By 2014, it is projected that more people will access web content using mobile technology than do so using a desktop computer. That means, the time is now for your businesses to get your site optimized for mobile use, and to begin integrating your inbound marketing strategies with your mobile website, Smartphone Apps, QR codes and text messaging so that you can start taking full advantage of mobile’s opportunities, maximize your sales and lead capture.
The most active population group using mobile phones is 25-45 years old, so don’t limit your mobile marketing initiatives to the younger demographics.
These seven tips will get you started with a holistic mobile marketing approach.
Tip 1 – Write a Use-based Mobile Marketing Strategy
Plan your mobile marketing strategy based on how people use their mobile devices. Do some market research or perform a survey of your clients’ mobile habits.
You should evaluate how your target market is using mobile technology and how mobile marketing will uniquely allow you to reach your marketing goals. For example, a very common use is to locate a restaurant or other business that is local to where the person is located at the time, utilizing the GPS functionality of the device.
If you want them to choose your location, make sure that your online directory listings are up-to-date, accurate, and are search engine optimized (SEO). If you don’t have online directory listings, get them.
Here’s what a well-optimized online directory listing looks like:
Tip 2 – Integrate Mobile in the Marketing Mix
Once you establish whether or not mobile marketing is appropriate for your marketing campaign you should integrate your mobile marketing with your mass media and outdoors marketing by placing banners and ads that reference your mobile friendly site in places where people might have idle time with their phone, like at bus stops, in subway stations and on billboards.
To help you to keep the distinction between outbound and inbound marketing distinct top of mind, here is a cool infographic:
Tip 3 – Optimize Your Website for Mobile
One of the easiest ways to begin mobile marketing is to ensure that your website is usable on mobile devices. First, you need a site that is optimized for mobile devices. Most companies have a separate site designed for mobile than is used for computer Internet browser access.
The elements of a dynamic website are different from what is considered amazing for a mobile site. However, you don’t need to do this if you optimize your main site. The trick is to make it attractive and functional to both kinds of visitors. You may wish to engage a web designer rather than trying to do it yourself.
However you go about putting the site together, be sure to test it on all the major platforms to ensure it works as intended. Micro-formats are a newer class of open-data formats can be used to adapt existing data so that it’s more flexible for use across multiple platforms. By automating processes, it allows websites to be more dynamic and adaptable – key elements for mobile.
Here are some tips to optimize your mobile website for SEO:
- Keep Consistent With Your Brand – The mobile version of your site should have a look that is familiar from your main site. This is an element of branding and will make you more memorable to customers. Most companies and brands haven’t set up a mobile site yet, but a good number have. so you can learn from the best ones (and the worst).
- Don’t use a lot of images because large images slow a page down and slow experience lead to higher bounce rates.
- Remember to keep your navigation simple, your call-to-action above the mobile fold and text input to a minimum.
- Use HTML 5 on your main site make optimization easy - HTML5, the first update to the HTML coding language since 1999, has been designed to describe content better. It introduces new tags, and more flexible tagging rules, which increase the information that is sent to the viewing window. More descriptive tags mean better SEO, too.
- Design for Multiple Handsets – Keep a database of mobile phones and ensure that your site will look good on them. A site designed for a Nokia phone won’t look good on an iPhone ad vice-versa.
- Create Page headers in XHTML format – Be sure that your page, whether a dedicated mobile page or a subdomain of your main site, uses this format.
- Optimize your XML site map for mobile URLs - Just as with a desktop site map, the mobile site map is an important element of SEO and should not be neglected. The procedure for doing so is described in detail at Google’s webmaster toolspage
- Use an “M-Dot” URL – An “m-dot” URl (ex: m.abc.com.), will help Google recognize and index your mobile site separately from your standard one.
- Test Your Mobile Website – Google’s GoMo site, lets you plug in your URL to see how it looks on a mobile phone. You should also listen to feedback from your customers, especially to learn about site performance and functionality so you can tweak accordingly.
Ebay has a very nice and simple navigation and they use large type and few images:
There is no time to waste in terms of getting your business website ready for mobile. The early adopter gets the customer.
These few tips are some of the basics that you need to know in order to optimize your website to attract and keep those customers who do most of their web browsing by mobile and plan a mobile marketing strategy that complements your current inbound marketing activities.
In the next blog post, I will describe the different mobile marketing channels and provide tips on using them and I will show you how to bring all of this together for evaluating your success testing your.
What mobile marketing plans have you considered or implemented and what tips do you have?