James Yang

A modern twist on the 1960’s Yellow Pages ad, “Let your fingers do the walking,” has more consumers tapping on smartphones to search for goods and services. Jeff Rainey, president and CEO of Home Equity Builders, in Great Falls, Va., has responded to the trend with a mobile-optimized version of his website.

The Not-so-Big Site

Looking at a website on a phone is “like reading an endless thread” Rainey says. If your site is optimized for smartphone use, “everything fits nicely and it’s not difficult to get through the information.”

Rainey’s mobile-optimized website (MOW) is a snapshot of his main site with a limited number of pages, project photos, and information. Text “hits the high points” and encourages people to visit his blog and website.

Design & Delivery

The MOW’s URL will be different from your main site’s URL; /mobile will be appended to it. Creating a supplementary MOW costs less than creating a full-fledged site since you’re reusing your text and images. The more pages you optimize, the more the MOW costs.

“When you do a mobile website, you want a version of your site that’s easy to read and navigate and quick to load,” says designer Jenna Caudillo of J.A. Creative, in Falls Church, Va., who developed Rainey’s MOW. Caudillo recommends that you:

  • Keep it succinct and simple, maybe four pages. Your goal is for prospects to get a sense of your brand and to see some photos.

  • Pull text from your main website and edit it down. Keep logos and headers consistent across sites.

  • Include a link to your full site.

It took Caudillo about a month to come up with a strategy, develop content, and work with a designer to create the pages and then hand it all off to a programmer. The MOW needs to be hosted, which Rainey does through his own website. Total costs for the MOW can be anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 depending on the number of pages, features, and applications.

—Stacey Freed