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by Stephen Logan on 19th July 2011
The latest figures from the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing show that 28% of all Internet browsing in Britain is carried out on a smartphone. So if you’re still ignoring your online businesses mobile visibility, you could well be missing out on a huge chunk of traffic.
As a smartphone user, it’s not all that uncommon that I’ll perform quick searches as and when required. Clearly I am not alone in this. The worry though is that some businesses still view this as a small niche, continuing to develop websites that are ill-equipped for the mobile market and ignoring advertising opportunities.
Let’s imagine your site uses a flash navigation to woo visitors and show off your innovation in design. If you don’t also have a purpose-built mobile site, then you could be rendered inaccessible to all smartphone users. That’s 28% of all online browsers disappearing into the ether even before you really get started.
There’s no doubting that creating a custom site purely for mobile usage is a costly endeavour and may not be suited for certain businesses, but by and large it is an investment worth making. At the very least, you should be looking to make sure that your current website translates to smartphones effectively; this may mean removing certain elements or simplifying the navigation. These aren’t changes that would ruin your site, but would make it far more accessible.
The mobile Internet also offers a wealth of marketing opportunities for businesses. As well as your standard PPC advertising on search engines, you can also embed your phone number allowing searchers to instantly call your sales team. You can develop locally targeted coupon campaigns (something McDonalds have been doing as far back as 2008), develop unique mobile barcodes to tie-in your offline and online campaigns and can even sponsor apps through display advertising networks.
Effectively there is a whole new audience emerging and businesses need to take note. If you’re reliant on local traffic, bolster your SEO and make sure you’re visible for all relevant searches in the area. With mobile users regularly on the move, this visibility can convert into meaningful and targeted traffic to your site and premises.
For everybody else, it is all about providing effective site functionality and creating a clear presence in what is still a developing market. There’s a good chance that some of your competitors are lagging behind when it comes to developing their own mobile technology and marketing efforts, so why not take advantage? If you needed any more impetus to do so, surely the knowledge that 28% of your potential audience are using smartphones. As such, failure to provide a working platform will immediately write-off a quarter of your traffic.