Are Businesses in My Hometown Mobile Ready?

The use of smart phones in the US is reaching 70% of all cell phones.

arenskold-photoIn the target market of most Hudson businesses the percentage is doubtless nearing ubiquity. Yet, even a brief survey of Hudson businesses on my iPhone (if you are an Android user try this out on your device of choice) shows that very few are mobile ready. When people visit us they are using smart phones to find information. We need to provide them with smart phone experiences that will encourage them to come to our businesses. Most of our Hudson websites look like a completely worn out sign where the name of the business is barely legible – leaves the impression that maybe we aren’t in business.

What Does Mobile Ready Mean? 

Vico-photo

If you go to a website on your mobile device and you have to pinch and drag to find things on the site, you are not on a mobile ready site. To see a mobile ready site pick up your smartphone and go to:
 
 
You will notice that basic information, location, hours, telephone number, are right at hand, The text is easily readable. Navigation is obvious and easy. In most cases, if you touch a telephone number the phone will automatically dial it. Now go to the business of your choice on your mobile device and see what you find. 

Getting Mobile Ready

HALphotoThe good news is that mobile ready sites are not hard to create. If you are running a WordPress site, there are responsive themes that do a good job and there are plugins – I use WPTouch Pro 3. 
 
If you are using a template driven site like those on Square Space you need to go back and choose a mobile ready theme. They have them. Finally, there are web companies that will reconfigure your site on the fly when a smartphone user comes a knocking. All of this should cost you from $50 to $250 or so depending on your solution.
 
BTW – one fun smart phone user factoid: 75% take them with them to the bathroom.

 

Is Your Business Website Missing the Boat on Smartphones?

Even a casual survey of small business websites reveals the painful fact that many, if not most, are still not mobile friendly. Websites appear that require extensive finger gymnastics to uncover basic information, where is the business located, what are its hours, what kind of services does it offer. Continue reading

Social Media Explained – opportunities in web marketing

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/inboundwriter/

This image((1)) came to me via a photographer friend of my wife. This is clever in a charming way to think of social media though I definitely part company with the description of Google +.

I found this graphic from Social Strand Media that does a better job of describing a wider range of social media.

Social Media Explained from social strand media

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you get beyond the simplicity of the presentation and get over the simplifications, or, in some cases, errors in characterization of social media, these reveal an interesting opportunity to shape a strategy that is particular to your business. Keep in mind that the social media sites mentioned here are really just the tip of a vast universe of niche specialty social media sites. If you are a winery, there are social media sites where oenophiles hang out. Does your business involve native species of perennial flowers in the upper midwest? There are social websites for virtually every slice of interests. If you can’t find one that suits you, start one yourself. Open source social website software like BuddyPress is simple to set up. Web marketing is not necessarily big budget, just long on thinking and involvement.

So, the web marketing challenge here is to identify your customer base(s) and get involved with them. Keep in mind you need to drop the old pushy sales and marketing approaches and get engaged to share your knowledge and enthusiasms. Web marketing is engagement and sharing not pushing messages. Sales will follow.

Footnotes:
  1. Turns out that this image has “gone viral” on the Web. Nevertheless, its source is in fact a Web marketing firm, Three Ships Media. The story of how and why they created this social media chart is here []