Four Mobile Dos and Don’ts for SMBs

A Hibu survey from last year found that only 6 percent of SMBs with websites said those sites were mobile optimized. While the stat may be staggering, it’s not too much of a shock. Venturing into mobile is a significant expense and for an SMB that requires a meaningful investment of time and resources, which may not be available or seen as a necessity.

But data supports the growing need for the prioritization of mobile-local. Google trend data from earlier this year revealed that searches that included “near me” doubled in the past year, with mobile accounting for 80 percent of those. These insights may have been what spawned Google to rollout a new mobile ad format to address these types of searches.

Given the trends and the latest emphasis mobile friendliness across search (Bing’s doing it too), SMBs must respond in kind and keep in mind these guidelines as they adapt.

Don’t Be Afraid of Change

I had the pleasure of recently hearing a keynote presentation given by Daniel Kish, the founder of World Access for the Blind. During his presentation, Kish, who is blind himself, shared that what can inhibit those who are visually impaired is fear of the unknown – a sentiment that permeates many aspects of life.

As marketers, we must come to accept that search, while an established practice, is undergoing a constant evolution. There will always be unknowns but this cannot hold us back. For SMBs, this fear can be amplified even more because of the high stakes. However, the benefits of mobile commerce, apps, and technology are worth the time to learn something new and the money to modernize.

Do Look at Context

The future of search (and current state, for that matter) is all about context – where your consumer is, what device they are on, what’s close by, even what the weather is like. These signals provide rich data and insight into the consumer that can be used to build out profiles and predict actions.

The location information supplied by mobile devices is so powerful because of its precision, immediacy, and depth. Geo-targeting areas around your place of business is one thing, but think about the power in knowing if a mobile-connected consumer visited your storefront one time versus frequently. This means, for example, a coffee shop could begin to distinguish a one-time visitor from regular loyalists and use this information for targeting, messaging, and audience expansion.

Additionally, the new “nearby business ads” from Google, mentioned previously run off location extensions and will feature click-to-call and directions so consumers can easily take action. As Google itself stated in the announcement: “it’s essential that ads are fine-tuned to be relevant to people’s contexts.”

google-nearby-ads

Do Put an Emphasis on Quality Content

Knowing mobile context and having a wealth of data points on your consumer could all fall flat if content is lackluster. More and more, consumers demand content that is highly personalized and hyper-local so mobile-friendly content is key.

Understanding the role of your mobile ads in the path to purchase and the corresponding high-performing content and messaging that drives action, online or offline, is how you’ll maximize your return on investment.

Don’t think you can do it all alone

Given the quick evolution and complexity of the digital space, the SMBs that will thrive will be those who don’t rely solely on a DIY approach. Partners can help you stay on top of changes, trends and technology while simultaneously improving your execution and optimization. These advantages can help you improve your speed to market and efficiency, scale your operations, and ultimately, give you a leg up on the competition.

Change is a given so adaptability is key and partners can help SMBs facilitate change more easily. The upfront costs of a partner could payoff exponentially, but weigh the opportunities at hand. There are more solutions and offerings popping up that are providing cost-effective ways that meet local business halfway in this regard.

 

Homepage image via iStock

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