Two Essential Ways Your Business Needs to Optimize For Mobile

Ah the 80's. It was the age of parachute pants, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and rank materialism. If you think really, really hard, you can probably still smell the cheap plastic on the pair of jellies that you, um, wore to look cool? But while it's fun to reminisce on the culture of decades past--and to revel in how alien it seems to us today--there was also another side to the 80's that had less to do with pop culture and more to do with building industry.

The 80's I'm referring to, obviously, is the business era 80's, a decade that saw the proliferation of the first personal computers and mobile phones. And while it's the PC that gets all the credit for being the big ticket tech item of the period, I'd like to focus more on the first mobile phone. The first "Brick" as it was affectionately called was also named the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x. It weighed about two pounds, carried a cost of close to $4,000, could only hold a charge for 30 minutes, and in 1984 it was the toast of the town.

To this day I don't think that the first mobile phone was popular because its business capabilities seemed so otherworldly, rather, I think its popularity was due to the fact that it introduced an idea of freedom to the business world that was unprecedented. Before the introduction of the "Brick" most people couldn't imagine holding a conference call from anywhere outside the office, let alone targeting customers using mobile data. Today we still owe a great deal to the genesis of the first mobile phones as it's that original idea of freedom that has truly revolutionized the way that companies are run today. And it's because of mobile technology's importance to the strategic acumen (and overall infrastructure) of any business that I thought I would submit two main ways that your business should be optimizing for mobile. Let's get to it.


Optimize Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

With Mobilegeddon striking fear into the hearts of marketers everywhere back in April, it's safe to say that it's no longer an option to have an online presence that's simply "mobile friendly". Instead you need to be thinking about how your marketing strategy is completely optimized for mobile. The fact is that, with the global mobile advertising market set to spend over $100B in 2016 and with mobile internet usage already surpassing desktop, marketers across the board are paying much more attention to how they're presenting company story-telling via mobile devices.

What does this mean for your business's marketing efforts going forward? First--and this should go without saying--make sure that all of your web page templates are mobile responsive. Just as you want to create a top flight user experience with your desktop pages, so too do your mobile pages need to be optimized in order to create great experiences. Everything from page speed to image context counts in a big way because the user experience for mobile boils down to a more intimate and condensed experience than desktop.

Second, make sure that you pay extra attention to your social media campaigns. Content juggernauts like Facebook and LinkedIn are especially important to look at. Check your Facebook reporting regularly to see what devices your constituents are using to engage with you and optimize appropriately by making sure that every ad you're running looks just as striking on mobile as it does on desktop--the same goes for direct sponsored content on LinkedIn.

Thirdly, make sure that the email campaigns you're sending are optimized for mobile as well. This means that text shouldn't be too small and that you should also go easy on the images as too many can give your email a cluttered look. Finally, keep your messages short and sweet. On desktop a long subject line such as "Shop Our Summer Sale, Get 70% Off" isn't as cumbersome as it is on a mobile device. Instead, go with shorter messages such as "70% Off Summer Sale". Overall, marketers can't afford to think in terms of mobile vs. desktop as the people who are viewing your content on desktop are also viewing you on their mobile devices. Ultimately, both platforms and two sides of the same coin.


Optimizing for Mobile E-Commerce is a Must

With all the above information in mind the next logical leap would be to make sure that your mobile ecommerce efforts (if you have an ecommerce store that is) aren't being wasted. With Shopify reporting earlier this year that 1/3 all ecommerce transactions are now happening from mobile devices and that mobile also accounts for 50.3% of ecommerce traffic, it's time to make sure that your online storefront isn't just mobile friendly, but that it's completely optimized for mobile. If you're looking for ways to update your current site so that it's mobile ready head to Google Developers #Mobile-Friendly Websites page and run through the checklist they offer.

At the end of the day you can be on point with your mobile marketing efforts, but if the ecommerce section of your website underperforms, then you'll have problems converting interested parties into customers. For this reason you should analyze every application of your online store to make sure that it's strongly positioned for mobile success.

Is the shopping cart function of your mobile site just as easy to navigate as it is on your desktop site? Are the forms you're using to collect customer data (such as credit card info) properly optimized to create a seamless and easy to use experience? Much of the above mentioned points about making sure that your webpage templates are mobile responsive apply here, however, when you're asking potential customers to take their last steps towards conversion it's imperative that you eliminate any barrier to entry that would deter them from shopping with you. Making your mobile customers feel secure and ensuring that their experience is as enjoyable as possible will go a long way in helping you convert.