Mobile Web Slinger

July 11, 2012
by Deltina Hay
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Finally a Mobile App Marketing Class!

Deltina Hay, author of The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web, has produced a full course on marketing mobile apps on Udemy called “Marketing Mobile Apps for Top Visibility and Lasting Success.”

The course focuses on early and ongoing marketing efforts that will increase your app’s exposure to your target audience, get reviews and media attention, push your app up in app store rankings, and establish a mobile app marketing plan for long-term success.

Using organic, holistic, and time-honored marketing methods you will learn to:

  • Get early and ongoing exposure for your app from the media, reviewers, and bloggers.
  • Optimize your app assets for good placement in the app stores and beyond.
  • Create buzz around your app and draw attention from the people who matter.
  • Reach your ideal target audience by seeking them out and marketing directly to them.
  • Establish a significant audience through social media and word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Build an advocate base of supporters to champion your app within their networks.
  • Maintain the marketing momentum necessary to keep your app successful for the rest of its natural life.

Deltina Hay has been a publisher for nearly 10 years and is the author of three books on social media, the mobile web, and search optimization. She is also a web developer and programmer who has developed mobile apps of her own. She is a self-proclaimed “fanatical” marketer.

Drawing on her experience as a book publisher and marketer, Deltina has taken the best tactics for marketing and optimizing mobile apps and melded them with time-honored book marketing strategies to create a mobile app marketing strategy that will leave your competitors in the dust!

Take the class today with a special price of $79!

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Deltina Hay is the author of The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web and The Social Media Survival Guide. She is a veteran developer and programmer with over 25 years experience. She also blogs at SocialMediaPower.com, SocialMedia.biz, and Technorati. Deltina teaches the graduate level social media certificate course for Drury University. You may also enjoy her video tutorials on YouTube.

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June 7, 2012
by Deltina Hay
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Add QR codes to your books and get more exposure!

Bootstapper's QR codes

When I wrote The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web, I knew I wanted to add QR code functionality to the book. But I needed to find a service that offered QR codes I could change when I needed, as well as QR code tracking capability.

I found those requirements in the QR code service, Esponce. Check out the QR code case study for the book to learn specifically how I used QR codes to enhance the book.

Matjaz over at Esponce was kind enough to share some of his thoughts on what adding QR codes to a book (or any product for that matter) can do for you…

With the massive groundswell of QR Code readers and equipment that is now available to access QR Code information, it has meant that now there are hundreds of millions of people potentially open to your information.

Like any media item, a book is designed to be read by a single person at a time. If the content of this book carries a strong enough message and the person decided it is valuable enough for them to spread the message then the word will spread. By adding a QR Code to the book we can get our message over more clearly by introducing emotive elements such as sound, vision, video, animation etc. Doing this will clearly improve the chance of your message or any links to your subject being understood and disseminated.

There has never been a more simple solution to move from analogue to digital information and content in our lifetime. Especially when you look at the simple steps in being able to create and access that information.

What we have done in effect, is turn the conventional media/dissemination of information route on its head. In the past we spent a great deal of time and money on digital display systems that would spew out information in the hope that a passer by would stumble upon it and act upon the information. Think about holiday shops where they have rolling displays of holiday availability etc. the customer has to be in the right place at the right time and have the patience to stand there while the display will hopefully come up with something he is interested in.

Now all we do is put a sticker or other simplistic thing into a space, the customer will bring his expensive equipment along and take the action to scan the code thereby telling us what information he wants to access!

A marketers dream scenario that is available right now.

–Matjaz, www.esponce.com

Matjaz Kofol is creative and managing director at Esponce. He leads the team fully versed in every aspect of QR technologies, and esponce is ideally placed to assist agencies and brands with any requirements to market QR Code technology. Esponce.com is one of the world’s top QR code technology companies who can help you take advantage of QR code potential.

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June 1, 2012
by Deltina Hay
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Optimize your landing pages for mobile or lose out!

You finally have your mobile ad ready in the new Google AdWords for Mobile and have high hopes for reaching the unsaturated mobile audience. But have you thought your campaign all the way through? Once you reach this mobile demographic, where will you send them? Hopefully, you plan to send them to a page that is optimized for the mobile Web.

You already know the best practices of successful landing pages (if not, here is a link to landing page resources that can help).

  • Landing pages should be relevant to to the ad that sent the user there.
  • Landing pages should get to the point quickly.
  • Landing pages should make the call to action very clear and accessible.
  • Landing pages should be short and avoid scrolling where possible.
  • Landing pages should require very little from the user.

