The evolution of mobile devices
Mobiles have radically changed the world we live in. And, it seems like mobile devices continue to evolve at lightning speed.
Let’s talk about: How mobile usage has changed in the last four decades. The features are now available on mobile devices. And, how the rapid growth of mobile is changing how you can market your business online. Did you know that the first-ever mobile phone call happened way back in 1973? It took another 11 years before the world’s first truly portable commercial mobile phone went on sale in 1984. A Motorola, that cost a whopping 2,500 GBP!
Since then, mobile phones have evolved dramatically, shrinking in size while expanding in features. Now they’re an essential part of our everyday lives. No longer just a way to make phone calls, mobiles have become powerful multimedia devices. We can browse the Internet, check email, take pictures, navigate with GPS, post on social media, and much, much more.
Mobiles have changed so much in the last few decades, it seems that anything is possible in the future.
This year, adults in the U.K. will spend an average of 2 hours and 26 minutes a day on their mobile devices. That means, for the first time ever, we’re now using these devices even more than our computers and laptops. Today’s mobile users tend to have their phones in one hand while they watch TV. And, they’re more active than ever on social media. What does all this mean for your business? Well, your marketing needs to reach customers where they are. And these days, that means on mobile.
So whether you want to increase brand awareness. Encourage customer loyalty. Or grow your revenues. Mobile devices can offer your business numerous opportunities to reach the right customers, in the right place, at the right time.
The place to start? A website that works well on mobiles.
Let’s just imagine for a second that you’re a local plumber who wants to increase your customer base. How might you use mobile to get new customers? Well…
You might run an ad in the local papers that direct viewers to your website.
Your mobile-optimised site could have a promo button on the homepage, that offers new customers 20% off their first service.
The phone number near the top of your page, when viewed on mobile, can be clicked to start a phone call.
Links can be shortened, so they can be easily shared on social media. And that’s just a few examples of the many, many ways your business can use mobile to grow.
Understanding Mobile Webs and Mobile Apps
In today’s business world, it’s no longer enough just to have a website. People today access the Internet on mobiles more often than computers. Bottom line: Your business website needs to be mobile-friendly. That is, it needs to work well on smaller screens.
In this article, we’ll talk about how search engines have adapted to the way we now use mobiles. How to make your website mobile-friendly; and, some important things you should know about mobile SEO.
Ok. Imagine you’re just heading out of the flat, when you suddenly notice the kitchen sink is blocked. Not good. You’ve got friends coming round later and so you need a plumber to come sort this out today. But you’ve got a taxi waiting outside to take you to the train station, and you need to go now.
So, you grab your mobile, jump in the cab, and search for ‘plumber near me’. The search results show a few options, including several businesses just a few streets from your flat. One of the options has a clickable phone number. You’ll be at the station soon, so you click to make the call. And the plumber agrees to meet you at your flat by 5. Thank you, mobile!
This scenario is a perfect example of how many of your potential customers are using mobiles. They’re often on the go, pressed for time, and using search engines to look for quick answers. Search engines offer people results that match their search terms, and location. They can also tell if a site is mobile-friendly. So what does mobile-friendly mean, exactly? Let’s start with the technology used to build your site. There are many options available, but most search engines prefer something called “responsive design.”
A responsive website adapts itself depending on the size of a viewer’s screen. When you have a responsive site, you don’t have to create separate sites for computers and mobiles. So you save yourself a lot of effort.
A well-designed mobile site is usable on the smallest mobile screen.
Fonts and buttons should be easy to read and click on. And the navigation should be clear and simple to use. Visitors should immediately understand their next possible steps, and how to take action. For example, in our plumber scenario, there was a clickable phone number.
Despite the smaller screen size, website visitors should be able to complete common, important tasks. Once you’ve created a mobile-friendly site, you’ll want to help search engines find it, understand it, and hopefully show it in the results. That’s search engine optimisation, with a focus on mobile.
Mobile SEO includes the same factors you’d consider for standard websites, like relevant content. But what’s crucial for mobile site optimisation, is performance and usability. Performance is how quickly a site loads, and this can be impacted by many thing, such as overly large images and file sizes.
Usability refers to a visitor’s experience using your site. Generally speaking, if your site has a good mobile user experience, it will be more likely to appear in mobile search results.
Here’s an example. Some video and content formats can’t be viewed on mobiles. So, if that’s how your site is built, it won’t offer a great user experience, right?
You can do a quick mobile check-up of your site by visiting Google’s Mobile Friendly Test. So let’s recap.
It’s important to make sure your business’s website works well on mobiles.
A mobile-friendly site can bring you more site visitors, give them a better experience, and bring in more business.
Understanding Mobile Apps
An effective mobile marketing approach includes more than just optimising your website to work well on mobile devices. More and more businesses are also investing in mobile apps to engage with customers on the go.
But what purposes do mobile apps serve? And how do you know if creating one can benefit your business?
We’ll discuss what makes a mobile app different from a mobile website, the benefits of mobile apps, and how to determine whether a mobile app is right for you. Your mobile website is pretty much a simpler version of your main site. Mobile-friendly sites offer most of the same things as your main site, but are just built to work well on smaller screens. Visitors access a mobile site on a mobile web browser, just as they would on a full-size computer browser. Mobile apps, on the other hand, are applications that can be downloaded and installed onto a mobile.
The apps typically provide a specific function that’s not as easily accomplished on a web browser. They are often integrated with common smartphone features, like the camera or GPS.
There are so many ways that apps can directly benefit your business. Let’s look at some examples. Ok. Imagine you own an independent movie theatre. And you’ve decided to create an app to help drive ticket sales.
One of the main benefits of apps is that they can send messages to a person’s mobile, even when they’re not using the app. These are called “push notifications”. You could use them to send your customers reminders when the latest films are released, or announce special discounted show times.
Your app could also power a new loyalty program. Your customers could use the app to earn points for every movie they see in your theatre, and for popcorn purchased at the concession stand.
Simplified checkout on your app could allow customers to purchase movie tickets in just a few clicks. And then, your app can use their mobile’s GPS to share directions to the theatre.
With so many possibilities for your business, you may decide to develop your own app.
So, how do you start? It helps to think about your business goals, and what you would like visitors to accomplish on a mobile. Perhaps you can achieve all these things on your mobile website. But, you might identify a specific business goal that would be better served by an app. This might be your next step towards online success. So let’s sum up. A mobile app can complement your mobile website, helping your customers accomplish specific, useful goals.
An app for your business can help increase customer loyalty. You can actively communicate with customers and help them make purchases easily on their mobile devices.
Can’t wait to get started? Well, you’ve got a couple of options. You can find a professional app developer to work with. Or, check out one of the self-service tools out there, such as Appy Pie, Build Fire or Como.