2011 promises to be another huge year of growth for internet enabled mobile devices. Google and Facebook executives have both declared mobile one of their top areas of focus for this year. In fact, in 2011 there will be more internet enabled mobile devices sold than PCs!
Couple that with the fact that 83% of SMBs (via Sterling Intelligence) do not have a mobile strategy, and you have a nice window of opportunity for savvy small businesses.
A Simple Mobile Strategy
So what does it mean to have a mobile strategy?
At its simplest level:
- you want to show up when people use their smartphone devices (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc.) to look for local goods & services.
- when you do show up, you want to make it easy for them to take action right then and there.
First, you'll want to claim your business in Google Places if you haven't already. This gives you the chance to show up when people search using the Maps capability on their smartphone device.
Mobile visitors are not going to browse through your entire website on their phone. Load times are slower and they are in a hurry to find what they are looking for. So you want your mobile website pages to load quickly, and have a clear call to action. For local businesses this usually means a phone call or map & directions to your place of business.
If you are using Google Analytics, you can determine how many people are visiting your site from mobile devices. If you track it, you'll notice more and more of your visits are coming from mobile devices, so now is a great time to get your stuff together with respect to a mobile strategy!
In the Google Analytics screen shot above, you can see the mobile devices people are using to view your site. Also notice that mobile device users visit fewer pages and spend less time on your site than other web visitors.
What's Your Approach?
Once you've got the basics covered, there are many other aspects of a mobile strategy that you can explore, including mobile advertising, QR codes and other techniques. But I recommend getting the basics right first before you dive into the rest.
Are you using mobile as part of your marketing strategy? If so, what is working for you? If not, what is stopping you? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!
Don is President of Expand2Web, where he writes about WordPress for business and local search marketing. He also created GetFiveStars - a tool for business owners to encourage feedback and positive reviews from their customers.