Of course you probably don’t need me to tell you how important mobile is – chances are you almost certainly have your own smartphone and probably use this on a daily (even hourly) basis. I’m willing to bet you’re probably reading this from your mobile device. This post will explore 6 ways to make mobile work for your business by maximising your mobile audience potential, and driving your business forward.
By 2018, more than one-third of people around the globe will use smartphones. That’s more than two and a half billion people! And, it seems like mobile devices continue to evolve at lightning speed. This year, adults in the U.K. will spend an average of 2 hours and 26 minutes a day on their mobile devices. (Source: The Digital Garage)
For the first time ever, mobile web usage has overtaken desktop usage, meaning we are using our mobiles more than ever.
So what does all this mean for your business?
Well, you need to reach customers where they are. And these days, they’re on mobile.
1. Where to start? – Adopt a Mobile Friendly Responsive Website
57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. (Source: Formstack)
Most sites can be viewed on mobile, but this can sometimes involve lots of frustrating scrolling, zooming and pinching, but the site displays and functions. What users really want is a site that is a good user experience on a small screen. Not only this, but in 2016 Google actually started ranking sites higher if they are mobile friendly.
61 percent of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing. And, even worse, 40 percent visit a competitor’s site instead. (Source: MicKinsey & Company)
So is your site mobile friendly? (If you don’t know the answer to this, Google have a handy test to help you find out here). If not, not only are you putting potential customers off, but sending them to your competitors instead. In the event that it is, that’s great! You’re already at a huge advantage over your non mobile friendly competitors.
What does ‘responsive’ even mean?
A well-designed responsive site adapts itself depending on the size of a viewer’s screen and is usable on even the smallest and largest screens so it looks beautiful on whatever device you are viewing. When you have a responsive site, you don’t have to create separate sites for computers and mobiles, saving yourself a lot of time, effort and money.
Bottom line: Your business website needs to be mobile-friendly.
2. Optimise Your Website’s User Experience
83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important. (Source: Wolfgang Jaegel)
It isn’t enough to just shoehorn your desktop design to fit mobile devices. Why might your customers be viewing your site on their mobiles? What users want to achieve on mobile isn’t always the same as desktop users. They’re often on the go, pressed for time, and using search engines to look for quick answers. Your site needs to be optimised for a mobile experience enabling visitors to complete common, important tasks more quickly and easily.
Average smartphone conversion rates are up 64% compared to the average desktop conversion rates. (Source: CMS Report)
Let’s look at some examples:
Imagine you have just discovered a big leak from the bathroom and it is coming through to the floor below. Not good.
You grab your mobile, and search for plumber near me. The search results show a few options, including several businesses close by. But one of the options has a clickable phone number – so this is the one you choose.
Similarly, if your car has broken down, you’ll likely only have a mobile phone. You wouldn’t want to be looking through the website for the emergency breakdown number, it should be available at a glance!
Key functionality needs to be possible within a few taps/clicks on mobile. If you are looking at making a reservation at a restaurant for the evening, and want to make an online booking, this form needs to be accessible within a couple of taps. Or are looking to buy concert tickets this form also needs to remain prominent.
What are YOUR customers looking for?
A few simple methods to optimise your mobile design:
- Contact Information – Keep key contact information such as phone number near the top.
- Focused goals – Focus on what action the customer is trying to complete and remove unnecessary confusing elements.
- Links – Links can be shortened, so they can be easily shared on social media – make it clear they are links!
- Buttons – Keep CTA’s and buttons large for people who are all fingers and thumbs!
- Fonts – Fonts should be large enough for users to easily read without straining.
- Navigation – The navigation should be clear, simple to use and space-efficient. Customers should immediately understand their next steps, and how to take action. This should also be easily accessed from anywhere on the site.
- Load Times – Large images and videos make a page slow to load making for a poor user experience, right? So if a user is in a hurry they are likely to leave your site.
- Negative Space – Use negative space to draw attention to important content.
- Forms – Long forms put mobile users off. Try and break them up, or keep to key information. Even better, automatically pre-fill values, and allow users to achieve their goals faster.
If your site is useful and intuitive and has a great mobile user experience, it will be more likely to appear in mobile search results and keeps your customers happy!
