Categories - Featured, Mobile, Social Media
Congratulations, you’ve created a great blog. The design looks great, the content is engaging, readers are commenting, and perhaps you’ve even figured out how to monetize it. But do you know where you’re traffic is coming from? Better said, do you know how your readers are reading your blog? On their computers, on their mobile phones, on their tablet PCs or iPad? For The Search Agents, we get a relatively low percentage of traffic from mobile – approximately 3% of total visits. But this number has been steadily trending up, and we have been getting more visits from a wider range of mobile devices including iPhones, iPods, Androids, Blackberrys, and NexusOnes. This shift toward mobile consumption of The Search Agents is consistent with a broader update of smartphones, and an increase in web surfing on the go. ComScore just published a report from its MobiLens service which found 42.7 million people in the U.S. now own smartphones, up 18% from the previous quarter. In January, Forrester analyst Seth Fowler, published an intriguing study on “Engaging Smartphone Users.” Two key conclusions:
- Smartphone users have higher levels of engagement with their phones. 35% of smartphone users browse the mobile web, compared to only 4% of featurephone users.
- Smartphone users engage more frequently with more “mobile friendly” sites. Smartphone users who felt a mobile site was easy to use were 4 times more likely to access it than those who found the experience difficult or inconvenient.
- More people are buying smartphones worldwide
- More smartphone owners are browsing the mobile web
- More mobile web surfing takes place on smartphone-friendly sites.
- Each post is really small. The iPhone allows you to magnify the screen, but navigating around the page and scrolling through a post isn’t great.
- The site caused my iPhone to freeze on occasion.
- Each page loads really slooooooooooooooooooooooowly
- Easy Customization. You don’t need to be a programming genius (I can vouch for this) to manage the layout of your mobile blog. WPTouch allows you to choose the title, colors, and font style of the entire page.
- Icon management. Easily add your blog’s icon or favicon at the top of the page.
- Inclusion of blog thumbnails. For each of our posts, we include a square picture or “thumbnail” to give the blog a more magazine-like feel. WPTouch will include these pictures next to the latest posts. If you don’t use thumbnails in your blog, WPTouch allows you to show the date, or just remove this box completely
- Comment indicator. WPTouch will include a red circle with the number of comments for each post. The indicator looks remarkably similar to the iPhone’s indicator of new messages, e-mails, calendar items, etc., which helps build a consistent user experience between iPhone applications.
- Easy commenting and sharing. WPTouch includes tabs to share each post via e-mail, various twitter applications, and social networking sites such as De.icio.us, Digg, and Reddit.
- No custom headers. WPTouch doesn’t allow you to include your logo, or make any customizations beyond colors, font style (seven to choose from), and the addition of custom icons. I’m sure this is to reduce the overall load time, but I would have preferred to upload our logo and tagline to the masthead.
- No links to author’s bio pages. Each of our authors had a dedicated page with a picture, website, brief bio, and summaries of each of their articles. Author pages aren’t included anywhere in the navigation, and WPTouch doesn’t provide an option to include hyperlinks from each author’s name. There’s also no way to reach the “about us” page from the navigation bar.