Hopefully after reading our short series on mobile marketing, you’re convinced to give this a try and promote your business through mobile channels, like mobile search, smartphones, and tablets. Here are four mobile marketing secrets you can use as you try it.
1. Mobile Apps Are Not Always Necessary
If you’ve had a mobile phone for a while, all you’ve heard is “app, app, app.” But app programming can be expensive. One smaller city in Indiana recently spent $15,000 on a city guide for mobile-using visitors. And while this was a smart investment for the city, we don’t know that many businesses that can drop $15,000 on an app that only works on half the smartphones out there.
Instead, consider having a mobile website created in HTML5, the newest update to HTML (the language websites are written in) that will work on any device: 42″ giant monitor, desktop monitor, laptop, tablet, and every kind of smartphone. While the site may cost $3 – 10,000 itself, depending on your own site’s complexity, at least you’re looking at a business-wide cost, and not something that works only on one type of device, with a need to create several other versions of the same app.
2. Mobile SEO is Different From Desktop SEO
Whether you know something about regular search engine optimization, or you’re thinking about bringing in an SEO professional to help with your business site, it’s important to understand that mobile SEO is a completely different animal than regular desktop SEO. In fact, if your SEO pro doesn’t understand that, don’t hire them.
There are at least 50 signals that Google’s mobile spider looks at that their desktop spider does not. Having a regular website that uses desktop SEO rules will not win you much of anything, let alone search engine rankings or new business from mobile traffic. Make sure you give the mobile spiders what they want on a mobile website, or at least a mobile-friendly one, and follow mobile SEO practices.
3. Claim Your Google Business Listing on Google Maps
Go to Google Maps and search for your business. Once you find it on the map, click the little marker, and then click the More Information link. At the top of the page is the Claim This Listing link. Click it, follow the instructions, and fill that entry out completely. With everything. Hours, correct address, credit cards, website, phone number. Everything.
Since Google Maps looks for this kind of information, and the complete listings get more preference than the incomplete, unclaimed ones, you’re greatly improving your odds at getting found on a mobile search.
4. Optimize Your Site for Mobile Use, Not Desktop Rules
This is where having a mobile-knowledgeable web designer helps. He or she will know how to design a site for mobile usage, rather than relying on desktop design rules. For example, did you know you can hyperlink a phone number. Just like that last phrase is hyperlinked to another blog post, you can hyperlink a phone number so that it can be dialed directly from a mobile phone screen.
Let’s face it, your “old school” web designer is not going to know that. Make sure you find a web designer who specializes, or at least has some solid experience in, mobile design.
Those are four secrets that should help you get into mobile marketing more easily, quickly, and thoroughly. Follow them, as well as any of the other ideas in our Mobile Marketing blog series, and good luck to you.
About the author: Duncan Alney is the president and founder of Firebelly Marketing. He is an entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and photographer, and he’s working on his first social media marketing book, which will be out in late 2012. Duncan has lived on 3 continents and in 5 countries, but is proud to call Indianapolis home.
Photo credit: David Thompson (Picasa, Creative Commons)