6 Steps to Move Your Business to the Mobile Web

If your small businesses has been putting it off, it's finally time to make the move to mobile a priority. Smartphone penetration reached 62% in the U.S. last year, according to comScore, and we're fast approaching the point where mobile is a must, rather than a 'would like to'. The ability to visit your small business website via a mobile device has become a crucial way to show off what you do and take that first step towards converting a visitor to a customer. For many owners with too much to do and too little time to do it, this is just another task to be juggled. The good news is that there are several steps that you can take to get started and quickly get your organization moving towards a mobile presence. [caption id="attachment_2305" align="aligncenter" width="537"]Repeating phone number Repeating phone number on a smartphone[/caption]

6 Steps to Speed Up Your Move to Mobile

We suggest the following six steps to start and speed up your move to mobile: 1. Start with research: Get a grounding in the mobile web and marketing space by signing up to resources like Mobile Marketer or a SmartBrief newsletter. Understand the options that exist for mobile web platforms and mobile advertising before you dig deeper. 2. Review your options: Meet with your web designer and/or the person who manages your website to decide what type of mobile solution you'll offer visitors. Do you need a complete site redesign, or will a 'responsive' plug-in work? How will your mobile visitors' needs differ from those of your desktop site? Perhaps an app would better serve your customers, potential and existing? Doing the research mentioned in tip 1 will position you to have these conversations. 3. User-friendly (and keep it concise!): Select the key information on your site and make it easily accessible for small screen users. Condense the core message of each page down to its shortest, sharpest form. Think it terms of converting the visitor to take an action... what do you want them to do and what's the most direct way to help them to do it? 4. Explore and add: As you get comfortable with the mobile presence you've built, and understand how visitors are interacting with it, you’ll start to see areas to add extra functionality. Explore new platforms that will add to the experience and contribute to your end objectives. Analyze performance  and maintain those elements that add to your mobile site, dumping those that don't. 5. Check out the competition: Focus on the unique factors of your business first, but don't forget to spend some time benchmarking your mobile offering against the competition. Reviewing what others in your industry (and perhaps outside of it) are doing  will establish whether you're a leader in your field or perhaps inspire improvements to get you there. 6. Consider advertising: If you reach a point where your mobile web platform is working well and adding value to your bottom line, look at the current advertising options to fuel it further. Early traction with visitors is best gained by reaching out to your existing customers and improving the mobile experience until they love it, but eventually it will need a bump to push that reach into new customer pools. Advertising can be that boost, as long as you understand the options and target your ads effectively.   Rather than being yet another chore on your digital to-do list, you can look at satisfying your mobile audience as a unique chance to get ahead of the curve, meet customers where they are,  and win new business. Identifying local opportunities and tailoring special offers to this audience is another major element of the move to mobile and one that we'll continue to focus on in local business marketing articles. In particular, pay attention to just how easily it is to convert a click to a call when your site visitors are on a mobile device. As we like to remind business owners, inbound calls convert at 10 times the rate of web leads... so keep exploring ways to get those mobile web visitors calling!  

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