Ok, so this first part is not going to surprise anyone….I hope!
More and more people are gaining access to “smartphones.” These phones can check e-mail, check Facebook, use applications… they’re mini computers, essentially.
Although there are huge numbers of people using the internet, there are even more people using mobile phones and smartphones. For this reason, if your website is web-friendly but not mobile-friendly, it might be time to rethink your business strategy.
Just think about it, if you are going to look up a price for a hotel in Tampa, Florida, do you go grab your laptop, wait for it to boot up, and then check the price….or do you pick up your phone or tablet and find the price within seconds?
Large travel sites like Priceline.com, Expedia.com, and Orbitz not only have mobile-friendly versions of their sites, they have apps that can be downloaded for instant access to their information and products. The smaller guys, well, you still have to go to the web from your computer to get to what they offer, at least conveniently. Many websites that think they are mobile-friendly, just because Google displays them in the searches are delusional.
Have you ever visited a web page on your phone that was impossible to read? You have to scroll back and forth to read the content and forget about trying to actually buy something. If you have ever wandered onto a page like this, even if it is a place you feel a loyalty to, you most likely left and found a new place to browse more easily on your phone or tablet. Because, well, you are in a hurry, you want your information now, not later when you get home to your laptop. And guess what….everyone else is the same way. So, if your site does not look good, does not offer an easy to navigate platform for mobile users, and is not convenient….you can bet you have a competitor who is!
Like we’ve discussed before, the “web,” as we know it, is in decline. Technology is drifting away from the web and more towards “apps.” Apps were originally built with smartphones and mobile devices in mind.
So, even if you don’t believe you need an app for your site now, chances are you will need one soon. It is always a good idea to stay one step ahead of the trends, and with apps, you are still able to do just that. Yes, apps are trending tight now HUGE, but they have not become necessary for survival, that will be next year….so be ready!
This means not only is the mobile world already bigger than the “web,” it’s only going to get BIGGER.
As internet marketers and entrepreneurs, it’s our responsibility to locate these changing trends and use them to deliver real value through information, products, or services. Look at your competitors; visit their pages, on the computer, and on your mobile devices. Find out what they are doing that you not, and then Do it!
First, it’s helpful to start off with the overall numbers for both mobile phone users and web users. By doing this, we can see the true scope of the mobile world and realize just how important it is to create a website with mobile users in mind.
In 2014, nearly 3 billion people had internet access. But, 4.65 billion had mobile phones. In 2015, that number climbed to 4.88 billion mobile phone users.
Of course, not all 4.65 billion of those people had constant access to the internet on their phones. However, in the next few years, more and more people will gain internet access. When this happens, the number of mobile phone users who are also browsing the internet will skyrocket. More people browsing the internet means more potential traffic for your website.
There is a large percentage of users who ONLY have internet access on their phones.
Also, it’s worth noting mobile phone users tend to be a lot more social in their internet usage. They check their Facebook more often, browse YouTube, use Twitter – you name it.
The web’s getting a lot more social – there’s no question about it. Thanks to pushes towards personalized search and social media websites popping up left and right, being “social” both on the web and on a mobile phone is incredibly easy.
Although the web’s pushing towards social, mobile phones are already there. Smartphone users spend much more time socializing on their phones than they do on their computers.
So, what does this mean to you? It means you better get social. Create pages for your business on all the major social media platforms. You need a Twitter account, and you should be sharing valuable tweets to your users, and commenting on relevant tweets to stay interactive with your customers. Learn how to build your social media presence. Post shareable content on Facebook, create a Pinterest account, or even an Instagram account for more visibility. If you want to tap into the video world, post to YouTube, and if possible, create a viral video for your users to share. It’s all about brand building, and social settings are the easiest, most affordable, and most effective ways to build your brand.
By simply looking at the mobile phone statistics, it’s obvious to see internet marketers will need to optimize their websites for smartphones. Not doing so would mean missing out on a market that’s nearly double the size of the current web.
However, there’s another branch of technology that’s growing rapidly as well: tablets.
Ever since Apple announced the iPad, tablets are rapidly becoming as common as mobile phones themselves. Of course, they aren’t in the same ballpark yet, but the numbers of tablet users are growing much too large to ignore.
Just look at the iPad, for example. As of June 2011, Apple has sold 25,000,000+ iPads, now fast forward to 2014, there were 200 million iPads sold. Yes, 200 million, it jumped that much that quick, and pushing towards 2016, that number will continue to grow, in fact, it already has!
This is Apple alone. When Apple released the iPad, all major competitors rushed to release their own version as well. And, with those versions being more affordable, can you even imagine how many people have those?
As you can see, both smartphones and tablets combine to create a market much larger than the current web. A larger market means significantly more opportunities to make money by providing value. One such way we as internet marketers can provide value is to optimize our websites for mobile phones and tablets.
By doing this, we open a MASSIVE door to a flood of new potential customers. Remember, this market is already double the size of the web. Since the web is shrinking and the mobile world is growing, this discrepancy is only going to get worse.
If you have a local business, make sure you are taking advantage of the local searches. GPS devices are a great way to direct people to your location. They use satellites to locate nearby businesses, so when driving down the road in a strange town a person decides they really want cheesecake, your business should be listed in the directory for them to click a button to get instant directions, store hours, phone numbers, and even coupons if available.
It’s no secret the current state of the internet is being shaken. Of course, with each new technological innovation comes opportunity. In order to maximize this opportunity, it’s important to know and understand what’s currently going on within the world of the web and mobile devices.
So, if you think mobile device users are only a small portion of your business…your probably right. But, if you open your mind, try to fit into the world you know little about, all of those mobile device users will be knocking at your door.
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