Nowadays unless your Redcliffe small business has a web site that can be viewed equally as well on smartphones and other mobile hand-held devices as on a computer you are are only reaching out to half of your potential audience.
Mobile Phones – The Facts and Figures
At the end of 2010, 36% of Australian mobile phone owners owned smartphones and this figure was expected to be over 50% by end of 2011. Over 7 million smartphones were sold in Australia in 2010.
These figures don’t lie. They are indicating a real trend that we can see for ourselves on every bus trip across town or over every cup of coffee we take at our favourite Redcliffe cafe, where just about everyone using a mobile phone is accessing the Internet. And it’s not just to send emails or hook up with friends on social media sites.
In fact, as the above-linked Telstra report points out, 89%of Australian smartphone users have accessed the Internet on their mobile phones and many Aussies now visit certain sites on their mobiles more frequently than they do via a computer.
The popular misconception that it is just kids and Generation Y-ers is not accurate as 41% of smartphone users are over 40, as the report again points out.
Smartphones and Your Business
What does this all mean for small business and, more importantly, your Redcliffe area small business?
Well firstly if people are using the Internet more from smartphones it stands to reason that more searches are being done that way. The Telstra report shows that Internet search engines are more frequently accessed from mobile devices than any other kind of site.
So you see – it’s not just kids accessing rap videos on YouTube and messaging friends on Facebook. Far from it.
Local search especially is becoming more in-demand and this means that people are accessing Google Maps and using geo-location services more and more.
It has never been more important for your business to be paying attention to getting your local listings out there and optimised on the web. Location-based marketing is already on the verge of booming and you getting your business in the “mix” should be a priority for your online marketing efforts.
How Do Mobile Web Users Differ from PC-Based Users?
There is a difference!
Generally speaking the attention spans of mobile users are even lower than PC-based users – just when you thought that was not possible.
This means you have even less time to get your message across. You need to make your copy even shorter and sweeter for mobile users.
Also, with search, which is the leading type of Internet use amongst mobile users in Australia, when people use their mobiles they will abbreviate their query lengths so choosing your ad and web site keywords needs more consideration.
Mobile Web Browsers and What They Mean For You
Knowing how mobile phone web browsers are set up helps us to understand what Australian small business owners face. They are designed to show localised results meaning that the first results that come back (the ones that people actually look at) will be the optimised local listings.
So in a real-world example, if someone searches for “car towing” from their phone it’s highly likely that they intend to purchase the service right now and that they need a local provider.
The bottom line here is that if your towing company isn’t at the top of the search results, you’ve just missed a sale. But, even if you are at the top of the search results and your web site doesn’t display well and is hard to navigate on their smartphone, you’ve also missed a sale.
What Else Can a Mobile Friendly Site Do for Your Business?
Mobile websites are designed to be easily navigated on smaller screens and integrate with the phone’s native features. They add accessibility and usability to your site for smartphone users, but there are also some other great advantages for your business.
For instance, when the customer clicks the “call us now” button on mobile ready sites it will make a call directly to your business from their phone . This connects you with a customer that needs your service immediately.
The address feature will also provide directions from their current location (which the phone knows) to your business front door. Its a ‘yellow brick road’ for the potential customer to follow and spend money with you.
Your landing pages from mobile search clicks can be tailor-made with the option to call you (automatically with a click), download a file or view a video or a map and providing these pages are optimised, they can really help you to move the sales process along.
How valuable is all this to your business?
You need to ask whether this is worth a small investment in a mobile-ready site?
Heck…depending on your business, the value of even one extra paying customer may cover the costs. From then on, it’s all profit!
How to Check Your Web Site
If you want to check how your website looks on various mobile devices, here’s a site that lets you do it: http://www.springbox.com/mobilizer/
How do I Make My Site Mobile-Ready?
Making your web site mobile ready doesn’t involve too much “pain” but you will likely have to create a separate site for mobile users to view.
It is possible to insert a small snippet of code that detects if the visitor is on a mobile device and to direct them to your dedicated mobile friendly website which can sit apart from your main website. Of course that means building a second site for mobile users.
How Much Does it Cost to Make My Site Mobile-Ready?
Mobile websites can vary in complexity but you should be able to integrate them into your business for less than $500.
Whether your current web developer can do this or not will just depend on their skill-set. It’s worth asking them as they already know the look, feel and content of your site and there is a less of a get-to-know-you process if you can use your existing developer.
Your Next Steps
- Firstly go here and test-run your business web site.
- If you are not happy with the results you are seeing then consider the advantages of a dedicated mobile site to reach the growing numbers of mobile Internet users.
- If you decide you need a mobile site then think about who fits the bill to design it for you
Redcliffe Marketing Labs is offering specialised mobile device websites for $200 to the next
5 4 businesses that order.
That’s a 50% discount off the normal price.
To express an interest in this add your comments in the section below and Mick will be in touch with you.