I bet you keep on hearing how important mobile is for retailers. And you should! Smartphone adoption has now reached 52% in Australia. But how exactly can you use this for your business? Here are three fundamental ways to get results from mobile!
Do well on mobile search results
I’m sure you know the importance of SEO and scoring well on the search results. But are you putting the same effort into scoring for local, mobile searches? You should! Turns out that 81% of smartphone users search for local information. Even more amazing is that 68% of them take direct action! This is an amazing opportunity to attract more local business!
But… when we search mobile we want results fast. About half of desktop users often look through more than 2 pages in the search results. In contrast, less than 10% of mobile users go further than the second page.
To achieve this there are two things to work on. The first is optimizing your SEO for mobile, local searches. The second option is paid advertising. Wait! Hear me out. Nearly 9 out of 10 smartphone users notice mobile ads. That is huge! Consider buying some advertising for your most targeted keywords and optimising them for mobile.
Every business past the second page is non-existent to the eyes of mobile users. This is another opportunity, since once you get in those top results, there are only a few companies competing with you. This is when it becomes important to have strong, mobile ready content.
Make sure you have mobile ready content
Okay, you got on the first page of the search results, and even got users to click through to your landing page! Now what? Now you need content that is optimised for mobile visitors. Don’t just link to the desktop version of your site. The users we are targeting are local searchers, often on the go. Remember what we said earlier? We want results fast.
(i) Tell them why they are on your page first. Tell them what you do, and why you are the best fit. Are you a computer shop with outstanding customers service? A boutique with only the greatest fashion? The cheapest haircut for men?Tell your visitors up front so they know they’re in the right place.
(ii) An attractive visual can help to draw attention. A picture of your building will help people recognize you when they visit.
(iii) Have a clear call to action. This is perhaps the most important. Tell people what you want them to do. Do you want them to call you? Visit? Like you on facebook? Share your cool promotion on Twitter? Make this very clear.
Incentivise visitors to take action. Having a call to action is the first step. The second step is to persuade them to take that action. You can do this by rewarding them for the action. E.g. Share on Facebook and get a discount, check in on Foursquare and get a coupon, call us now and get free shipping, …
Google has some free basic templates for mobile pages for different kinds of businesses.
Bridge the gap between in-store and online
Now you have a great spot in the result page and a great landing page that persuades users to take action. There is even more opportunity in mobile! Nearly 2 out of 3 smartphone owners use their smartphone while they are in a store. So why not use that to our advantage as well?
There are easy technologies to make the transition from offline experience to online action seamless. The most recent of these is Near Field Communication (NFC). NFC allows a user with a supported phone to simply touch a special NFC enabled sticker to view content. Another technology is QR codes, which are a special kind of barcode users can scan with their smartphone camera.
These type of codes have gotten a bad reputation lately. But did you know that according to a study by scanlife the amount of QR codes scanned rose exponentially in 2012? Comscore found that 25% of smartphone users regularly scan QR codes in stores.
The key to using these correctly is to incentivise users, like we talked about earlier. Most people who scan a QR code expect to get a coupon or deal in return. So give them a reward after completing the action, and communicate this reward wherever you place your NFC or QR code.
If you don’t have coding knowledge or simply no time to do development, there are tools which easily let you create mobile landing pages with a social call to action (Facebook and Twitter) and immediately hooks them up to a QR code or NFC tag so all you have to do is place them on your products or promo material.
The first step for you could be to create a few mobile landing pages and optimise a few for searches on your most important keywords and create some others to link in your store. Get a feel for what works, and where the opportunities in your industry are.
Once you feel ready to make the plunge to a full blown mobile strategy, check out the excellent ‘howtogomo’ by Google to learn more about the mobile market and how to build a whole mobile website.
Do you have any experience with local mobile business? Let’s hear it in the comments!