Are you still unsure if you need a mobile strategy?
Let’s look at some numbers: 91% of all American adults own a cell phone, and 55% have a smartphone. 63% of U.S. smartphone users use their device to access the internet – and 34% of them get online primarily via mobile. Worldwide? There are 1.2 billion people getting online through their phones. And if you thought the first digital revolution happened quickly, buckle up: mobile web adoption is occurring eight times faster.
Here’s the good news: even if this is the first time you’ve considered a mobile strategy, you can get up to speed with just a few steps.
1. Optimize your site for mobile.
Did you know that 57% of users won’t recommend a business with a clunky mobile site? The two easiest factors you can address are your site’s appearance and speed. For appearance, your simplest two options are:
A) Responsive design: In a nutshell, your website’s code is modified to “respond” to the device it’s on and optimize the layout (header, images, text) for the best readability. It’s less complicated than it sounds (there’s a good, basic explanation here), and it’s quickly becoming the mobile standard. It’s also Google’s top recommendation.
B) Separate mobile site: Mobile/tablet users are redirected to a completely separate, mobile-only site. It’s built from scratch (based off of your existing site), and features smaller images and larger text, among other modifications.
It’s not all about looks, though. Slower-loading sites can drive users away, and sales can drop 1% for every 100 milliseconds of load time. Make sure your site doesn’t take too long to load – optimize images for mobile, look into a different server if you’re having issues, and clean up your site structure, especially 301 redirects. For more in-depth ways to speed up your load times, take a look here.
2. Don’t overlook Social Media.
It’s a point we hammer home time and again, but it’s even more important for mobile. Why? Again, it’s the numbers. Facebook represents 74% of all app downloads. Twitter began as a mobile application, and 75% of its users primarily access it on-the-go. That’s where your users are — it’s where you need to be, too.
3. Get your messaging right.
A smartphone is more than just a phone, obviously. It’s also more than just a work tool, or a recreational device, or a productivity enhancer — although it can be all of those things. People use their phones to unwind just as much as they use them for more serious tasks, so you want to make sure that your messaging is appropriate to your audience’s mindset.
This study — worth an in-depth look — says that 46% of smartphone use is for “me time,” while 11% is for “accomplishing” — enhancing productivity, for instance. Where would something like Twitter fall in that spectrum? Probably somewhere in the middle. So when the study tells us that ads are least effective during “me time,” but most effective while “accomplishing,” it’s your job as a marketer to toe that line. Don’t interrupt “me time” with an overt sales message, but instead post some valuable information or useful knowledge to make the subtle shift into “accomplishing” mode. It’s not going to lead directly to a sale, but can provide a great brand boost.
4. Know what not to do.
There’s a lot of information here — and much more to sift through around the web. You may end up wondering if there’s more you should do — and often, the answer is “not right away.” The flip side of the ubiquity of our mobile devices is the potential to become intrusive — unwanted messaging, too much interaction, a burden to the user. For instance, unless you have a truly innovative idea for a standalone app, you don’t need one — 65% of users prefer mobile sites over apps. They’re often rushed and not designed well, they’re an extra effort to download, and they usually don’t offer enough added utility to be worth it.
Start with the simple tips above, and stay tuned here for updates on the state of mobile. It’s an important opportunity for your business, and we’ll make sure you don’t miss out.
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