07/08/2015 Joe Jensen

Why Mobile Matters for Small Businesses With Local Customers

The growth of mobile Internet usage isn’t just a trend, it’s a new business reality. At some point in the past year, the number of mobile Internet users – people accessing the web through smart phones and tablets – surpassed the number of people going online via laptop and desktop computers.

But if you run the kind of small business that has local customers, and maybe even buyers you see face-to-face on a regular basis, does any of this really matter?

Not only does mobile still matter for small businesses with local customers, it can be crucial to their future profitability. If you doubt that, let us give you a few reasons why mobile compatibility and marketing should be a part of your business strategy going forward:

Your customers are using mobile devices.

As we’ve already pointed out, more than half of all web traffic originates from mobile devices. That’s even more true of people who shop in their own neighborhoods, as smart phones can be perfect for discovering local shops, restaurants, and even professional services. In other words, the buyers you most want to attract to your business are already looking for mobile websites.

Mobile compatibility can affect your search engine visibility.

In April, Google unveiled one of its biggest algorithm updates to date, which altered search engine rankings based on mobile compatibility. Because the world’s largest search engine knows that it’s for mobile-friendly websites, it has started factoring that functionality into its own algorithms. That means that if your site isn’t mobile-ready, it’s getting harder for buyers to find you online.

Mobile is the key to social media and online reviews.

Recommendations and positive word-of-mouth are the lifeblood of a small local business. They are also much easier for customers to share through smart phones and tablets than they are desktop computers. With the mobile-friendly website, you can encourage buyers to say good things about your business, and follow your company online, all while they are still standing right in front of you.

You can use mobile marketing for a huge ROI.

You can get more walk-in traffic and repeat customers using simple mobile marketing methods like pay-pricing click advertising, QR codes, and social media marketing campaigns. And you’ll get a boost in the search engine rankings, as we mentioned, which can help bring more local buyers right to your doorstep.

Perhaps the best news in all is that adding mobile functionality to your existing web presence, usually in the form of a responsive website, doesn’t require a huge investment and won’t add anything to your workload. Just make sure customers can access your website via their favorite devices, and you open up a whole new world of possibilities.

If you’re one of those business owners who has convinced themselves that mobile trends don’t matter to you, now is the time to start thinking ahead. More and more of your customers are going mobile… and they’re going to keep doing it with or without you.

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