Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
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Smartphone users account for more than 50% of the mobile users in the United States, and this number is expected to grow in the coming months and years.  A study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project indicated that 87% of smartphone owners use their phones to go online or check their email.

What does this mean for small business owners and mobile marketing?

It simply means that the mobile market, especially smartphone owners, can no longer be ignored.  If you want to draw more customers, you must have an online presence that is searchable and reachable by smart phone owners.

 

The Mobile Web

The Internet has a new face these days.  It’s called the Mobile Web, or the internet as viewed on a smart phone or tablet connected to a wireless network.  Mobile websites are designed to be easily accessible and viewable on mobile devices.

Businesses that do not have a mobile website risk losing customers who cannot find or access them using their smartphones or tablets to search the internet.

 

Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices

If your business already has a website, it’s likely that the site is designed for users navigating the site from their computers.  What looks good on a computer screen may be disastrous on the limited screen display of mobile devices.  In order to make your website mobile-friendly, you will have to redesign the site content and elements of your website to make it easier for mobile browsers to navigate your site.

When designing (or redesigning) your website, keep in mind that there are some features on your site that will not work on a mobile platform.

If you do not want to make changes in an existing website designed for computer screens, there are other options that do not require a new website or a different domain.  You can use a sub-domain that will contain your web pages designed for searching and viewing on mobile devices.  This site can feature popular content and functions for mobile users.

 

Elements of a Mobile-Friendly Website

Adapting a website for a small business for the mobile market is not difficult.  If they do not want to be swallowed up by large corporations, small businesses must hurry and start optimizing their website for mobile users.

Always remember that a website for mobile marketing must be designed for visitors using their smart phones or tablet PC’s.  These visitors are typically on the go and they need instant results.

These are the features you want to have in a mobile-friendly website:

  • It’s smaller, to fit on the small screen of a mobile device
  • Focuses more on key points
  • No large blocks of text
  • Has large navigational buttons to make it easy to find what you are looking for
  • Fewer graphics; less distracting
  • Includes a phone number that makes a call when clicked on

There are two important things you have to remember when designing a web page for mobile users:

  1. Make your site uncluttered and fast loading.  A web page that is heavy on graphics will take too long to load on slow wireless connections.  Prospective visitors may become bored or lose their patience and leave before they even get to access your site.

Images and pictures on your website are great for computer-based surfing, but they take ages to load on a mobile device.  Eliminate or minimize their use on a mobile website.

  1. Keep your website clean and simple, and use the largest font sizes possible for easier reading and viewing.  Don’t forget that visitors are viewing your site on a tiny screen.

Location-Based Mobile Marketing for Small Businesses

Location-based services on mobile phones can help small business owners drive more customers to their brick and mortar stores.  When potential customers are close enough to visit your store, restaurant or other business establishment, you can send them time-sensitive advertisements that will get their attention.

Location-based mobile marketing provides a new and powerful way for small businesses to connect with customers.  It delivers highly relevant, targeted messages when consumers are in the immediate vicinity and more likely to act on them.

 

The Technology Behind Location-Based Mobile Marketing

Location based advertising relies on technology to work.  Most smart phones are now equipped with GPS receivers and mobile network operators are capable of tracking down a subscriber’s whereabouts using GPS technology.  This type of mobile marketing is highly dependent on the accuracy of location tracking.

How to Put Location-Based Mobile Marketing to Use

The ability to track their location is critical when it comes to providing relevant offers and discounts to consumers.  There are many apps made for smart phones that can be used to track the location of a consumer.  When a mobile user enters a certain area, a marketing message can be sent to their smart phone that is relevant to their present location.  If you are the owner of a restaurant, for example, a potential customer may receive an offer for a free appetizer at your restaurant when he or she is within a few blocks from your establishment.

Reach a Targeted Audience

More and more people these days are becoming dependent on their smart phones not only for communication but also for a lot of other tasks such as checking their email, searching for information on the internet, shopping, finding the nearest restaurant, and more.  Small business owners who are into location based marketing can send relevant marketing messages to a targeted audience that will be receptive to exclusive offers, discounts, or giveaways offered to them on their mobile phones. Knowing that the store or restaurant is only minutes away can persuade customers to take you up on your offer.

Advertisements on TV, billboards, posters or radio are often ignored but targeted, personal marketing messages on their mobile phones get higher response rates.

Time Sensitive Offers

Location based mobile marketing is ideal for sending time sensitive offers that are valid for an hour or a day only.  Targeted, time-sensitive offers provide a sense of urgency that often leads to a consumer actually making a purchase.  If a mobile user receives an offer for a free appetizer at a nearby restaurant during his lunch hour, you can guess where he’ll be having lunch.

 

Apps as Advertising Platforms

Small business owners who want to get started on location based mobile marketing do not have to start from scratch.  There are a number of applications for smart phone users that can be used as an advertising platform, such as MobGold, iVdopia and Be There Deals.  Apps can distribute banners and information about local businesses based on the location of smartphone users.

Interactive apps are also very popular among mobile users.  DreamWalk is an interactive platform where people can hunt for exclusive offers, discounts and freebies from local businesses.  Business owners who want to advertise can set up a virtual treasure hunt where users have to search for clues to find prizes.