In addition to the elements that make a good landing page in general, there are other considerations that should be taken into account when creating a mobile-optimized landing page:

  • Mobile landing pages should be compliant and mobile ready.
  • Mobile landing pages should never force the user to scroll horizontally or vertically – you have even less time for conversion.
  • Every page in the conversion process should be mobile ready – make certain any call-to-action links also lead to mobile-optimized pages.

At top is a video that goes into more detail on what makes a good mobile-optimized landing page, as well as a demonstration of how to create one using the free service Google Sites.

This article is based on an excerpt from The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web by Deltina Hay, and first appeared on SocialMedia.biz.

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Deltina Hay is the author of The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web and The Social Media Survival Guide. She is a veteran developer and programmer with over 25 years experience. She also blogs at SocialMediaPower.com, SocialMedia.biz, and Technorati. Deltina teaches the graduate level social media certificate course for Drury University. You may also enjoy her video tutorials on YouTube.

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May 4, 2012
by Deltina Hay
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Mobile Web Book Released and Reviewed

The Bootstrappers Guide to the Mobile Web

The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web is officially released!

And here is the trailer…

This is the only book you need to get your business ready for the mobile web.

But don’t take my biased word for it, here is what the critics are saying about The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web:

In this nuts-and-bolts book, social media marketing expert Hay (The Social Media Survival Guide) guides the do-it-yourselfer through getting mobile from start to finish, covering everything from style and best practices to creating apps and your own QR codes…direct, no-nonsense…  –Publisher’s Weekly

The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web includes no extraneous text. It’s a practical guide served straight up, an indispensible toolbox crammed with no-nonsense methods and practices for getting your website mobile. The price of The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web is a fraction of an hour of tech development—invariably money well spent. Read armed with a highlighter and a notepad…  –NYJournalOfBooks

The mobile web is the BIGGEST opportunity for people to improve their business in the coming years. Deltina Hay has provided the roadmap. Dig in. Now.  –Chris Brogan, President Human Business Works.

If you’re looking for fun anecdotes and fluffy prose you have come to the wrong book. However, if you really need to know how mobile will effect your business and would like to have the tools to be one step ahead of your competition, then you are going to love this book.   –BusinessBookTalk

Get the book now at your favorite bookstore, or check it out at TheBootstrappersGuide.com where you will find many free resources.

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April 20, 2012
by Deltina Hay
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16 Mobile Website Best Practices

Regardless of the solution you choose to create your mobile website, there are some best practices that should be applied to all mobile websites.

Following are some mobile website best practices paraphrased from the book, The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web, by Deltina Hay.

1. Keep It Simple:
In general, keeping your site simple means eliminating most images; simplifying navigation, layout, and design elements; eliminating Flash and other proprietary software; keeping your site free of clutter; and breaking up text and other content.

2. Prioritize Content:
Space is in high demand on a mobile site and site visitors are on the go, so you need to anticipate what content users will most likely want to access. Choose the three most important content items and make those items easy for users to find and act upon.

Prioritized content on mobile website

Prioritized Content and Conversion on a Mobile Landing Page: Google Sites

3. Focus on Conversion:
Recall that users are not browsing your mobile site—make it easy for them to do the things they are most likely wanting to do, like find store locations, buy or review products, review menu items, place calls to your business, or request additional information.

4. Take Advantage of Mobile Features:
Like the click-to-call button, there are features specific to mobile devices that can be used to improve your site user experience. The most useful of these features is location, both yours and the customer’s. By accessing user location information, you can offer a more personable experience.

5. Think “Tap-able” not “Clickable:”
Design your site’s buttons, navigation items, and links for touch screens, not for a mouse. This will improve the user experience and prevent accidental navigation away from your site. Do not use hover-over features on your mobile site. A thumb cannot “hover” over an item on a mobile site.

Tappable mobile website

"Tap-able" Design from goMobi

6. Navigation: Go Vertical
Pay special attention to the navigation on your mobile website. Keep in mind the “tap-able” issues discussed above, as well as scrolling and readability issues. Your navigation menu should not scroll left or right. If your menu items are too long to fit horizontally, create a vertical navigation structure.

Vertical navigation on mobile website

Vertical Navigation: Responsive Website

7. Minimize Scrolling
Mobile users prefer to scroll from top to bottom, so design your site so that left to right scrolling is eliminated. You should keep the need for scrolling—even top to bottom scrolling—to a minimum.

