There’s great pressure on small businesses to follow digital marketing trends. You want to stay up-to-date, but do you have to jump on every new innovation? It turns out that following the crowd isn’t always best for your business. That’s true even when it comes to mobile apps. They might be everywhere, but most of your customers don’t use them as frequently as you might think.
But even without an app, you should still think mobile when it comes to online marketing. Most people reach the internet through their mobile devices. Your business should make it easy for new and existing customers to find you and book an appointment using their hand-held devices. Your website should work as well on a mobile device as it does on a desktop computer, and you should be easy to find online.
People Only Use a Few Apps
Mobile apps are convenient and always just a click away, but research shows most people don’t use them. As the number of apps on the market has exploded, the number people access on a regular basis has stayed steady at about two dozen per month. Promoting your business through an app doesn’t guarantee you’ll get in front of your customer, so investing in one might be a waste of time and money.
Apps Require Maintenance and Content
Even if it’s easy to create an app, it takes energy to keep things interesting. Apps that are constantly updated with new content engage customers. But keeping on top of your app becomes another errand on the already busy agenda of a small business, with an uncertain return.
If you already have an app, make the most of it. Encourage users to open your app so it brings value to your business. Inform users of app updates through notifications, text messages or social media. Once they are in the app, your customers can get special offers or communicate directly with your business.
Optimize For Mobile
An app might not bring you much benefit. But there’s no escaping the movement toward mobile internet searches. To help customers view your site on the go and to bolster your Google ranking, make your site mobile-friendly. This means your site loads quickly and is easy to read, whether you’re using a four-inch wide phone or a 15-inch wide laptop.
Take into account some tips for a mobile-friendly site: use large buttons, high-resolution images and a responsive design that automatically adjusts to each different kind of device. You can even test your site for mobile-readiness using a tool provided by Google.
Focus on Being Found Online
Your customers must be able to find you online and book their next appointment with a few clicks. The steps to make this happen are simple and user-friendly. Hand-held devices are everywhere, but don’t forget that there are desktop computers and search engines to help new clients locate your business.
Wherever your customers are online, you should be there as well. Make it easy for clients to find you by having active social media pages, like Facebook and Twitter. If you are a visual business, like a hair salon or pet groomer, you might also want to consider putting pictures on Pinterest.
You also want Google to list your business. To help make this happen, place your business name, address and phone number on every page of your website and encourage your customers to review you on sites like Yelp. That information is easy to maintain and it goes a long way towards getting your customers booked for their next appointment.
Looking for a mobile app for your business? Learn how by requesting a free consultation with a dedicated Business Advisor.