Costs Involved

Although small businesses may be hesitant to go into location-based mobile marketing because of the costs involved, business owners will soon realize that they can recoup their marketing costs through increased sales and higher conversion rates.

 

Privacy Issues

There is some concern about location based mobile marketing because of privacy issues.  For one thing, people may not like it when others are able to keep tabs on where they are.  If the location of mobile users is made available to third parties, it may infringe on the privacy (and safety) of customers.  It may also be annoying for people to receive too many ads every time they walk into the mall.

Because of these concerns, location-based mobile marketing is designed as opt-ins.  Marketing messages will be sent only to those who wish to receive advertisements and are aware that their location is monitored by others.

When employing tactics that may invade on someone’s privacy, it’s important to use a permission-based strategy.  Ask your customers to opt-in to receive marketing messages.  It’s also a good idea to include an opt-out message at some point.

 

Great Potential

Location-based marketing is one of the most popular marketing trends.  It offers the greatest potential for improving the way small businesses can advertise and stay competitive in their local areas.

 

Develop a Mobile App to Drive Business

One of the reasons why smart phones are so popular is because of the availability of apps that can keep mobile users entertained or make life easier for them.

You can offer mobile applications to customers, and they can serve a dual purpose.  Mobile apps are something useful and valuable to mobile users.  At the same time, they can help boost revenues for your small business.

 

More Tips for Mobile Marketing for Small Business

 

If you still haven’t taken the necessary steps to make your website friendly to mobile traffic, you could be losing more than half of your prospective customers.  More and more people are accessing the internet on their mobile devices and if your website layout is formatted for PCs and laptops, mobile users will find it difficult to view your website.

Small businesses cannot afford to lose even a single customer.  These tips will help ensure that your business does not miss out on potential sales.

  • When designing your mobile website, do not try to make an exact copy of your regular website. You may keep key elements to maintain brand identity and some important features but always keep your mobile website simple and optimized for mobile users.
  • Don’t forget to include your “Contact Us” page.  This is possibly the most important page in your website and mobile users will be looking for it.  All pages in your site should have a link to the contact page.
  • Have a “Click to Call” button on your mobile web pages to make it easy for people to call you. After all, people are already using their mobile phone to view your site.  All they have to do is push the “Click to Call” button and they are calling you from their phone.  Make it easy for people to call you, and you’ll get more responses.
  • Make your mobile website easy to navigate.  When using buttons, make sure they are large enough with plenty of space between buttons.  People hate it when they keep hitting the wrong buttons because they are too small.

Easy Ways to Integrate Mobile Marketing

 

Mobile marketing costs are going down and local small businesses should think about ways to integrate it into their current marketing campaigns.  These marketing strategies can help boost your marketing program:

  • Text messaging. This is probably the most popular method used in mobile marketing.  It has a high response rate and is very affordable.  Short text messages (up to 160 characters) can be sent to prospective customers who have provided their mobile numbers by joining contests, surveys, polls, or in exchange for consumer discounts.
  • Mobile coupons. Thanks to new mobile apps, consumers can now use their smart phones to automatically retrieve digital coupons via GPS location.  This is a form of location-based mobile marketing.  When consumers enter a specific region, say a ZIP code area or mall, they can use mobile apps to download digital coupons to their phones that they can show to the store cashier.
  • Email messages. Nowadays many customers check their email on mobile devices.  Marketing messages can be emailed to prospective customers.  Be sure to keep the main message short, since mobile devices have small screens.  Provide a link to your mobile website so customers can bring up your page instantly.
  • Mobile-friendly website. When a mobile user visits your website, make sure it’s optimized for mobile devices.  Visitors using a smartphone or tablet should be able to view the page and navigate your site easily on their mobile device.  You may want to create a site that’s specifically designed for mobile browsers.  The number of smartphone owners who use their phone for browsing is rapidly growing, so it’s a good idea to future-proof your website by making it mobile-friendly.
  • QR codes. Quick Response or QR codes are not yet in everyone’s vocabulary but they are slowly gaining a foothold in marketing strategies.  You may have seen these squiggly codes on a poster, a sign, a label, a magazine, Yellow Pages listing, or even a business card.  By using a special mobile app, the QR code can be scanned with a mobile phone and it can take the user to your website to find out more about a product or an offer.

 

Mobile Marketing for Small Businesses

What Does The Future Hold?

 

The mobile age is upon us and if you have any doubts about it just consider this: the number of mobile phones in use in the United States has exceeded the US population.  Globally, there are 5.6 billion mobile phones for the 7 billion world population.

Business owners know that it pays to advertise, but they also want to get the most out of their advertising dollars.  It’s clear that mobile marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies.  If they have not yet done so, it’s high time for small businesses to start their own mobile marketing campaign or risk losing ground to large corporations.

Text messaging and location-based mobile marketing are ideal for small businesses that want to retain their existing customers and find new ones.  We can help you come up with strategies for your mobile marketing campaign.  The exact details will depend on your short-term and long-term goals as well as the nature of your business.

Mobile marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.  We can make it easy for you to start up and launch a mobile marketing campaign.

Give us a call today for a free consultation!

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