Marketing Your Website in 2018: Episode 2 – Attack of the Phones
In 2016, mobile devices became the number one source of web traffic worldwide. People were approximately 51% more likely to use their phone to access the web than their desktop computer, and the number has only risen since.
As mobile devices become more powerful and full-featured they seem less like phones and more like the Sci-Fi communication devices seen in movies since Star Trek debuted the tricorder. Today’s phones are more powerful than the Nasa computers that put people on the moon, and brought them back. That’s the part that always amazes me. Getting them there – point and shoot. Getting them back, now that’s an incredible trick.
Begun, the Phone War Has
It’s impossible to talk about marketing your website without considering what it takes to reach people on their phones. More than 60 percent of American adults own a smartphone. You only need to look around while waiting in line, walking through the mall, or even sitting in a restaurant to understand how important it is to reach people on their mobile devices.
If you’re still not sure whether mobile devices deserve your marketing attention, consider this. According to Google, a worldwide leader in consumer studies, 61% of consumers polled said they would not return to a poorly designed mobile website. So, how do you do hit that moving target?
Today, 80% of all social media traffic now comes from mobile devices. People check their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts on their phones whenever they have a few minutes to spare. Billions of eyes scan social media posts every day, looking for updates from friends and family, or just watching cat videos on YouTube. All of them are exposed to some form of marketing or another.
Whether it’s a text ad at the top of a blog post or a scrolling banner on the bottom of the screen, or a complete product or service commercial, social media has become prime real estate for advertising. Anyone can take advantage of platforms like Facebook, where ads can be distributed to as wide or narrow of an audience as you aim for. You can also set budgets for your ad campaigns, so your costs are manageable.
Once considered an amateur media outlet, podcasts have now made a lot of people very popular, and rich. Some shows draw subscribers numbering in the hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of listeners who tune in live or listen later through apps like Soundcloud and Podbean. Although podcasts can be accessed on desktops and laptops, the primary outlet platform for podcast listeners is – you guessed it, mobile devices.
Podcasts came close to dying off before roaring back in the last couple of years. Today’s podcast players allow listeners to scroll through past episodes, or to download a show for later on. As users are either browsing or listening they are exposed to marketing inside the app, or even in the show. That little plot of real estate could get your site in front of a lot of potential clients.
We’ll take a deep dive on this topic next month, so make sure you’re signed up to receive our post updates.
Not to be confused with social media, popular blogs are great outlets for advertising. Most blogs are also easy to access and read on mobile devices, and since bloggers often alert their subscribers when they create new posts, their readers are likely to access the new content on the smaller screen. Blogs are also easy to read on a break, or while waiting somewhere. Or in between cat videos.
If a blog is popular, it can bring a surprising amount of traffic to your website. Especially blogs that cover topics that are related to your website, product, or service. Advertising pays the bills for many bloggers so they are often willing to feature ads on their blog sites. If your company provides a service to West Michigan, look for West Michigan blogs to approach about featuring your information.
Use the Force(s)
These are just three of the available outlets for marketing your website in 2018. No matter what path you choose, it is extremely important to consider mobile devices when you design your marketing plan. Remember to design your content for small screen visibility too – if you only focus on content intended for desktop and laptop-sized screens, you overlook a growing number of potential visitors who just might be searching the galaxy for your website.
The Stats, Access Them You Must.
There are several ways to review the statistics for your website, which can help you gain insight into your visitor’s devices, page access, and general surfing habits. Knowing what pages they use, or don’t, and how long they are staying on them can help you adapt your site to the growing army of mobile users and their clones. I mean, ah, phones.
If your website is built on WordPress you have some great tools at your disposal that are free to use. The Jetpack suite of WordPress tools includes some simple analytics that provide enough information for many people. For even more details, simply sign up for a paid Jetpack account and you can access more information.
Jetpack is easy to add through the WordPress Dashboard, just go to the Plugin’s section and click Add New, then search for Jetpack. Click Install to add it to your site and then Activate to put it to work. Jetpack will walk you through the rest, but be sure to look below the price descriptions for the Free button.
Google Analytics is one of the most widely used traffic insight platforms available to beginning users and pros alike. And, it’s free. Google Analytics is a lot more involved than Jetpack but it’s a fair trade. The free version of Google Analytics is extremely powerful and can help you to mold your site to fit your visitor’s wants and needs.
The easiest way to add Google Analytics to your WordPress site is to use a plugin, such as MonsterInsights. First, set up a Google Analytics account, them log into your WordPress dashboard and choose Plugins from the list on the left. Search for and install MonsterInsights. You can easily upgrade to the next level if you need more out of your analytics app.
Plan, design, and build with mobile devices in mind. Your website needs to be accessible and easy to navigate from the smaller screen, so take steps in that direction right up front. Make sure you’re visible to the millions of potential visitors who practically live on their mobile devices.
Count on it, your business may.
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