WEB & TECH / NOV. 09, 2014
version 2, draft 2

How to Monetise Your Mobile Website

Mobile devices now count for more than 30 percent of all web traffic, and that number is expected to keep increasing. But they only

1. Look at your site on a mobile device

account for about one percent of advertising spending. What that means for you is that there’s a lot of money being left on the table. You can get a head start on the rest of the crowd by monetising your mobile site today. Here’s what you need to know:

You may think your website is responsive. You may have paid for a version that is supposedly optimized for mobile. But unless you’ve actually looked at it on a variety of mobile devices, you don’t really know what users are experiencing.

A good user experience is a critical building block for monetising your mobile site. If your site is slow to load or difficult to navigate due to resizing issues, nobody’s going to stay on your site long enough to generate any revenue. Test it on a variety of phones and tablets (ask your friends). There’s no point in monetising your mobile site until you can be confident that users will stick around for more than a few seconds.

2. Post relevant, responsive ads

Most people have come to expect ads on just about every website they visit, and they don’t really pay attention to them unless they’re interested. Mobile ads, however, have a high potential for being annoying. Think about it: If you’re trying to read something on a smart phone, you don’t want to deal with a banner ad covering a third of the screen – especially if it’s for something you’d never in a million years be interested in. Because mobile real estate is so valuable, the ads you place on your mobile site need to be responsive – meaning that they’re sized appropriate for a mobile device – and contextually relevant. If you write a blog post about your dog, any ads that appear on the mobile version need to be about dogs, not kayaking. The bottom line is, don’t waste your user’s time or screen space.

3. Narrow the sales funnel

If you’re actually selling products from your mobile site, it’s important to narrow the sales funnel. If a potential customer has to click through five screens to make a purchase, you’re almost guaranteed cart abandonment. Make the buying experience is as painless as possible.

4. Sign up for an affiliate program for apps

Affiliate programs can be a great source of revenue for high-traffic sites. Concentrating on affiliate programs for apps helps optimize affiliate links for your audience. If they’re looking at your site on a mobile device, they’re more likely to download the app than someone looking at the same site on a desktop computer.

5. Look into hyperlocal advertising

If someone is looking at your site on a mobile device, they most likely have a GPS that can pinpoint where they are. Once you know where they are, you can show them relevant ads, like the one for that little deli down the street.

Mobile websites are a huge, relatively untapped market for monetisation. Have you ever tried    monetising your mobile site? What worked…and what didn’t? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.


image: flickr via Microsiervos Geek Crew, 2014

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