3. Optimise Your Emails for Mobile Devices
Email marketing is a great addition to your digital marketing activities. It builds customer loyalty and engagement, the results are trackable and it works well on mobile.
54% of email opened are from a mobile globally (Source: Litmus – March 2017)
Over 36% of mobile subscribers use iPhones or iPads to read email (Source: Informz)
With over half of all emails being opened on a mobile device, those emails with responsive design showed a 5% – 15% increase in clicks than emails not optimised for mobile (Source: MailChimp).
Like responsive websites, customers don’t want to be pinching, zooming and scrolling to find content in your email communications – in may cases, the modern consumer will not think twice about deleting an email with poor formatting and usability.
As such, it should follow many of the same principles as designing a website, such as fast load times, readable text size and obvious call-to-actions to create an overall improved user experience.
Many email marketing tools such as Mailchimp allow you to preview your email on different devices before you send. Keep in mind that people will be reading your emails on all kinds of devices, therefore your email landing pages need to also work well across all devices to create a great user experience for all your customers!
4. Use social media effectively for mobile
Nearly 80 percent of social media time now spent on mobile devices. (Source: comScore)
The average internet user is now on social media and messaging services for over 2 hours per day. (Source: GlobalWebIndex)
The increased usage of mobile devices in consumers’ daily lives means that literally millions and millions of people connect and share on social media every day.
So how can this help your business?
Social media can increase brand awareness and loyalty, build customer relationships, increase web traffic and ranking, and influence consumers purchasing decisions to name just a few. Making it crucial that businesses consider social media in their marketing efforts.
Which social media platform should you join?
So which social media platforms should you join? Which ones are your customers using most? This will help you decide if you need Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, a LinkedIn company page, or some combination of these and others.
It is important not to become overwhelmed by too many social media platforms and instead select a few if you are just starting out – an inactive social media account sends a message to your customers that you are no longer in business or don’t care about your online reputation so don’t take too much on!
Let’s take look at an example of how to use social media effectively
Say you have a handmade jewellery company. Being photography based, Pinterest and Instagram would be perfect platforms to share images your handmade jewellery. Whereas your customers are less likely to be looking for jewellery on LinkedIn which is more profession based.
Customers might be sharing their jewellery images, looking for recommendations, asking for advice or even posting photos of themselves wearing your jewellery. As a business you can join these conversations and start new ones, growing your brand awareness and customer reach.
A great time to share images might be when a new design has been made, when products will be discounted or it is coming up to Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day when customers will be most interested.
Offering rewards such as gifts or discounts for users who share or like your content can also be a powerful approach to expand your customer reach.
Remember, it is important to share on a regular basis to give people a reason to visit again and again.
Social Media Advertising
Another route is social media advertising, which is essentially any kind of paid content on a social media network. To decide what your ad should be about, a great place to start is to record which tweets/posts are being commented on, liked, clicked and shared the most. These will make the best contenders for successful social media ads.
Given the high portion of customers on mobiles when viewing social media, ads should be designed for small screens, including images that are easy to view on small devices.
Geofencing & Targeted Advertising
You can take advantage of ‘geofencing’. This targets mobile users when they are within a specific distance of a location, so they only see your ads when they are close to your business. An ad with a voucher or discount which only displays if you are within 100m of a shop if a good way to entice customers in.
Facebook offers users the option to target people based on their interests or if they like pages related to another page or topic. A potential customer that is interested in fashion for instance might see more ads relating to clothing and accessories. Other targeting options can involve age, gender, occupation, level of education, financial resources, ethnic affinities, homeownership, political beliefs, to name a few. For example, targeting men ages 20-35 who live in Manchester with an interest in sport might be appropriate for say, a shop in Manchester with discounted mens sportswear.
All this means that your ads are reaching the best possible candidates.
Key points to using social media effectively on mobile:
- Post relevant content on a regular basis & don’t let your social media lay dormant
- Consider which social media platforms your customers use most
- Vary your posts to include images, offers and links
- Maintain your business’ contact information
- Consider offering rewards for checking in/sharing etc on social media
- Utilise social media advertising
- Take advantage of ‘geofencing’ and targeted advertising
- Ensure your links don’t fall flat and go to mobile friendly landing pages!
