Why Mobile First Should Be Your Focus in 2017

mobile first

With each passing year, marketing to customers on mobile devices becomes more and more important. Most of you are probably aware that online searches on mobile devices now exceed desktop searches, and smartphone ownership in the US reached a critical mass long ago. Because of this, taking a mobile first approach to marketing shouldn’t just be a tactic in your overall strategy, but one of the main foci. Below is a handful of reasons why you should have a mobile first mindset.

Google is emphasizing mobile first

Late last year, Google announced it was going to start experimenting with a mobile first index to determine search engine ranking. What this means is that if businesses aren’t serving up mobile-friendly content, then they run the risk of damaging their standing in local search.

Google has provided guidelines for what businesses can do to optimize their sites for this change. The easiest thing you can do is roll out a mobile-responsive website. This ensures that visitors to your site are served an optimal experience regardless of the device they are using. If your site isn’t mobile responsive yet, check out the advice Google has for you in this post.

Another area where Google is making an effort to improve the mobile experience is by penalizing mobile sites that have intrusive interstitials. This penalty impacts interstitials that appear immediately after a searcher is directed to your site from the results page. There will be no penalty for interstitials further down the page. 

Mobile searchers want to buy

According to research by Google, 50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit the business within 24 hours. Only 36% of local searches on desktops or laptops result in a store visit in that same timeframe.

What does this mean for businesses? It means that if you want to be able to capitalize on these local searches you need to make sure your listing pops when customers are having a ‘want to buy’ moment. This is accomplished by optimizing your online presence for local search. Below are examples of how to do that:

That last bullet point is especially important. Particularly when you’re dealing with a motivated customer who wants to make a purchase at that moment. Having a good online reputation positively impacts purchase decisions. Businesses with a bad reputation could be wasting their investment in traditional advertising to attract attention.

The key to maintaining a good online reputation is fairly simple. Provide your customers with a good experience and then make it as easy as possible to leave an online review. The best way to do that is by implementing an online review management platform that streamlines the collection and management of online reviews.

SMS marketing is becoming more effective

If you want to reach your customers in a more timely manner, try texting them. Text messages have a 99% open rate with 90% being opened within three minutes. That number is significantly greater than open rates for email.

Just like with email, you need to be respectful of your customers’ time as well as their message and data rates. Just because they have opted into receiving messages from you, doesn’t mean you should inundate them with messages. Doing so will likely upset them.

Effective SMS messages are direct, to the point, and have a clear call-to-action. Because space is limited, lengthy messages with an unclear CTA often result in poor conversion rates.

Target mobile first consumers with Podium

Request a demo to see how Podium’s cloud-based solution can help you use text messages to invite all of your customers to review your business. Podium’s efficient, mobile process can help your business build a strong online presence on the sites that matter most. This will, in turn, improve local SEO and ultimately boost revenues.

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