With more and more people accessing the internet through their mobile devices such as their phones and tablets, it is becoming increasingly more important to optimize websites so that they are easy to navigate when using such devices. While there is no denying this importance, many small businesses don’t bother about it because they see it as an unnecessary expense or simply because they don’t know where to start. So if you don’t already have a mobile strategy, now is the best time to start focusing on it.
Where to Start?
The most obvious place to start is your website. It needs to be optimized so that it can properly display information and is easy to navigate on a reduced screen size. The easiest way to go about this is to use a responsive design. According to Bridget Randolph on Moz.com:
There are three main approaches you can take to creating a mobile-friendly website.
Responsive design: keeps a single URL, and all the content/HTML, and simply uses different CSS to rearrange elements on a page to fit different screen sizes.
Dynamic serving (also known asadaptive design or RESS): keeps a single URL, but serves different content (HTML) based on the visitor’s user agent.
Separate mobile site (e.g.m.domain.comor www.domain.com/m): a completely separate site, with different URLs.
None of these approaches is always the best, and your decision should be based on three things: your goals, your technical capabilities, and your users’ needs.
A responsive site is usually the best route since it automatically adjusts the way it serves the content according to the size of the screen you are using to access the site.
Make Yourself Easy to Find
So now that you have a website that’s optimized for mobile, you need to make sure people can find you. Mobile SEO is one way to go about it, but if you already have a responsive site, then there’s really no need to do anything extra. If you have a separate mobile site, however, you will have a lot to do since you’re essentially doing SEO for two different sites and telling Google that one of them isn’t really duplicating the content of the other.
Optimizing your site for local search is another you need to consider, especially if you have a physical location and only serve a limited geographical radius. It might not seem that important if you’re already ranking on the first page already, but on a limited screen real estate, ranking as close to the top as possible can make a world of difference. Users won’t have to scroll down just to find you, and some of them never do if you’re that far down.
Finally, social media is a great way to get yourself found. It’s not actually exclusive to mobile, but 80% of people who access their social media accounts do so from a mobile device these days. According to Chron.com:
Social networking allows you to reach out to potential customers without spending exorbitant amounts of money on advertising while staying in touch with current customers. Having a presence on a popular social network suggests to people that your business is on the cutting edge or at least is able to keep up with the changing times. Using social networking to promote your business has many advantages but also requires some dedication and work on your part
Now that you’re optimized for the mobile web, it should be much easier to reach out and go where your customers are as well. You can even set up deals that are exclusive to mobile and get more people to your door. It’s up to you whether or not to do all these things, but people have done them before and have gotten great results, so it shouldn’t hurt to try a few.