Latest research conducted by the research firms shows that mobile internet access is growing. The current rate of growth is exponential and has seen access over mobile devices doubling since 2010. This research is backed up by revelations by digital advertising management companies showing that paid Google searches for their clientele are increasing by almost double digit figures over the last years. The result of all this is that businesses have a mandate to shift their marketing and advertising campaigns onto mobile platforms. The increase on the move access of the internet means that small businesses need to be ready for mobile access.
Small businesses have been caught out by this mobile shift, leading to a decrease in revenues and market shares. However, not all is lost since the small businesses can catch up to the mobile race quite easily. Here are the steps they should undertake in order to get themselves ready for mobile.
1. Invest in mobile ready websites
Mobile browsing is the foundation of the mobile consumption trend. This means that your small business website must be effectively accessible from a mobile browser. It should provide the viewer with a seamless and well integrated viewing experience. The focus of mobile access should be convenience and functionality.
Functionality refers to several key issues; content, layout and design, usability, and navigation. Convenience stems from the fact that mobile consumers are usually on the lookout for access to information at their fingertips. They need instant results when they get onto your website; otherwise they get frustrated and move on to a competitor.
To optimize usability, make sure that your website loads quickly on a mobile browser. The best way to do this is to create a mobile version of the website or employ responsive web design. In order for you to be mobile savvy, you need to make sure that your website contains only necessary content. This means that for the mobile version of the website you need to remove aesthetical features that are inaccessible on mobile browsers. The advantage of a mobile version of the website or a website created using responsive web design is the seamless browsing experience across a variety of different devices. Responsive web design is much better than creating a mobile version of the website for a number of reasons. First, it is much cheaper as you only make one website viewable in different devices. Second, having one website for mobile and desktop viewing means you only need to implement marketing and advertising strategies once. Lastly, your search engine rankings will be an accurate reflection of your entire presence.
For content, focus on the needs of a mobile viewer by providing easy access to the information they are likely to be looking for. Mobile consumers are looking for instant gratification. The website should, therefore, enable them to perform such tasks easily from the pages. For example, contact info should be tap-ready. This means that they can tap it and launch their phone or map applications straight from the page.
On layout and design, create a page where the information that is most necessary is placed at the most accessible part. Research has shown that mobile users are unlikely to read the entire page and where the information is not easily visible they will just quit the page.
Lastly, on the issue of navigation make sure buttons are clearly visible on mobile browsers and are easy to click.
2. Focus on mobile targeted search optimization
For mobile consumers, the focus is not just on search ranking but local relevance and visibility. Your directory listings are the first part of the framework creation process. There are a number of factors that you need to focus on for best results:-
- In terms of location; check that your physical address is visible and easy to find. Make sure that search engine information sources on location are ready and updated. For this, you need to create a Google Place page with category assignments and owner verification. Finally, make sure that your location listed on your website, social media and Google Place address are matching. This increases the credibility of this information when they are crawled by search engine robot crawlers.
- Visibility – searches are based on structured citations. This is the information that is provided by directories and other websites that are linked to your business. You need a high volume of accurate and well placed structured citations to increase the visibility of your business
By making sure that, you are included in all available directories and placing a focus on the major ones, you increase your visibility. The location specific aspects make sure that your business has high search engine results page rankings on mobile searches. Lastly, focus on content delivery to the consumer. Having made sure that the content is relevant and easy to access, the business can focus on making the content easy to view on mobile devices.
3. Place constructive focus on the online directory listings
Constructive focus on online directories is made by creating listings in strategic directories and making sure the information contained there is kept updated at all times. These directories are the foundation of mobile internet searches. They provide targeted information on the relevant aspects of your business that relate to the mobile user such as location and company descriptions.
Online directories are an important source of information for mobile users. Websites such as Yelp and Google Places are the new source of information on the internet. A majority of internet users get their information on businesses from such websites. This is because mobile users are majorly geo-location specific in their searches. They need information that is specific to their current location, for example, nearby restaurants and shops.
For best results, you need to be available on online directories. Unfortunately, most businesses only meet this basic requirement. They fail to include pertinent information such as their contacts, their location, and their operating hours. Your online listing needs to have the following information if for being of use to the viewer:-
- Your business’s name and company description
- An overview of the services or products you provide
- Full contact information and a link to your online presence; this includes your social media presence, email addresses, and company website
- Hours that the business is operational
These directories are valuable because they serve a secondary essential function. They provide information to other websites, some of which like Google Maps are very valuable for the success of your business. The most convenient approach to ensure that the information provided to Google Maps is accurate is to create a Google+ Local business page. We cannot emphasize the critical nature of this information to the success of your business; just keep in mind that mobile users need immediate gratification. That means they must be able to find out where your business is and contact you immediately.
All of the information in your listings must be kept up to date. This means that you need to use a service like SinglePlatform. Their service automates the update process across all the listing directories available, websites, and mobile apps instantly.
By following these steps, the business has made itself mobile savvy and ensured more conversions.