It seems like you can’t escape smart phones. People swerve in traffic as they scroll through Instagram, commuters stare into their phone as they try not to fall on the train, and every sitcom has an episode where the well-meaning parents desperately try to spend some quality time with their kids…(gasp) without phones. Smartphones are more than a trend. They are a certified part of our life, so it’s about time to invest in your mobile optimized website.
If you’re a marketer and you don’t have a full-fledged mobile marketing plan, then you’re already behind. You might be rolling your eyes and mumbling something about how your site is mobile friendly, but being mobile friendly and having a mobile optimized website are two completely different things. You should have a different plan to reach consumers through mobile specified campaigns. It might seem like more work for nothing, but it is one of the most important ranking factors for your site. Need some convincing? Luckily, we came prepared.
1. Avoid Search Engine Penalties
Search engines are constantly updating to better serve their consumers. From Google to Bing, search engines are responding as more people use their smartphones to run inquiries. This is most blatantly reflected in Google’s Mobilegeddon update.
As the name would suggest, the Mobilegeddon update focused on mobile functions, and rewarded companies that prioritized mobile users. More importantly, it penalized pages that had poor mobile sites. The update signals the next age in search engine indexing as Google ramps up to switch to mobile first indexing where they will index pages based off their mobile site rather than their desktop site.
Marketing aims to engage users in the present, but it’s also important to have a plan for the future. For digital marketers, mobile indexing is a fact for the future, so you should be including it in your plans for today. But that’s not the only reason you should ensure your mobile marketing plan is as effective as your desktop based one.
2. Engage Users in Real Time
According to a 2015 study done by Huffington Post, Americans spend about one third of their waking hours on their phones. If you don’t have a mobile optimized campaign, you are missing out on an additional third of the users’ day to make an impact, and make a sale. That’s a lot of missed opportunity.
When you make the most of your mobile site, you open your business up to a new realm of possibilities. Mobile campaigns allow you to be with your users as they travel. Because of this access, you can take your geotargeting to a whole new level. As a user engages with your site from different places, you can adapt your campaign to suite their current location. If you’re relying purely on a desktop campaign, you would miss the opportunity to push a sale as the user moves to a different area.
Say your user lives in Cleveland where you have one store, but they take a trip to Chicago where you also have a store, a store that is struggling. With your shiny new mobile campaign, you can push notifications to the user’s phone for discounts at your Chicago location to drive new business to a storefront that user might not know about. If your mobile site is lacking, this opportunity will pass you by.
3. Personalized for the User
Our world of marketing is focused on making an impression with the user. That usually involves relating to the consumer on a personal level. Doing that isn’t always easy, and is almost always incredibly time consuming. With the increase of mobile marketing, though, this task becomes slightly less daunting.
Since users are constantly on their phone, you’re able to know significantly more about them. The more you know about a user, the easier it becomes to segment them into different categories for your marketing purposes.
By having a deeper understanding of how mobile users are interacting with your site, you have a better understanding of the user’s specific needs. Taking this information and shaping segmented groups allows you to make a unique campaign that feels more personal to the user. We all know what it feels like to be valued, and if you can create that with your marketing campaign, then you have just made marketing gold.
4. More Data for More Informed Campaigns
For everyone that saw this header and let out an internal scream, I totally understand. It’s tempting to close your eyes to even more data, but that would be a big mistake. Data only allows you to better inform your marketing campaign, and an informed marketing campaign is a successful marketing campaign.
The data gained from an extra third of the day is valuable information. If you don’t have a mobilized site, you’re missing out on this significant chunk of data which means your marketing campaign is likely missing the mark. But, by updating your mobile site, you can tune back in to the consumers’ needs and interest, and adjust your marketing campaign accordingly. Fear of more data is not worth losing out on a large section of potential leads.
5. Social Media Selling Opportunities
This point is especially important for ecommerce. Social media platforms aim to keep users on their page for as long as possible so that companies will have more opportunities to advertise on their platform. That’s why so many platforms have started to use “shop now” options.
From Instagram to Facebook, social media platforms have optimized their sites for advertisers. So now as a user likes and comments on their friends’ pictures or posts, they also have a chance to interact with your advertisements. Users used to only like, comment and share their favorite stores, all of which are great marketing tools with high ROI and crowd engagement potential. But now, they can take it one step further and shop straight from their phone.
The convenience of seeing an outfit or gadget you want and being able to easily buy it with the click of a finger is a dream for consumers and sellers alike. But, if your site isn’t mobile optimized, you could be losing sales left and right. If a user gets to your page and can’t find exactly what it is, they want or the page loads too slowly or even worse, doesn’t load at all, your sale is gone. Worse than a loss of a sale, however, is the damage this kind of interaction has on your reputation with that user.
We are a mobile driven society and as technology advances, mobile marketing will only become more influential. The chance to drive sales to your site is now, and the easiest way to do it is through the convenience of smart phones. By optimizing your mobile site, you can connect with users in a whole new way. Don’t miss your chance.
Alyssa’s passion for learning about people led her to a career in marketing and social media, with an emphasis on content creation. She currently works for VCN Media where she focuses on their email verification software, XVerify. Connect with Alyssa on LinkedIn.