8. Formatting Content: Be Concise
Content is still king, even on the mobile web, and there are plenty of ways to keep your valuable content available to your visitors while still maintaining a simple, readable, and error-free mobile site:

  • Make headers prominent and concise.
  • Text should be readable at arm’s length, and broken up with “read more” links or collapsible navigation.
  • Use bulleted lists when formatting your text, and avoid the use of images wherever possible.
  • Avoid placing too many links within the body of your text, especially if the links are close together.
Collapsible navigation

Collapsible navigation: From Design Chemical

9. Focus on Simple Usability
Your mobile website design should focus on simplicity and usability. Designing for a smaller screen can be challenging, and requires eliminating many elements we take for granted on desktop sites. The following best practices can help:

  • Do not clutter your site with paid ads or unnecessary elements.
  • Use CSS to organize content on your mobile site. Do not use HTML tables.
  • Use plenty of white space on your site, and use lighter colored backgrounds.
  • Single column layouts are the best choice for mobile websites.
Concise mobile website formatting

Concise and simple formatting: WordPress plugin, Wapple Architect

10. Beware of Proprietary Technologies
Be careful when choosing proprietary software to use on your mobile site. Many smartphones and tablets will not render Flash or Silverlight, which are programs that help create animation and other multimedia for the web. You may run into issues with third-party scripts as well.

11. Page Size Matters
Page load time (how fast a page renders in a mobile browser) plays a major role in how well a site places in mobile search engines, and can also determine if someone stays on your site or not. A website designed for desktop browsers can take up to 40 seconds to load on a mobile device, a far cry from an optimized mobile site that should take around four seconds.

12. Crunch Those Images!
Fast load times are essential to an optimized mobile site, and images tend to take a long time to load. Mobile users are content motivated—they are not necessarily “browsing” or “admiring” your mobile site, rather, they are there for a purpose. A few images are fine, but excessive use will degrade your site’s efficiency. Use an image cruncher like crunch4Free to cut back on image size.

13. Video: Use YouTube and HTML5 to Render
Just as for images, including video on your mobile site can affect load times and usability. And even though smartphones and tablets handle audio and video very efficiently, the mobile browser rendering your mobile website may not do such a good job. Rather than streaming the video yourself or relying on other proprietary software, consider using YouTube to place video on your mobile site. HTML5 has a video tag that renders video efficiency as well.

YouTube video on mobile site

Embedded YouTube video: WordPress mobile site

14. URL Structure
You have a few choices for what type of URL to use for your mobile site. You could purchase a domain name using the “dotmobi” or “.mobi” extension so your site would have a URL like “yoursitename.mobi.” Or, you could point a sub-domain name like “m.yoursitename.com” or “mobile.yoursitename.com” to your mobile website. It is becoming standard to find a website’s mobile version at a URL like m.example.com.

15. Redirecting Visitors to Your Mobile Site: Let Them Choose
When someone accesses your website using a mobile device, there are ways you can make sure the mobile version of your site is what they see. One way is to redirect them to the mobile version of your website using scripts. Regardless of how you redirect visitors to your mobile site, it is always best to allow them the option of viewing the standard version of the site if they choose.

16. Test Your Mobile Site:
Mobile browsers are not as forgiving as desktop browsers when it comes to errors. The best place to test your mobile website for errors is the W3C mobileOK Checker. This tool not only checks your site for errors, but checks page sizes, load times, image sizes, and many other factors that can keep your mobile site from displaying properly in mobile browsers.

So, what CAN you do on your mobile website?

I know what you are thinking: What is left to do with all those limitations? Granted, these guidelines are pretty strict, and many of them have older mobile devices in mind. However, you should still attempt to adhere as closely as possible to the suggestions here when developing your mobile website. The mobile audience has a shorter attention span than ever, so every second counts!

There is still a lot you can do to create a beautiful mobile website while adhering to best practices. Check out the sites on Mobile Awesomeness for inspiration. Note: Not every mobile site featured on Mobile Awesomeness adheres to the best practices discussed in this post.

Mobile Awesomeness

Mobile Awesomeness

The Bootstrappers Guide to the Mobile Web

This post is paraphrased from the book, The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web, by Deltina Hay.

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Deltina Hay is the author of The Bootstrapper’s Guide to the Mobile Web and The Social Media Survival Guide. She is a veteran developer and programmer with over 25 years experience. She also blogs at SocialMediaPower.com, SocialMedia.biz, and Technorati. Deltina teaches the graduate level social media certificate course for Drury University. You may also enjoy her video tutorials on YouTube.

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