1. Make Sure You Can be Found
If you have a brick and mortar business it’s important to take these simple (and free) steps towards putting your store on the map, literally. These steps can even be helpful for businesses without a physical storefront, to increase your general online visibility.
Of existing smartphone users, 95% have used their mobile device to seek local information, and 59% of them actually visited the local business they looked up; making sure your business appears on Google Maps via smartphone is critical for boosting foot traffic.
Here are some simple steps to increase your visibility on mobile phones:
- Create a business Gmail account and fill out your Google+ page. Flesh out the keywords, descriptions and categories wherever you can.
- Register on Google Places to add your business’ location, phone number and information.
- Start encouraging people to write reviews on your Google Places page, but make sure they are not fabricated or written by family or close friends—Google is excellent at catching that.
- Claim your Yelp page, since a lot of people search through this mobile app on their smartphones as well.
- List your business on other directory sites such as CitySearch, Yahoo!Local, YellowPages and WhitePages.
2. Build a Mobile Website
Most small business owners have a website, but have not optimized it for mobile. While many small business owners understandably hesitate to spend precious funds on this extra step, studies have shown that optimizing your website for mobile significantly increases customer satisfaction and experience for smartphone users.
If you’re trying to determine whether or not a mobile website is worth the cost, consider and research your target market; mobile phone usage has the highest market penetration amongst 25-34 year olds, followed closely by 18-24 year olds. If your customer base fits these demographics a mobile site may be worth considering.
Still unsure if mobile optimization is worth it? Leverage Google Analytics to determine how many viewers land on your site via mobile; if it’s a significant percentage it’s definitely worth the one-time cost, especially if it can open up the door to mobile purchases. Be sure that the purchase funnel and payment process on your mobile website is incredibly smooth.
See the resources below for previewing, building and testing your mobile site for various devices.
Build a Mobile Site:
Mobile Website Testing (preview your site on multiple smartphones and mobile devices):
3. Dip Your Toes in Mobile Advertising
If you’ve already dabbled in advertising your business online through Google AdWords, you may be interested in trying your luck at advertising on mobile devices as well. Studies have shown that mobile banner ads perform significantly better than those on the web, most likely because the novelty of mobile ads remains high.
If you’re interested in capitalizing on the mobile craze, here are some of the top advertising networks and services for mobile:
Making your small business strategy “mobile friendly” may feel lavish or unnecessary for now, but it’s important to keep mobile marketing in the back of your mind. 1 in 5 phones in the entire world are smartphones, and this number will only grow. The reality is, mobile advertising and commerce will soon be an inevitable part of almost any business that hopes to thrive.
Article by Rochelle Bailis