It’s an exciting time to be an Internet marketer, but one of the biggest challenges for successful entrepreneurs is keeping up with new opportunities on the Web. It’s all too easy to become comfortable with the status quo until, one day, the realization hits that a formerly-booming website hasn’t grown at all in the last six months. Just like social media revolutionized the industry, mobile devices seem poised to permanently change the way marketers look at their business. These are three things every webmaster should know to prepare for the coming shift in Web design and optimization.
The Increasing Mobile Trend
Mobile gadgets such as smartphones and tablets are a worldwide phenomenon. They are cheaper than desktops and laptops and can access the Internet from nearly anywhere. Over half of all phones today are used to access webpages online. Within the United States, mobile browsing is projected to overtake fixed location browsing by 2014, if not sooner. This means that any marketer not optimizing now will be unprepared for more than half of his or her potential traffic. The task of modernization can appear daunting and unfamiliar, but bringing websites and SEO up to speed is actually a fairly simple process.
How to Optimize a Website for Mobile Browsers
Mobile browsing is a very different experience than sitting down at a desktop. The same websites are all there, only now they are tiny and crammed into a minuscule screen. It is nearly impossible to read most websites without zooming in and losing most of the framing content. To make your website as mobile-friendly as possible, eliminate any fixed-widths in your coding and change them to percentages. This is easier for a mobile browser to translate and will help maintain the original design of a page. It also prevents the need for side-scrolling, which is so annoying for many readers that they will choose to click back and find their information elsewhere.
Keyword usage is also different for mobile marketing. When people search on a phone, they are typically looking for a quick answer to a pressing question. Internet marketers should consider their own niche and figure out how they can help readers on the go to drive in mobile traffic. Google’s Keyword Tool now features the useful option to look up mobile browsing statistics exclusively.
Mobile Marketing Opportunities
The hardest part of making the switch to mobile marketing is rethinking income strategies. Differences in user behavior mandate different advertisements, placements and promotions. Email and mobile applications are now two of a marketer’s best friends. Email provides a constant line of communication for subscribers who carry their inbox in their own pockets every day. Apps are fun, engaging and potentially an outstanding source of income for those with basic programming skills. If some aspect of a topic could improve the lives of mobile users, it is probably worth the effort of turning it into a simple app.
Advertising is still effective on small devices such as phones, and programs such as Adwords allow custom mobile campaigns for businesses. Ads must be placed within the text or near the primary column to be effective, however, thanks to most phones’ and tablets’ scroll features. With the right knowledge and careful planning, it is possible to capitalize on the growing mobile market and come out of it more successful than ever before.
Sam is a blogger and internet marketer who has recently learned how to build an iPhone app which he now finds to be a great new marketable skill to have.