The mobile market has transformed the way we do business. It’s no longer enough to have a website that’s optimised for key search terms with fresh content supported by inbound marketing strategies. If your business interface isn’t connecting with your audience when they’re on the move, it needs a mobile makeover. It’s not really about the latest gadgets – it’s about your audience. The way users engage with mobile content is the key thing to grasp. You’ll probably have already created some key customer personas to help you target your message more effectively but you’ll also need to begin to think about how customers are accessing and performing their mobile searches. Mobile use has exploded It’s already big – and it’s growing exponentially. Many users either already are, or will soon be, using mobile devices as their primary gateway to the internet. If, as a business owner, it’s not on your radar, you’re running the risk of falling behind the technology curve. The landscape is shifting It’s important to ensure your web is optimised for mobile, because more and more searches are being conducted in this way. Google has two-thirds of the search market share and, in April this year, altered its algorithm to reward sites that were mobile friendly. With mobile browsing fast becoming the norm, smartphones are leading the shift in demographics. Google estimates that 62% of Brits use their smartphone for online browsing, with almost a third using tablets. Friendly or responsive? There’s a difference between websites being mobile friendly and being responsive. A mobile-friendly website is simply a miniaturised version of your desktop website. It does translate all the elements of your site but in a more compact form and not everything may work as you’d intended. A better solution is to have a responsive design that will adapt itself to any device’s screen size and orientation, making it easier to browse on the move. Marketing Methods If you’re marketing to mobile users – and you should be – you’ll need to tailor messages to your users. The search habits of mobile users are different from their laptop counterparts. Search queries tend to be shorter, which means that answers need to be correspondingly concise. Google Adwords enables paid search advertisers to create campaigns especially for mobile users. So consider simplified keyword lists and pithy ad copy to make the biggest impact. With a mobile-specific SEO campaign, you can optimise for keywords that potential visitors to your website may use on their mobile devices. For example, a user looking for a local florist on a smartphone may use ‘local’ or ‘nearby’ in the search query. Get social Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are among the big-hitters of the mobile market – almost everyone with a social media presence will access their accounts on the go at some point in the day. This creates a big opportunity to reach out to your audience with marketing messages. Don’t fall into the trap of delivering a sales message every five minutes, though. It’s more important than ever to concentrate your efforts on building trust and becoming the go-to knowledge resource for customers and prospects. Be focused and choose the networks that best match your buyer personas. Start where you are Don’t think of it as changing the nature of your business – or even the way you do business – but as a way to reach a bigger audience and to give existing customers the option of engaging with you in the way that best suits them. You don’t have to have all the bells and whistles (there’s an app for that…). All you need is a defined target market, a strong understanding of your unique selling proposition and a plan to connect one with the other via a mobile interface. If your strategy aligns with your customer and your identity and furthers your business goals, you’ll find yourself on the right track. Get the basics right As a business owner, your goal is to enable customers to access content from wherever they are. Try your site on as many devices as possible and be critical about its performance. Ask friends and colleagues to ask everyone they know to try it out, too, and feedback with comments on how quickly pages load and whether it’s easy to find what they’re looking for. Then ask yourself if there’s anything you can do to enhance the mobile user’s experience – can you leverage location, for instance? Think about context Ask everyone you know to make a note of where they are when they interact with their phone or tablet and what function they’re performing. Are they looking to book a holiday on their work commute of checking social media while waiting for the kids to get out of school? As you create mobile-specific functions, you’ll need to understand more about the context in which your customers are using their devices so you can deliver the content people crave. Could you provide a podcast with expert tips? Have a strategy Consider your mobile goals and try to make them measurable. Identify your objectives and make them specific and measurable – for instance, ‘increase web traffic by 10% over the next six months’. Once you have a strategy, think about the tactics you can use to achieve your goals. Is your core demographic tech-savvy? If you mostly sell to the over-60s, you may not need to invest in a sophisticated mobile proposition. Integrate mobile delivery with your other marketing channels and try to track customer interests and capture preferences wherever possible, to allow you to deliver the most relevant messaging at the right point in time. Statistics rule Just over 50% of ecommerce web traffic now comes through a mobile device (Shopify). Ecommerce is effectively becoming mcommerce as an increasing number of people opt for online purchases to save the time, money and energy of a trip to a retail store. As mobile shopping becomes more mainstream, businesses who don’t keep up run the risk of dropping out. Even if you have a thriving bricks-and-mortar business, stay ahead of the game by optimising your online proposition to make it easy for mobile users. Ensure that the user experience and purchasing funnel on your business website is quick and simple to convert mobile visitors into loyal customers. Not all about the web SMS messages are a great way for businesses to communicate with customers. A recent Ipsos Observer survey showed that 64% of consumers subscribed to mobile marketing said they’d made a purchase as a result of receiving a highly relevant mobile message – the same number who told SAP that businesses should communicate more often using SMS. An especially effective use of SMS is to remind people about appointments or to schedule delivery slots. Images: “Technology in the hands of businessmen/Shutterstock.com“ ________________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.