Your small business probably has its own website, but is it optimized for the Web? Traditional Web layouts that work well with a mouse, keyboard and large monitor tend to fall flat on small smartphone screens. And tiny links that are easy to click on a computer screen aren’t so clickable when customers are navigating using a fingertip.
More and more, your customers are accessing your website on mobile devices. More than half of Americans own a smartphone, and young people are especially likely to search for local businesses on a phone or tablet. But building a mobile website doesn’t mean you have to do double duty. There are plenty of solid services that automate the process of building a mobile companion to your primary site. Before you pick one, read on for seven key features to look for a in a mobile website builder.
Virtually every mobile website builder offers templates to help you design the look and feel of your site. But picking a builder with a large selection of templates will help you find the right one for your business. You want your business’s mobile website to have a distinctive look that captures the essence of your brand; a restaurant needs a different type of mobile landing page than a PC repair service does. A great mobile website builder will offer templates that vary in color, style and layout. Templates should also be highly customizable so you can tweak until your mobile site is just right.
2. Drag-and-drop functionality
You shouldn’t have to have coding or HTML knowledge to get your business’s mobile site up and running. You’re an entrepreneur, not a Web designer, so let your website builder do the heavy lifting for you. A great mobile website builder is nearly as accessible to newbies as it is to veteran developers. To that end, look for a builder with drag-and-drop functionality so you can easily tweak and edit the layout of your site. By picking a builder with intuitive design tools, you can get your mobile website online without stressing. On the other hand, the best mobile website builders include HTML and CSS editing options for more advanced users.
3. Google Analytics support
The best mobile website builders have a lot to offer even after your site is up. That includes integration with Google Analytics, a tool that provides real-time updates about the traffic on your website. It’s an important tool to help business owners figure out what works and what doesn’t — and in turn, boost sales, find more visitors and improve their websites. Before you settle on a mobile website builder, make sure it has support for Google Analytics built in.
4. Social media integration
Engaging with customers online is a great way to build your business. Interacting on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can give your business an edge because it helps you build lasting relationships with your customers. In fact, customers have come to expect it, so make sure that your website builder lets you integrate your business’s social media channels. The best builders have options to import your business’s Facebook photo albums, integrate your Twitter messages, showcase the latest promotional videos from your YouTube channel and more.
GPS functionality is one feature that make smartphones such a great tool to search for local businesses. When potential customers are out and about, they can use their phone to instantly locate nearby businesses, then use its GPS to navigate there. Don’t make your customers type your business’s address into their navigation app by hand. Instead, look for a mobile website builder that includes “click-to-map” functionality. Consumers can see where your business is located on a map, then click to get turn-by-turn directions. The best site builders also include click-to-call functionality, allowing you to embed your business’s phone number on your page so customers can call with one tap.
6. Strong multiplatform support
There are hundreds of different smartphone and tablet models available with varying screen sizes, dimensions and hardware capabilities. When you invest in a mobile website for your business, you’ll want to make sure that every consumer can view it in the way you intended, no matter which smartphone they own. Virtually every site builder has strong support for the two major mobile operating systems: iOS and Android. The best services build your site using HTML5 so that it’s also fully compatible with Windows Phone, BlackBerry and even smaller niche platforms.
7. Help & support
Your website is your online link to new customers. If something goes wrong, you’ll want access to a quick fix. A great mobile website builder has extensive customer service options. The best ones can be reached by phone, email or Web chat during convenient hours, and offer helpful FAQs with answers to common problems.