Simple Tips For Increasing Web Traffic From Mobile Devices Part 1

It never ceases to amaze me how many performing arts organizations don’t have dedicated icons for mobile devices such as iPhones/iPads, Android Smartphones and tablets, plus Windows 8 devices. Without those icons, site visitors attempting to bookmark your site on their device home screen get a snapshot of the homepage which, as you can probably guess, looks awful in icon format.

But having a dedicated icon that looks attractive and projects your organization’s brand is one that encourages more frequent use, take a look at the difference:

Left: homepage snapshot as icon. Right: dedicated mobile icon.
Left: homepage snapshot as icon. Right: dedicated mobile icon. The choice is obvious.

Fortunately, getting mobile icons in place is a very simple process and you have two options: super easy and regular easy. In both versions, you’ll need to have a mobile icon ready and to that end, here’s a free and handy Photoshop template that will allow you to create a simple, classic icon using your organization’s logo.

All you have to do is replace the “Adaptistration icon” Smart Object layer with your own logo, adjust the gradient colors as desired, and save with the following filename: apple-touch-icon.png (that last step is important!).

[ilink url=”http://adaptistration.com/wp-content/uploads/Mobile-Device-Icon-Template.zip” style=”download”]Download free mobile icon template[/ilink]

If you’re looking for a template capable of producing an icon with more wow-impact (like the one I created for Adaptistration), consider picking up an app icon template at Graphic River.

Super Easy Method

  1. Upload your mobile icon (apple-touch-icon.png) to your website’s root directory. If your site is installed in a subdirectory, make sure the icon file is uploaded there.

That’s it.

No coding required, just upload the file. The only drawback here is it might take a device a few moments longer to locate and display the icon during the bookmarking process and in that interim, the home page snapshot will appear.

Regular Easy Method

  1. Upload your mobile icon (apple-touch-icon.png) to your website’s root directory. If your site is installed in a subdirectory, make sure the icon file is uploaded there.
  2. Insert the following code into the header of your website: <link href=”apple-touch-icon.png” rel=”apple-touch-icon” />

You’re all done.

Although this option requires some coding, it provides the ability to specify the pathname for the apple-touch-icon.png file and it does a better job at helping devices locate and display the icon without delay when the user goes through the bookmark process.

When It’s All Said And Done

After the user adds the icon to his/her device’s home screen, a simple tap will automatically open the device’s default web browser to your website’s URL. The following image makes it clear just how easily a bookmark to your site that is nothing more than a homepage snapshot would be swallowed up if surrounded by a sea of purpose built icons.

ipad-with-icon

In Part 2 article, we’ll examine how you can encourage mobile device users to add your mobile icon by providing step by step instructions for major devices. We’ll also have a special custom app icon design give-away!

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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