Is Your Business Smartphone Friendly?
By Samantha Nicole Traina
With the new smartphone releases from Apple and Samsung, it’s clear that we are now holding mini computers in the palms of our hands. Your phone gives you direct access to everything you could want, and people are using them more often than desktop computers. The millennials are, of course, using their phones even more for their everyday tasks.
It is no longer a simple question of do you have an online presence that is easy to find by searching Google. Now you should also be asking whether that presence easily viewable and accessible on a smartphone. If you are not, people are quick to click away to someone who makes their life a little more convenient.
First thing to consider is that the millennial customer is searching on the go. Google itself is seeing more searches with the phrase “near me”. Sixty percent of global searches occur on mobile devices. These searches occur through Google Maps, with Google reviews quickly popping up about each result. Once they have searched online, Google reports that 65 percent of people check out the business’ website, 55 percent might contact the service, and 55 percent look at the reviews of the business.
Searching through standard Google search and Google Maps now brings up reviews of the businesses within the apps. Being mindful of reviews means you have to consider what is being said on Yelp as well as Google. Yelp is another easily accessible website that 74 million unique users check monthly on a mobile website; 28 million unique users check Yelp’s mobile app. That’s a huge number of people checking in to find the highest ratings of the businesses around them, and they are doing it all on their mobile devices. Making sure you are on both of these rating resources is paramount when a quick search on a smartphone is going to be the main way for you to reach new millennial customers.
You don’t have to worry about every poor review, but responding to any concerns is a good start. Seeing business owners address concerns gives customers confidence in how you run your business. You should always respond with tact, even if the review seems entirely false, because nothing will stop the scrolling customers faster than a post of a business owner going off on a displeased reviewer. Some poor responses have even become viral sensations. This is why it is good to be mindful of how quickly items can be spread to different social media outlets. The customer isn’t always right, but online the customer is always visible—and so are you.
If you haven’t ever checked Yelp before, now is the time as a business does not have to create a page to be reviewed on the site. You could be getting a flood of horrible reviews without your knowledge. If you have nothing on these review sites you are not necessarily better off. No presence at all within these platforms could signify to millennial customers that you don’t exist, you are too new of a business to take a risk on, or you are out of touch with today’s technology and will be inconvenient for conducting business.
For consumers who head straight to your website, it is paramount that your website has a responsive design.
A responsive web design ensures that your website has an easy user experience on both desktop webpages and other sized screens such as tablets and smartphones. Content, design, and performance are necessary across all devices to ensure usability and satisfaction of your customers, especially the millennials. So, instead of viewing the large webpage from a zoomed out view, making your site difficult to read and navigate, your website appears in a cleaner simplified layout to fit appropriately to the dimension of your future customer’s phone.
Now that you have the customer at your website, the last thing you want is for them to click away because the information they are seeking from you isn’t easily accessible. For smartphone users, having to click through too many pages on your site to get the information they desire will be seen as a hassle. Clear dropdown menus that take millennial consumers straight to your product within a few clicks are great. It also is best to check that your website is appearing as it should on multiple web browsers.
Timing is important with mobile searches; it’s another reason to create a mobile site that is simple and clean. Load time can be affected for multitude of reasons, but your website design shouldn’t be one of them. When dealing with different Wi-Fi signals and data programs, the last thing you want is for your customer to finally acquire a strong signal and then your website’s load time is too slow for their attention span. Check the load time of your website and make sure it is loading under five seconds. That may seem rather quick, but, in the rapid paced world of the millennial, even a half second delay is a delay too long, and just another reason to click away. Fifty-three percent of people click away because of slow load times, according to Google. This is an easy thing to check; plenty of tools, such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights, exist to assist you.
Incorporating an online unit reservation option on the mobile site and payment portal that is easily seen is vital for obtaining and retaining millennials. Allowing them to easily reserve without having to call is another convenience. Millennials love to multitask, so having the option to finish a task, such as reserving a storage unit, without having to set aside time to call and speak to someone can make a once deliberative decision turn into a quick click of the buy-now button. You should also have your phone number easily visible and clickable so they can call you with a simple tap of the finger.
This brings into consideration the use of online ads within your marketing endeavors. You can make sure that you are paying for mobile ads with your online campaigns. Google reports that 87 percent of clicks received from the mobile ads are all new. Customers who clicked on a mobile ad are also 57 percent more likely visit your business in person, and 47 percent more likely to contact you. So, when planning your digital marketing, making ads specifically for mobile devices, that are simple and to the point, can be a great investment.
Location-based ads can be especially affective for the mobile users. These allow you to pick a certain radius from your business location so that you are getting in front of all the customers closest too your facility. This is an important advertising option to take advantage of when many mobile users are making use of the words “near me” at the end of their searches.
Overall, the millennial consumer is constantly on the go; reaching them through their smartphone is the best way to make sure your business is visible and easily accessible to the largest segment of the consumer population.