It probably won't surprise you to learn that mobile traffic to websites still continues to grow, with no signs of slowing down. Yet many businesses continue to view their mobile marketing strategy as merely having a mobile-optimized website. But this strategy may not be enough as more people continue to use mobile phones to find businesses and information.
In 2017 Pew Research Center created a report of compiled data on mobile usage based on phone surveys they've done since 2000 through 2016. These surveys were compiled from a random sampling of Americans in all 50 states over the age of 18.
While there were lots of interesting data from the report, a couple key facts stood out:
- 77 percent of all Americans now own a smartphone.
- Smartphones are no longer just for the younger demographic: Nearly 74 percent of all Americans between the ages of 50 to 64 are smartphone owners.
If there has ever been a time when your website needed to perform well on phones, it is now. Yet most websites still treat phone users as second-class citizens, creating hard-to-use interfaces with hidden menus and sub-par user experiences.
Here are some ways you can improve your mobile marketing strategy. Some of these improvements don't require any technical knowledge at all, and they have the potential to make a difference for your business.
1. Claim your company on Google's My Business tool.
It may be a good idea to claim your company on Google's My Business directory. This allows your business to show local searchers your hours of operation, maps to your business and other helpful information.
A benefit of being on My Business is the possibility of showing up in the local pack, which is the top three listings in local searches. This includes a map and some details about your business.
2. Utilize AMP for your mobile website.
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, and it is an initiative that search engines have adopted that helps speed up the display pages and ads on phones. Search engines like Google and Bing often gives pages with AMP enabled more prominence in search results by placing those pages above the normal search results.
A 2017 Adobe report anonymized data tracked by its analytics tools for publishers from over 10 billion website visits. These visits were to news, media and entertainment websites based in the U.S. from January 2015 into this year. The Adobe Insight study found that 84 percent of the media companies studied received traffic from AMP. Only 6 percent of consumers primarily used a company's app over AMP.
AMP has become widespread over the past few years, and lots of pre-made solutions exist for many software platforms. If you're using WordPress for your site, you can simply install a plugin to generate AMP results, improving your mobile marketing strategy with little effort.
3. Take advantage of your location as one of your mobile marketing strategies.
Search engines use location as a ranking signal. This means that if someone is physically closer to your business than to your competitor across town, your business could rank higher because of it. (In reality there are an unknown amount of factors used to determine rankings, but Google states that its local results rank by “relevance, distance and prominence.")
Ensure that search engines know your business's location by utilizing structured data that gives information about your business's location. (Here are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla projects that allow you to add structured data to your website.)
4. Increase the loading speed of your mobile site.
Mobile phones typically render webpages slower than desktop computers because their computing capacity is lower. The faster your site loads on a mobile phone, the quicker the visitor can start perusing your website. One great mobile marketing strategy is to speed up the load time, or the amount of time it takes to display the webpage.
5. Rethink your content structure.
Typically "mobile-optimized sites" are really just desktop websites shoehorned into a much smaller screen. Content pulled down the page, menus hidden and shrunken videos can make for a subpar experience.
Truly embracing the mobile visitor means viewing the mobile version of your site as completely independent from your desktop site. Instead of showing all of the same content and squishing it, think about the most important information that a mobile visitor would need. Then consider eliminating the rest.
Also think of ways to add information or features that would be beneficial for mobile visitors so you can then feature that information.
It will be hard work completely rethinking your mobile content structure. It may even essentially split your online efforts as you're now supporting another version of your website. But the rate of mobile browsing to businesses is high enough now that it this can be very important to your mobile marketing strategy.
The growth of mobile visitors on smartphones doesn't look like it's going to slow down anytime soon. Help yourself make the most of this traffic while you can by considering the above mobile marketing strategies.
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