A guest post by Nadine Hernandez
How do customers find your business? How do they discover you and how do they actually navigate to you? Increasingly, it seems, the answer is via mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets are becoming more and more common so it stands to reason they could make a big impact on marketing.
According to Javelin Strategy and Research, consumers spent $20.7 billion using their smartphones last year. And Forrester Research predicts that number to reach $31 billion by 2016.
Bob Parsons, founder of GoDaddy.com posits that optimizing your website for mobile is one of the best things you can do for your business in 2013. He notes that more and more consumers are using their smartphones (or other mobile devices) to look up businesses before they visit.
Smartphones have become an extra body part. We can't leave home without them. Eighty percent of smartphone owners use it to research local business and almost 75 percent of those people either call or visit that business within a day, according to a study by Google. According to Lightspeed Research, 50 percent of mobile searches lead to a purchase. GoDaddy's Bob Parsons states you need to have a mobile site to capture every possible sale.
You're Going to Make a Mobile Site
Your first reaction might be, "that sounds expensive." It doesn't have to be. Your mobile website doesn't need to be big. It doesn't need to be fancy. It doesn't need bells and whistles; it just has to be easy to use and view on mobile devices.
You don't need to recreate every page on your site map, either. You just need some essential information and a link to your full webpage for those who want to delve deeper.
What are the Essentials?
Essentials are things like:
- The name of your business.
- Where you're located.
- What area you serve.
- What you do.
- When you're open.
- How to contact your business.
Any information you'd put in a Yellow Pages ad (if you still remember the yellow pages) should be included in your mobile website.
A consumer should be able to tell from your mobile website who you are, what you do and if they should want to do business with you.
Okay, I'm Starting to Get It. What Else Can I Add?
Well, really you don't need much more than that. You could add a special introductory offer or coupon. You could also, if you're feeling fancy, make your location optimized to open in a map application. Similarly, making the phone number optimized to "click to call" for smartphones is also a great idea.
I Can Do This! Anything I Shouldn't Include?
Don't include videos or long-winded explanations of who you are as a business. If you're proud of your three generations of familial ownership, that's a story to tell (with pictures, we hope) on your standard site. Mobile screens are small and mobile users generally have a short attention span.
Nadine is a former Silicon Valley dweller who escaped to the desert and writes about computers, technology and a variety of topics.