Nearly two-thirds of Americans are smartphone users. This mass adoption of the technology is radically changing how we communicate and how we interact with businesses. As a small business, and probably a smartphone user yourself, you’re likely very aware of the changing dynamic. The big question if you’re a small business owner is what do you do about it? What do you need to do to adapt and maximize the emerging mobile opportunity?
Your website is your digital storefront, your modern marketing foundation. It’s absolutely essential your website works well on mobile devices. It’s become much, much easier to optimize your site for mobile, primarily through the implementation of a responsive website. Responsive is a term that describes exactly what a responsive site does. It senses what style of device a user has and through automated design templates adjusts your site for that device. One of the most common approaches to responsive design is utilizing a responsive WordPress template for your website. Using a responsive template will assure that users will have a positive experience regardless of what device they may be using.
Not surprisingly search is one of the most common tasks on a mobile device. When a user is searching on a mobile device, location becomes increasingly important. A user searching for restaurants may be looking for something in their immediate proximity or in a specific area. No matter what the search, often users are looking for a business nearby. Being listed in the proper business directories can help you show up more effectively in these searches.
Google +, Yelp, Yellow Pages and others can all improve your success showing up in relevant mobile searches. Regardless of the type of small business you run, there is significant benefit being listed in these directories and most offer a basic level of presence at no charge. Spend a little time and be sure your business shows up in the key directories.
Try targeted mobile ads
Google, YouTube and a host of other publishers offer access to targeted mobile advertising. These ads are usually driven by specific keywords and are available on either a per click or per impression basis. The key is relevance, if you’re a local bike shop you probably only want to target users in a specific geographic area who demonstrate interest in something topically relevant. It’s an opportunity to experiment, the bike shop might want to target people interested in yoga given a potentially similar fitness/health-oriented lifestyle. Facebook and Instagram offer targeted mobile advertising options as well with detailed targeting criteria.
Beware of the hype
While it’s true there is a huge potential audience and a many options for leveraging mobile, be careful about new publishers, technology providers and agencies. We aren’t saying steer clear, just take your time and due a little additional diligence on a vendor you’re not familiar with. The tremendous explosion of activity in the mobile space has launched an exciting set of new potential partners, but like any other boom it includes a population of opportunists a small business should be mindful of.
The big message is that mobile is changing the way we behave as consumers and should be on your radar as a small business. Make sure your website is ready, you’re easy to find in the right directories and experiment with different targeted mobile advertising options. Make mobile mania work for your business.