These days, just about every demographic is using a mobile device to access the Web. As a business, no matter your industry, you simply can’t ignore this reality. It’s time to start adding mobile integration to your list of priorities.
Take out your phone and look up your company website. What about your iPad or tablet device? Pretend that you are a potential customer. How does the site look on your phone? Is it easy to find important information? Is it difficult to click on the links without having to zoom way in? Chances are that your website is not optimized for mobile yet, which could cause customers to close their browsers before finding what they need.
If your website is built on a content management system, like WordPress, you can make use of plugins, such as WPTouch, which renders your site on a mobile theme. The mobile version will focus more on your site's text than on the images. This will cut down on page load time and make the most important information easy to find.
Many local sites can also benefit by creating a custom, mobile-only version of their site using tools like the mobile builder from Network Solutions.
Having a mobile-friendly site is not the only step you can take to integrate mobility into your business. Let’s look at how mobile trends are affecting businesses and what else you can do to stay on top of each.
As of May 2011, the number of mobile visits to business sites and social media accounted for 20 percent of all Web traffic. This means that for every 100 people who visit your website, 20 of them may be doing so from a mobile device, such as a cell phone or tablet computer. If your site is not mobile-ready, how many potential conversions did you miss out on?
As people become more dependent on their smart phones, mobile shopping is surging in popularity for a number of consumers. In 2011, Black Friday sales made from mobile purchases rose to 9.8 percent, more than triple the number of mobile sales from the same time the previous year.
Many consumers use their mobile devices to look between competitors for the best price before buying, either in person at the store or from the full website.
Location is a key factor of mobile search, making more locally oriented content a must for your site. Use your major keywords in your titles and content, add appropriate tags, and use keyword-rich anchor text for your internal links, but make certain you are using the names of cities and suburbs as well.
Mobile-specific campaigns have also seen an average increase of 11.5 percent on click-throughs. According to Microsoft, approximately 53 percent of mobile searches on Bing were local, meaning that people are looking for what’s nearby. This means you should not overlook the potential of mobile search advertising and make sure you are optimizing your site for local consumers.
Many organizations are starting to realize the value of mobile messaging as a part of their marketing campaigns. It is a fast and easy way to reach out to thousands of potential customers and deliver important information, coupon and discount codes.
Contrary to some reports or perhaps even your initial feelings about text messages for marketing, some consumers actually prefer them for things like reminders, alerts, sales and coupons, so don’t discount them simply because you received a spam text from someone.
Unfortunately text-based messaging is the next area of focus for wide scale spam so don’t put yourself in that boat if you elect to use it. Make certain that you offer mobile notifications as an option for customers and work with a reputable service provider so you follow regulations and honor opt-outs properly. A couple of services to look at are CallFire, FanMinder and Trumpia.
Text messages are opened and read by more recipients than any other medium so take advantage of this awesome opportunity, but don’t abuse it or you’ll lose it as they say.
These mobile messaging techniques can allow your business to set up a targeted campaign for a lower cost than other traditional methods. You can set up mobile trivia, alerts for upcoming promotions and new products, and many other mobile campaigns. Nearly one-quarter of all Americans will take part in a mobile marketing campaign.
With mobile integration, you can reach out to all potential customers through e-mails, local search, social media as well as mobile messaging. Get started on implementing more mobile actions into your typical marketing efforts and watch the impact.
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
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