automatically. All in all this means that a mobile website costs less to create and maintain, and all of these advantages just ensure that a mobile-friendly website has the widest possible reach, much larger than an app will.
There are certain scenarios where it makes sense to develop your own app, but this should be in addition to an existing website. If your content has an interactive or gaming element to it, or you want your user to be able to personalize it, or access it offline, it might be an idea to invest in an app. However, for marketing purposes alone, a mobile-friendly website should suffice.
During the website planning phase, it is important to ensure that it is optimized for both desktop and mobile. Your aim will always be to use your landing page to attract and then engage as many people as you can, within as little time as possible. As you literally have seconds from keeping a potential new reader from moving on, it can make sense to invest in a service or tool such as Unbounce that will provide explicit testing services to ensure your landing page is as effective as it needs to be. The great part of this type of service is that it allows you to customize a template that has already been optimized, giving you a real head start. Remember, your main outlook is that you want to stand out from the crowd, not be part of it. But at the same time, you will also need to heed certain effective marketing techniques that will put you ahead of the race.
One last, but important, point is to make sure that your website is adapted correctly to suit a mobile or tablet user’s needs. Can a user easily access features by tapping instead of scrolling or zooming in? Can scrolling or zooming be done by a simple tap or swipe? Once you have tapped on a certain link or button is it easy to get back to the main landing page? How does the lay-out appear on different devices? And the font, colors and images? Are they as effective on a mobile as they are on a desktop? These are the type of questions you should ask yourself when you test your website out on mobile devices – with so much traffic now coming from mobiles and tablets you cannot afford not to.
Your aim is to continue to use your website and landing pages as incredible marketing tools, and if you make sure they are not only mobile-friendly and responsive, but also completely optimized for both desktop and mobile, your reach will be all the more broad.
Do you have a mobile friendly website? Have you considered building an app? Hop on over to the AuthorpreneurLaunch Forum with comments, questions, or suggestions. I’ll get back to you asap.
Growth Hacking Tip: One click webinar registration (from email)
Use the one click webinar registration hack by passing a users information via a URL once they click on your email CTA. Note that you’ll also need to ensure your landing page is set up to receive these parameters at which time it will automatically sign them up for the webinar rather than requiring them to enter their information again.
Photo of the Week: Greek Odyssey Festival in Orange, CT visiting Grandma P.
Meal of the Week: A sampling of Greek food and snacks + hamburger & fries
— Marquina (@Marquina) September 12, 2017
Also published on Medium.