Is your business mobile ready?

A smartphone is as close to a magic wand or lightsaber as exists outside of the dimension of fantasy.

Recent research indicates that 7 in 10 people own a smartphone in the UK. The same group has to project that 78% of mobile user will have a smartphone by 2016.  That’s just about every person who isn’t a small child or old age pensioner that’s in a nursing home. Here’s another way to say that: Essentially every one of your prospects and customers has a smartphone. Allow me to spell it out for you: If your business isn’t ready for mobile it’s a dinosaur waiting to become extinct.

Here are two important first steps so your business will avoid extinction by mobile:

1. Get your online information optimized for local search.

This is critical for a comprehensive online strategy, but mandatory for mobile because mobile searchers are often trying to literally find a business. If I’m in and hungry for pizza, you want me to find you in my local mobile search for “pizza places in Peterborough.”

2. Decide whether to invest in a mobile site or a mobile app;

either one will get your business ready for mobile. Here’s the difference:

App: A software application that downloads to and resides on a customer’s mobile device.

Downloaded information, like an article or podcast, that can be used later without an Internet connection.

3. Disadvantage:

Updated information, like today’s menu or discount, has to be downloaded and will likely take longer to present than a mobile page.

Mobile site: Your website condensed for the smaller mobile screens. When your regular URL is requested from a smartphone, the mobile site presents automatically with the most important elements and fewer graphics. In other words, form follows function.

4. Advantages:

Most mobile sites cost less than most apps to create, update and maintain, and a mobile site icon looks just like a mobile app icon.5.  Disadvantages: Most mobile sites aren’t as sexy as most mobile apps. And just like your regular website, a mobile site cannot be used unless the device is connected to the Internet.

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