The Power of Going Mobile for Small Business

The_Power_of_Going_MobileHow often do you pick up your smartphone throughout the day? When you wake up; when you’re standing in line for your coffee; when you get a notification? According to a study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, the average person looks at their phone 150 times a day. With 57% of customers saying they would not recommend a business with a bad mobile site, the power of mobile for small businesses is undeniable. Here are a few tips to get started:

Put your website to the mobile test

If you’re not sure whether your website is mobile-friendly, we have you covered. This Google Webmaster test tells you if your website is mobile-friendly and shows how it looks on a mobile device. Once you have those results, use the Webmaster’s Mobile Guide where you’ll find ways to customize your website software or implement mobile SEO best practices.

Don’t neglect your mobile ads

Did you know that search interest in “near me” (aka things within a customer’s vicinity) have increased 34x since 2011? Not everyone who uses mobile is always searching directly for your product or service. That’s where mobile ads come in. If a customer is searching for a local hardware store, you can use mobile ads to make sure your store pops up where and when they need it. These ads can take many forms, including text, image or even within mobile apps. To make these especially mobile-friendly, you can also purchase call-only ads, which only show up on devices that can make phone calls. 

Walk a (mobile) mile in your customers’ shoes

The best way to ensure a smooth journey for your customer is to walk a mobile mile in their shoes. When optimizing your website for mobile, design it to help your customer complete tasks as easily as possible. Enter a mobile search query that your customers might use and see how that journey might (or might not) lead them to your site.

Whether you have a physical store or a web-based business, it’s up to you to guide your customer’s journey through your mobile site. For a web-based business, your product information should be clear, with large, easy-to-read font, simple images, and easily accessible buttons. For a physical store, such as a pet store, visualize the journey from the second your customers come across your website in their search results to coming into your store to purchase their pet supplies. Your customers are searching for you within one to five miles, so the home page of your mobile site should have your address and a clickable phone number.

Responsive web design is your friend

“Responsive web design,” or “RWD” simply means that the page uses the same URL across all devices and the display of your website adjusts or “responds” according to the screen size. This is beneficial to your business for three reasons: It makes it easier to share your domain with customers, your customers will get the same content and experience no matter what device they’re on, and your website’s load time will be reduced. Depending on your website, it can be as simple as selecting a new template.

For more ideas and to talk with other business owners, check out the Google Small Business Community, where we’ve dedicated the full month of June to #Mobile. We’ll be posting daily tips and tricks, and you can also tune into our Mobile Office Hours with InspiringApps & Hangout on Air with the local solutions team at Google.