Ten or so years ago, mobile was been kept largely to the personal side of things. Web design on mobile today, however, has taken on a new paradigm. Being a mobile-accessible business has never been more important; if you've started to find yourself by the wayside, there are answers to this quandary, and it may be time to reconsider your brand’s use of the mobile web.
Mobile is everywhere, which means that your business should be transportable for its customers, too. People are attached to their phones, whether they want to be or not, because that's simply the way of the world today. Roughly five years ago, the mobile phenomenon in which we currently reside hit the professional realm hard. And now, as 2016 begins to come to a close, it’s never been clearer that the world’s transference from online to mobile isn’t slowing down any time soon. Embracing an effective mobile strategy can mean the difference between condemning your business to an ill-fated reality, and bolstering it to some of the most ultimate levels of success.
Having a mobile strategy in place can mean the difference between staying top of mind, and, like we mentioned before, falling by the wayside. You can ask yourself a few questions about your business and mobile access in order to assess whether or not you could be doing more. For example, would your brand benefit from having an app available? It would be accessible to customers and non-customers alike, the latter in reference to those who may be looking to enlist your services, but aren't quite sure they're ready to go down all the way down that road yet.
If you created an app for your brand, you'd literally always be top of mind when a customer goes to their phone (so, about 50 plus times a day). If you offer up some cool, mobile-specific parts to the app, too, people are more likely to use it often and whenever they have their phone on them (always). According to Smart Insights online, consumer preference for mobile apps accounts for 89% of media time in mobile. EIGHTY NINE PERCENT! That is a huge percentage of time, and not to be considered lightly.
Even more mobile usage pattern information can be found here, if you’re still not totally convinced that mobile for business is slowly but surely taking over our world…
Lots of small business owners (we’re guilty of this too, until now), think that it’s very difficult to create a well-formatted app. But really, it's not hard at all to build an app these days. In fact, it's been made easier than ever by people like those behind Bizness Apps of San Fransisco. Get a template from them and you're good to go, pretty much. It's incredibly simple, affordable, and rewarding.
Having a mobile optimized website is perhaps the largest pain point in the line of why businesses need a mobile strategy. These days, if you visit a website on your phone and it comes up looking the same way it does on the computer, this means you're about to spend a whole lot of time zooming in and out and scrolling side to side trying to read the site's content. Most millenials, if they come across a site like this, will give up on it immediately. As a millenial, I know this to be true. If I open up a website that isn't optimized for mobile, I ditch it; it's too time consuming to scroll around on my little phone screen, trying to collect from the tiny font and miserable layout as possible.
If your website is optimized for this type of viewing, it'll be cleaner and more intuitive for its users. Creative Digital and Branding Agency Signalfire describes mobile ‘friendly’ websites—which is slightly different, but also largely acceptable—as having these attributes:
- Text-based phone numbers, physical addresses, or email addresses that can trigger a call, directions, or email message from your mobile device.
- Slideshows or image rotators that function without Flash support (Adobe Flash is not supported by Apple and some other mobile devices).
- Small image sizes to allow for fast loading over mobile connections—don’t count on even a 3G connection.
While a mobile ‘optimized’ website, they explain, will have these:
- Simplified navigation that is “thumb” friendly with large touch points, especially for critical contact information.
- Reduced graphics that don’t interrupt the quest for critical information such as product listings or commoditized content.
- Avoid making users type unless absolutely necessary Give users the option to view the desktop version of your site.
Being either mobile friendly or mobile optimized is a must in today’s business world (there’s also something called a responsive web design for mobile, but more on that at another time). Mobile optimization, as you can tell, is trending towards standard—so if you haven’t gotten on board with mobile, you may as well try and get optimized instead of friendly. Save yourself some time on the backend, eh?
All of This Leads to an Increase in Sales Opportunity
What does all of this hard work in the name of mobile-optimization and accessibility get you? Lots of things. But it especially ups your potential to make sales, close leads, and delight your customers.
So why not make your life easier, and almost certainly more lucrative, by having a mobile-optimized site? You'll be expanding your brand's reach ten fold by doing so, and it really doesn't take much on your end to make that happen. After all, Americans now spend more time looking at their phones than they do watching television (Tech Crunch tells us that the average U.S. consumer spends 198 minutes per day inside apps compared to 168 minutes on TV).… still think commercials are making waves in the consumer report? Think again.
Especially when it comes to those of us in the inbound marketing industry, we better be sure that we our presenting our own brands in such a way that potential customers would also want us to represent them. Small businesses have no choice these days when it comes to mobile—we’d know, we’re one of them. If you’re not already there, it’s no longer a question of when you’ll go to mobile, it’s how quickly and to what extent (friendly, optimized, responsive. The statistics don’t lie, and they prove plain and simple mobile for business is the current way of the world.
Consumerism is at an all time high, and the modern human being is looking for instant gratification for all things physical and informational. Mobile is the way of the world today; not implementing an effective mobile strategy will leave your business in the dust of your competitors, not to mention dropping out of the minds of millennials everywhere—which, you should keep in mind, are the largest group of consumers on the planet right now. Yikes! So what do you think? Is mobile going to keep trending upward when it comes to the modern business world? Let us know your thoughts… because well, we think the answer is an abundant and undeniable yes.
Can-Do Ideas is a Digital Marketing agency specializing in Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales. We are located in New York City and Connecticut.