What's the First Step in a Solid Mobile Strategy & Why?
Creating a mobile strategy from nothing is not easy. I know countless blogs and mobile gurus present it simply, but building a mobile strategy can be a very daunting task! That's why we're just going to focus on step one right now.
Some people will encourage you to choose one particular social media site, and put all your focus there. 38% of mobile usage is spent on 5 hours of social media a day, so this makes sense. Others will tell you to first tailor your emails towards mobile. Every company sends emails, and at least 50% of emails are read on mobile devices, so this makes sense, too. Others still will recommend a cornucopia of places to start, but before anything else, do this for your mobile strategy.
Optimize your website for mobile users. Don't just make your website mobile-friendly, but focus on the entirety of the mobile user experience, and tailor your website accordingly. You need mobile viewers on your website to have a better experience with you than with any other brand on the market. Here's why your mobile website is so important.
In April 2015, Google unleashed what came to be known as "Mobilegeddon." Seems hyped up, right? It wasn't. Mobilegeddon was an update Google made to its search algorithm to favor mobile-friendly websites. If you search for something on a desktop or laptop computer, there's no difference. But if you search from a mobile device, everything changes.
See, before Mobilegeddon, there was virtually no difference between search results found via desktop search and those found via mobile search. Now, websites who aren't "mobile-friendly" will not show up in search results on mobile devices.
If you're a mobile user, this is great! You're only fed stuff tailored specifically for you and the medium (device) you're using to find it. This provides a much better user experience, which makes consumers happier. But pay attention to the progression that got us here, and you'll see how important it is to focus on your mobile website right now (and especially in the future).
In June 2014, comScore reported (for the first time, I believe) that time spent online using mobile devices surpassed time spent online using desktop devices. In other words, 60% of website traffic reportedly came from mobile devices. That's almost two years ago! Watch the progression here.
In April 2015, Google unleashed Mobilegeddon. Before they could release the update, they would have had to test it thoroughly, and fix all sorts of bugs along the way. Before they could test it, they would have had to build an update. Before they could build it, the update would have needed approval, which means it would have gone through an approval process. And before any of that, there would have had to have been substantial and significant data spanning a substantial and significant amount of time before leaders got together to address this major shift in consumer behavior.
Mobile usage, and the need for a fully mobile-optimized website down to every last detail, is something that will soon be a permanent fixture in the way businesses operate. I guarantee you do not want to miss that boat.
You could be a small brick-and-mortar dry cleaners, or an international software conglomerate, and I promise that someone is on a mobile device searching for what you do in the location you do it. Can they find you? Or will they find one of your competitors instead?
Mobile is much bigger than a trend. It's become a paradigm shift. As a business, it's your job to shift as well. Building a solid mobile strategy means you need to focus on optimizing your mobile website, and the mobile user experience. And you need to do it really well. It's only going to become more important. As John Wooden famously said, "If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when are you going to find time to do it over?"
Here are a handful of tools to help you optimize your mobile website:
6 descriptions of what it means to be mobile-friendly
Tips and how-to's on improving your mobile website
Obviously Text Request will help you better engage with your mobile audience
A free website search engine optimization (SEO) analysis tool (includes mobile SEO)