Over the years mobile communication has drastically changed. What started as a simple hand-held mobile phone that offered a limited amount of time to talk, but the ability to be used wherever, has significantly expanded in functionality and design. Today, with their small, compact size and various technologies and features, cell phones have not only captured the interest of people everywhere, but have become an integrated part of the lives of many. From texting to sending emails, browsing the internet to playing games, people have become heavily dependent on cell phones.
According to the Pew Internet Project, 83% of American adults own a cell phone. Also, a 30-day national telephone survey completed by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that 44% of users access the internet using their cell phone. The survey also found that many turn to their cell phone to utilize social media sites and post content.
The silence during dinner is no longer because someone decided to spill the beans about your father’s surprise birthday party. Rather, it’s because everyone has their hands, eyes and attention glued to their cell phone, whether updating their Facebook status, posting a new tweet, sharing a picture of the birthday cake or checking out the restaurant’s website.
While this may cause a delay in the waiter cutting the cake, passing the utensils and serving coffee, mobile technology is the perfect opportunity for the business to reach their audience. While users update their Facebook status, they can find a restaurant’s Facebook page, follow the restaurant on Twitter, share photos on Pinterest, and browse a business’s mobile site to learn more about the restaurant.
If you’re interested in creating a mobile site to help you reach your audience, there are many factors to keep in mind.
- Keep the layout simple – While you may want to create a unique layout for your audience, remember that the site is built for a cell phone. Users want fast and convenient access to your site and easy navigation.
- Ensure your load time is prompt – All too often mobile users experience frustration because a site took too long to load on their phone. This results in users leaving your site and a potential loss in a customer.
- Avoid flashy and heavy graphics – Flashy and heavy graphics can make accessibility throughout the site difficult. Instead, focus attention on creating quality content.
- Add your social media sites – Social media sites are heavily popular today. To help you build brand awareness and socialize, add your social media sites for users to conveniently click and connect.
- Allow your mobile site to work on various types of phones – While smart phones may dominate cell phone users, remember that not everyone owns a smart phone. You should create a site that works on various types of phone to ensure you don’t miss out on a potential customer.
In the world of online marketing, there’s a particular crowd of internet users that have provided advertisers with quite the dilemma for years. While office-bound white collar workers and Generation Z teens are exceptionally active when it comes to interacting with web-based ads, it’s been the mobile user market that has eluded many marketing firms for so long. According to a recent Pew Research study, an increasing number of people are interacting with news and media via a combination of mobile devices and home PCs or laptops. Despite this rising trend, the number of users that interact with ads on their smartphone or tablet PCs is still relatively low.
This isn’t to say that the potential for mobile marketing has gone ignored by advertising agencies and SEO firms. Over the past several years, many SEO companies have devoted a significant amount of their time and effort toward building client pages that have more traction on mobile phones. Redesigned page layouts, more digestible content and websites developed with smartphones in mind have all become increasingly popular projects for marketing firms and their clients. Yet while the success of mobile-enabled sites is improving gradually over time, it’s really been the initiative from social networks that has kicked things into overdrive.
Socialization and Advertising on the Go
Many SEO agencies these days supplement their organic linkbuilding efforts with activity on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Consistently found in the “Top 10 Monthly Downloads” sections of the Apple and Google app stores, social media applications are being loaded onto phones and tablets just as quickly as they are purchased. As the price of smartphones continues to decline, more and more users are spending time on the net. As a result, the amount of time which the average user spends on social media sites is growing sharply month after month.
It’s because of this that marketing firms emphasize the importance of a strong social media listing to their clients. Whereas sites like Facebook were previously most relevant to users for only a handful of minutes a day, the ongoing prevalence of social media apps has increased that time significantly. Due to this, the level of exposure that even small businesses stand to gain from social network campaigns has become greater than ever.
A More Mobile-Friendly Approach to SEO
While optimizing social media activity for best results can be a complicated process, there are some tried-and-true behaviors that any SMB owner can easily do to improve a listing’s traffic. In order to capture a strong follower base on social sites, a company needs to create a page that offers something worthwhile to readers. Although establishing a particularly strong presence with mobile social network users can be daunting, companies will want to try the following:
- - Update regularly and offer interesting news or talking points.
- - Place links in posts to original website content or other authoritative domains.
- - Remain involved in interest groups and profiles that may yield more followers.
Each social network requires its own specialized approach in order for a SEO company to be successful on it. For additional details on the subject, I can be contact at email@example.com. Also, further information on social media campaigning can be found here, here and here.
