Love it or hate it, mobile marketing is here to stay, and 2014 is set to be the year when mobile Internet browsing overtakes desktop/laptop browsing. Just a few years ago, browsing the Internet on a mobile phone was a rare luxury, and from an online marketing perspective, it was largely irrelevant. However, the majority of people already own smartphones and use them every day for browsing and other online activities. While you should certainly not neglect the desktop audience, it is no longer optional for any business which wants to conduct a successful Internet marketing campaign to ignore mobile users.
1 – Responsive Web Design – While responsive Web design is certainly nothing new, a surprisingly large number of companies have been slow to take it on. With much smaller screens and lower screen resolutions than desktops and laptops, browsing a website designed for the big screen on a mobile device is hardly a very optimal experience. In order to minimize scrolling, panning and zooming, Web designers should deploy responsive Web design features so that their websites automatically scale to the size of the screen or window which they are being displayed on. This also presents the advantage of only needing to have one version of your website. However, other businesses will be better off having a completely separate mobile version of their website.
2 – Mobile Apps – A mobile app is a small application which people can download and install on their mobile phone. Mobile apps are becoming more and more popular, and with good reason too. Unlike a mobile-optimized website, an app can provide an offline component and help to make for a more customized, interactive and streamlined experience with an online service. A mobile app is not suitable for every type of business, particularly since they can be expensive to develop, but they are essential for many medium to larger businesses. For smaller businesses, it is far more important to have a mobile-friendly website, since having a mobile app can be prohibitively expensive and become a content trap. Also, content within your app does not assist with SEO unlike the content on a website.
3 – Local SEO – Local search engine optimization and mobile marketing go hand in hand together, due to the fact that many searches carried out on a smartphone are local ones in which people want to find local businesses like restaurants or high-street stores. If your business primarily caters to a market in a specific geographical location, then you’re going to want to pay close attention to local SEO so that your business appears in local searches and on mobile devices when people are looking for local businesses. There are many valuable online tools for local SEO, such as Google Places, Bing Places and Foursquare. Additionally, you should optimize your site’s content itself in such a way that it makes references to location rather than the key phrases used in general SEO. Having your business’s name, address and phone number at the bottom of every page is also a good idea.
4 – Email Marketing – Surprisingly, there hasn’t been as much talk about email marketing as there probably should have been in recent years. Some may think that email is steadily dying out given the enormous rise of social networking. However, this is simply not true, and in fact, people are actually using email more than ever before. This is partly because all modern smartphones have email apps which allow people to check their email while they’re on the move without actually having to open their mobile Web browser. Provided that you adapt your email newsletters for mobile browsing as well as desktop browsing, email marketing remains one of the most popular and cost-effective Internet marketing strategies of all time.
5 – Mobile PPC Advertising – Mobile pay-per-click advertising is also steadily on the increase. Many app developers support their efforts by placing advertisements in apps which they then offer for free. As is the case with any other form of PPC advertising, you will pay a small amount every time someone clicks on one of your advertisements. Just be sure to segment your mobile and desktop PPC campaigns so that relevant ads are more likely to appear on users’ screens.