5. Advertise on mobile
I have talked about advertising through social media, however this isn’t the only source of advertising that your business should be taking advantage of, and mobile-specific advertising offers many unique opportunities.
Phone based cost-per-click costs 24% less than desktop and have 40% higher click-through-rate. (Source: Digital Advertising Report – Adobe Digital)
An advertising strategy that doesn’t include mobile is insufficient, because mobile is such a huge part of people’s lives and ads on mobile can be a powerful tool.
Your ads should present a strong, concise message with a clear call to action. They can be used to help you get more phone calls and enquiries, or drive more people into your shop or website. You can advertise on other websites, search results, social networks, or even within apps. It’s also important to link to a mobile-friendly website, or your website could hamper your impressive ads.
If your business relies heavily on getting calls, is worth taking advantage of useful ‘click-to-call’ ads – when their device can make calls, a clickable call button displays. Creating a direct way for mobile customers to contact your business directly via their phones, quickly and easily.
Mobile devices are responsible for half of YouTube’s billions of views per day so video advertising on mobile devices presents a profitable marketing opportunity. They can be engaging, and provide more information than traditional ads. Make it relevant and keep it short and have a clear call to action in your video. Consider what video channels would best suit your products or service. The more relevant your video ads are, the more engaging the ad will be.
Reach locals with Geofencing
Paid advertising programs help you target potential customers based on their location by taking advantage of ‘geofencing’. You could set up your campaign to only display if the person that typed it in was within, say, 15 miles. Your ad can also appear higher in search results because your shop is nearby.
For instance, say you were searching on Google for an upholsterer, and an ad that appears for a company just 5 minutes away. This will be more appealing to a customer than an ad for a company 2 hours drive. The more targeted the location of the ads, the more likely the customer will be engaged, and the less you will spend on ads.
6. Update Your Business Listings & Review sites
50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their phone visited a store within a day, and 34% who search on computer/tablet did the same.
4 in 5 conduct local searches on search engines, 88% of which search on a smartphone. (Source: Google – Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behaviour)
As a small to medium business, local customers probably make up a large percentage of your custom. The easiest way to connect with potential customers in their area is to register with local directories. Yahoo!, Bing and Google all have local versions and local business listings for you to use.
According to a Google survey local consumers on mobile are looking for business hours, local address, directions and phone number, so ensure this is kept up-to-date and accurate.
84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation (Source: BrightLocal Consumer Survey)
Online reviews can influence how Google ranks a website, and with such trust being put into Review sites by consumers, it’s is a no-brainer that your company is on one. Review websites that directly influence Google Ratings include TrustPilot, Yelp, Reviews.co.uk, TripAdvisor and many more. Encourage customers to leave reviews and positively influence purchaser decisions.
To Sum Up…
You can safely assume that if your customer uses the internet, they probably also have a smartphone. Make it as easy as possible for your customers to find you online through advertising, business listings, geofencing etc and ensure your website is mobile friendly – consumers are more likely to recommend and buy from the business that has a better mobile experience. It’s what your customers want and now expect. Ultimately, utilising mobile to it’s full potential can play a vital role in growing your business.
And that’s just a few examples of the many, many ways your business can use mobile to grow.
- Optimise your website and email marketing for a greater user experience by considering best approaches for mobile users and being mindful of your users goals.
- Utilising ‘Geofencing’ and targeted advertising through social networks, directories, review sites and more for a really cost-effective way to reach local customers.
- Consider utilising video advertising and click-to-call features.
- Ensure ads have a strong, concise message with a clear call to action to be most effective on mobile.
- Create a meaningful social media campaign through considering which social media platform your customers would be most engaged with and posting regular, relevant content on a regular basis.
- Consider rewards or discounts on social media to help increase brand awareness and influence consumers purchasing decisions.
- List your business with local business listings, ensuring information is complete and up-to-date.
- Register with review sites and promote review completions.
- Ensure that wherever you link to your website through social media/advertising/email marketing it doesn’t fall flat with a poor user experience on your website
If you need free advice on how to make your website mobile friendly, have any questions, are thinking of getting a new website, or just refreshing your current one, please get in touch!! Or you can browse my website and take a look at a few of my services.