See why mobile app development should be a primary part of any successful online marketing strategy
When it comes to Internet marketing, SEO is the tool that generates traffic for your website, and good content is the sturdy foundation converting that traffic into return business. But heads-up advertising requires one to tap into every emerging market, and while most SEO strategists are quick to herald the growing importance of mobile app development, few companies are truly responding to improve their mobile presence in any meaningful way.
Here are some recently published statistics to highlight the geometric growth of mobile phone usage in the United States:
81% of Americans now own a mobile phone
Overall, almost all activities have seen steady upward growth over time.
53% of mobile phone owners use their phone to access the Internet
31% of mobile users access the Internet exclusively through their smartphone
77% of mobile users access the Internet at home or at work, rather than on the go
46% of shoppers use mobile phones to research local products and services
Amazon, Wikipedia, and Facebook attribute 20% of all their traffic to mobile phone use
As of 2012, iOS and Android powered mobile devices are being purchased at a rate 4 times higher than that of PC's.
That last fact should clue you in to the inexorable nature of mobile growth in our society, and the role it will play in online marketing going forward. It is more than just a trend, it is an economic certainty that web designers should embrace. It is easy to maintain an accessible, well-designed mobile site, but many companies put little effort into the way their mobile sites look, preferring to invest huge amounts into micromanaging their online presence. Remember, a significant and growing percentage of users will be accessing your site for the first time from a mobile device. Aim to make your mobile site operate just as well as your regular one. For the enterprising web designer, mobile site/app development is a lucrative and wide open field. Here are some more facts to underscore that last point.
- Of Fortune 100 companies, 44 have no mobile website at all
- Only 21% of large advertisers have a mobile-optimized site
- Only 33% of B2B companies have a mobile-optimized site
- Only 14% of consumer brands have any mobile strategy
This means that there is room to appeal to a diverse client base just by maintaining a mobile-optimized site that works well across a variety of platforms. Another way to build rapport with potential customers is to design useful mobile apps that invite them to interact with you and your site. Mobile app usage has steadily increased over the last few years, and it’s important not to underestimate the return value of providing an easy-to-use app for engaged users.
There are now more than 40 billion apps available for iOS and Android mobile devices, so what exactly makes for a good app? Specifications will vary depending on what your site is aiming to provide, but one thing that users love about apps is accessibility and simplicity. Make sure your app is easy to download, easy to use, and communicates to the user what your business is all about. Make sure contact information is prominently displayed; link directions to Google Maps or another map function, and provide easy access to your inventory if you're a retail business. Users love it when they can search and purchase without ever having to get online. And to ensure that your app remains relevant amongst all the other apps and games they may be downloading, be sure to provide regular updates and notifications about your business and any special events/sales you may be having. Basically, anything that invites the user to interact from a mobile device is a hook that you can take advantage of. Even if you consider your site to be a traditional web presence, you have to remember that the market is shifting. Get active in mobile app development, and take advantage of this moment while the opportunity is still young.
By: Bo Sepehr & Ryan David Kasso