Smartphone adoption and usage continues to increase in the US and throughout the world. Alongside this growth, however, is the surge in m-commerce behavior users engage in on their smartphones. The devices allow consumers to manage their entire shopping experience from gathering product information and comparing prices to making the final purchase. As such, mobile purchasing is increasing with just under 30% of smartphone users in the US having made a purchase using their smartphone. Marketers and e-retailers alike feel this number could and should be higher. Only 14% make purchases using the device with high frequency, according to ourmobileplanet.com, and 81% do so with low frequency. Opinions are mixed regarding the main roadblock to purchasing on smartphones, but a closer analysis tells a deeper story.
E-retailers and marketers can proactively improve how smartphone shoppers interact with their brand by strategically adapting their sites (both mobile and standard) as well as their apps for a better experience. For those that do not make purchases on the smartphone, 67% would simply rather use their desktop or PC and an additional 37% feel the transaction is not secure. These statistics point directly to the issues that need to be addressed.
Specific Tactics for Pushing M-Commerce to Next Level
First, developers and internet marketers need to make the smartphone payment process more like that which is experienced on the desktop or PC. One essential way to do this is to make the check-out process easier. Mobile payment company Clover is looking to do just that. Their one-tap service stores payment details in a secure account that can be accessed at check-out on participating e-retailer sites and apps. Once at check-out, consumers can simply tap the Clover pay button and bypass entering their details. This is especially valuable as debit and credit cards are the payment of choice with consumers using them 59% of the time to make their mobile purchases. This is one essential step to improve the payment process, and by extension the overall consumer experience.
From there, e-retailing developers can squarely address the privacy and security concern of shoppers by first ensuring the payment methods are 100% secure. Companies need to partner with reputable payment processers to establish a secure connection for their customers and offer guarantees to support this. Guaranteeing privacy and security will inspire the kind of customer confidence that is needed by online businesses to push their customers to do more mobile purchasing. Additionally, companies need to utilize security feature like Visa’s Verified By Visa program and pioneer similar measures built specifically for the mobile platform that add an extra layer of security from a name they trust.
Still further, internet marketers need to proactively promote the secure payment system that the retailers have displaying this information prominently on the site and making customers aware of it in all their online promotional content. Customers need to see the logos of the secure payment system as well as the details of the guarantees displayed where they can easily see it before check-out to inspire confidence throughout the shopping experience. In the end, between these different tactics, e-retailers will address the needs of their customers and push M-Commerce to the next level.
Search engine optimization and overall online marketing creates exposure for your brand. As online opportunities increase, savvy brands make appropriate decisions and implementations. For instance, if this was five to ten years ago, I would be unwaveringly blogging, beseeching EVERY business owner to develop a Web site. That sentiment is old news; (I hope your brand has a main site!) today, I am passionately asking business owners to consider orchestrating mobile Web sites.
It’s hard to track down real-time facts related to mobile phone usage but Facebook’s official statistics reflect more than 350 million active users leverage smart phone to access the social media platform. The consumption of mobile devices rose in 2010, up 18% from the prior year. I want those small business owners , who believe they can get away with just a main site, hoping the majority of consumers leverage home or work computers, to take a look at this statistic; usage is high at home (93%) and at work (72%). Remember my opening sentiment; make appropriate decisions regarding opportunities. You can’t deny the benefit of hosting a mobile site.
Don’t forget browsers, whether leveraging a laptop, desktop, or mobile device have options. Ensure your mobile design emphasizes usability amongst other things I’m about to mention:
Branding focuses on developing associations with a company’s desired market. Though repeated exposure, a brand begins to take root in a consumer’s long –term memory; a company’s emblem, taglines, executives, products, etc. become immediately recognizable. I suggest your Web design emulate the look of your main site regarding colors, fonts, and general layout.
From a usability perspective, I think this is the most important aspect. A mobile browser will disengage if it’s highly difficult to navigate your mobile site. Think simple. What are the most important pages on your main site? These get first priority regarding mobile implementation. In addition, what are your site’s most visited pages? For instance, one could be a resource page. Browsers, familiar with your main site, grown accustomed to resources, may expect your mobile site to host the same resources – something to think about.
Use clear, concise, and clearly labeled links throughout the mobile site. Consider making the fonts of links large; this is useful to those who are using fingertips.
I think placing additional navigation links at the bottom of the page rather than the top is less obtrusive to browsers. Remember, consumers want information fast and readily available.
Optimize for Multiple Devices
This is the portion of the mobile design phase that designers love the most – ensuring your site is optimized for the multitude of mobile devices available on the market. For instance, your site may look dynamite from a Blackberry but lacks usability from an iPhone perspective. You don’t want to alienate any users; it’s necessary to be diligent in checking your site from multiple devices.