Here are some questions about MobiFirst and Google's upcoming "Mobile First" algorithm change.
I received this email from one of my long time customers. He asked some really good questions about this new software called MobiFirst and whether or not he needs it at this time.
I answered the questions below in bold.
I've been going through this offer and I'm trying to decide if the pros outweigh the cons that I've noticed.
I love the free hosting, the fast loading websites, the unlimited domains, the CRM that comes with the commercial license.
Some concerns I have:
1) Since this is a widget based website building platform, I'm a little bothered that I won't be able to use some of my favorite plugins that I use with WordPress. Especially the pretty links plugin that I use for creating and tracking links. I'm wondering if MobiFirst has a similar option for this.
Good question, this is definitely different from WordPress. There are no extra plugins that you can add. The software allows you add HTML code, but I’ve found that doing iframe embeds is not very effective on the phone, no matter what software you use.
MobiFirst is a widget (drag and drop) page builder AND hosting platform. And it does have the majority of the widgets you need to construct a good looking and fast loading mobile website that can be visually appealing on desktops and tablets as well.
Let’s take a step back as local business web designers and think through the big picture, this is when we can see opportunities for this software.
A lot of Facebook advertisers have reported that Mobile Device click throughs have been rapidly increasing while desktop CTRs have been decreasing over the last year. Some advertisers have stated in different posts and whitepapers that the distribution of phone clicks to desktop clicks has been as high as 90% to 10%.
My own clicks by device over the last 6 months has been 69% phone clicks, 22% desktop, 8% tablet and other. And in recent months, this ratio has been even higher for the mobile phone.
With that said, to maximize the user experience and get higher conversions. A business needs to have a landing page/website that is designed specifically for the mobile phone.
It needs to load fast, look good on the phone, be free of ad distractions and deliver the information (and CTA) within a few seconds of page load. If the visitor likes what they see, they will continue to read further, watch the video, or interact with the content (ie. Quizzes, polls, scratch offs, Add to Cart, Email optins, etc.).
What the ad visitor does not need to land on from their Facebook click is a clunky, slow loading, adwords filled website. This can come later if needed.
There is no reason at all that a business owner can’t have both…
You can have a mobile page builder for ad landers and the traditional WordPress sites for desktop searches.
However, Google has officially stated that they are giving these fast loading mobile sites a preference in SEO rankings beginning July 1st. What they didn’t say, is that they have been doing this for over the last year.
My recommendation is to use "mobile first" pages whenever you run any style of paid ads. Because no matter which device they come from, the decision to stay on the site is made within a few seconds. And if you have a slow page load on a phone , you just wasted money on a click, when the visitor backs out.
And as far as SEO, Google is going to favor the fast load times and phone optimization. So any new sites that you are trying to rank for a client, start with a mobile first page and then build out there main site to catch the CTA's from the landers.
For instance, if you're a local business consultant/marketer working for a plumbing client. create a mobile first site and give it a custom name for blogging specific answers to plumbing questions with a CTA on each page back to the clients existing site. Then run paid traffic to these pages to answer questions on Google Ads, YouTube In-stream Ads, and facebook ads. Plus do your normal SEO with backlinking and indexing for the long tail keywords. Google will pick these NEW mobile first sites with just a little bit of organic and paid traffic and start moving them up the indexing and replacing pre-existing sites that are slow to load and bogged down with ads.
2) One page I went through it said use your own domains (coming soon). On another, it said that was available. I'm wondering if one of the pages I read through was created before that option was finalized and it's now available or is that still in the works? I also saw that white labeling was coming soon. I'm guessing by that statement, there is MobiFirst branding on the sites we create. Now if we can attach an affiliate link to the MobiFirst branding on the websites similar to what OptimizePress offers, that would be fine. Otherwise, I'm not in love with their branding being on sites I create.
White-label option is for you as an agency to sell the builder platform as your own. So your customer will believe that you created the software and are offering that as a SAAS product for them. There is no "Mobifirst" branding on any of the sites that you design with this software.
You can add your own custom domain, which I highly recommend doing. They will add the SSL certificate when they set it up. However, before you do that, make sure the site works using their urls, and make sure the client approves it before adding the custom domain and working on the SEO backlinking.
Is this builder perfect for everything you create?
My answer is not necessarily, I was going to create a mobile quiz site with a Typeform iframe embed. It worked OK, but would not resize properly on phones when rotated. I eventually went back to WordPress and doing full embeds to pages. Then adding Google AMP plugin to optimize it for faster page loads.
Does it work for blogging, absolutely... It is a a great blog platform for the fastest page load times. It actually optimizes the images and videos for the phones as they are uploaded.
3) My last major concern is this company seems to be fairly new. I've been burned so many times over the years buying software type products from new companies only to have them stop supporting their product a year or two later. You own software so you know what it takes to keep it supported and updated. I've run into too many marketers that have underestimated that process and wound up abandoning their products.
Four years ago, I spent $1295 to get a mobile website builder. Which to date they have not kept up with the widget style builder and lack the support to trust using the software. This MobiFirst seems to be a good builder at an incredible price during the launch. Also it has some really nice local niche templates in the commercial license and the PRO upgrade as a lot more niche specific templates that will drastically cut down on design time.
The idea here is to be able to charge less than you would a 100-page website, yet take considerably less time to develop and implement. In fact, some of these niche sites can be up and running in less than a few hours. However, I would never tell the client when they ask why are they only $995, why it only takes me 3 hours to do this... ;-)
4) Another concern I have after watching some videos on YouTube is I don't see an option to do A/B split testing if a client wants to do paid ads.
Like I mentioned earlier, I would not run paid ads or an ad rotator inside the websites that you are using as mobile landers. Keep them on your big sites.
I would however use split tests on different URL pages that you create and duplicate, changing the content slight for testing. You can do this inside of Facebook ad Google Ads. My opinion is keep these pages clean of clutter with simplified content and media, moving the page visitor to 1 single call to action per page. You should always have a "Hamburger" navigation bar on the mobile phones. Or you use a PHP script switcher based on the device that the user is coming in on. That is beyond the scope of this post, more details can be found in Google Search.
And my final thought...
Why didn't they create a WordPress to MobiFirst converter. When I asked them, surprisingly they said it was in the works and will be added later. This is a big plus for me.
So check out MobiFirst at this link and see if it's right for you as well
PS. and don't forget the "Local Closer's Sales Kit" that I'm including when you purchase through this link https://vidpenguin.link/MobiFirstBlog
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