It’s a weekend evening and a group of friends is about to meet for dinner. The chosen restaurant is too crowded, so they quickly brainstorm an alternative. Smartphones at the ready, some nearby spots are mentioned and people begin looking online for menu info. The ones with mobile-friendly sites are given close attention, while the ones that require enlarging the page and then hunting around for readable information are abandoned. After a decision is made, everyone meets at the second restaurant and conversation ensues, covering topics from the best pet store to which movie theater to adjourn to after dinner. Even more sites are accessed and approval is given to the sites that look good while scorn is directed at those that aren’t mobile friendly.
Making the Leap to a Mobile Format
Whether your business has a mobile version of its site can potentially mean the difference between someone being interested in you or passing you over for another business. It’s being predicted that Web traffic will soon primarily consist of mobile users rather than desktop users, so being able to cater to this increasing trend will be important for your business to gain attention, shore up customer loyalty and demonstrate that you’re a professional organization that won’t be left behind by the latest technological innovation. Also, when it comes to mobile search results, Google has announced it will be penalizing sites that aren’t mobile friendly, which will be another strike against your business.
A Local Focus
When people have a question about a local shoe store, coffee shop or car mechanic, the search engine optimization of your mobile site will determine if they find your site or someone else’s. A big part of this is claiming local profiles and the first places to start are Google Places and Google+. Claiming your pages here will increase your profile in search and open the digital door open to a larger number of people interested in what your business has to offer.
The Next Step: Incentivize
Once you’ve got a strong mobile presence, you can work to develop it even further by providing the opportunity for users to receive mobile updates and news about sales and specials. In 2011, research conducted by KN Dimestore and SocialVibe found that incentivized brand advertising effectively gained the attention of over 90 percent of the audience, helping to increase brand awareness and future purchasing decisions. If your business has been considering a loyalty program as part of your mobile marketing strategy, a mobile incentivized strategy could strengthen customer connections and win over new consumers.
A Targeted Marketing Plan
With users of all ages being as technologically sophisticated as they are, a business’ marketing outreach has to be equally tech-savvy, and a mobile marketing strategy will be an integral part of this. In the past, the main goal of Web design was to offer the user a site that would combine text and graphics in a way that would be informative, visually appealing and easy to follow. At that time, concerns focused on making sure color and font would translate across different screens, but everything was strictly desktop-based then.
Today, with the multitude of different handheld devices, concerns now include how the site looks from a variety of electronic perspectives, so it’s necessary to be prepared to handle access from mobile devices of all kinds, whether they’re phones or tablets. When a group of friends is out on the town and they need to make some last-minute changes to their plans, you’ll want to make sure your business presents itself in an easy-to-understand format that won’t leave people frustrated.
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