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Crafting an effective mobile strategy – and how important it is?

mobile applications

Read it sometimes ago in one of the studies by Gartner that “Website design that is not formatted for a smaller screen will become a market barrier…” It’s been some years now that the mobile applications have made a prominent place for them in the market.

When marketing a business, it’s wise to include social media, paid search, review sites and, most pertinently, mobile. Mobile marketing strategies are gaining momentum due to the ever increasing use of mobile devices by consumers. These days more than half of the internet browsing is done on the mobile devices. Hence, it is absolutely important to have a website and that too the one that’s optimized for mobile use or even a mobile applications.

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The time is changing tremendously and we have already left behind the time when it wasn’t clear why it is important for our business to be mobile and how it can change the functioning of the business in various ways. Today everyone understands and is quickly adapting to the demand of the changing times. By now most of the companies have already gone ahead with having their initial mobile applications and others are gearing up to have one. However, out of the ones who have already experimented with the apps later realized that they have chosen to have a mobile application without having properly strategizing for it and those who have some strategy in place do not know yet how effective it proved for their business.

Therefore, as it is a need of the hour to have the mobile web and mobile applications it is equally important for them to craft and effective strategy beforehand.

It is critical to understand well in advance as how to build and effective strategy? Here are some tips for you:

  1. Just having an app is not effective: More than 20% mobile applications in the mobile market are never downloaded and this clearly says that just having an app is not enough. For getting into the perfect grove of getting an effective app that gets you some ROI is to understand well in advance the consumer behavior and how? what? Do they do to get the information about your business? Most likely consumers resort to checking out your website either on the web-browser or now on mobile webs. So, first step here is to have a responsive design of a website (Our another post on responsive design)

    It’s critical to understand that these days customers to have set standards In terms of what they expect out of what a mobile website does and provides as compared to their desktop counterparts. Once all this is on track we can get to see impressive conversion rates from out targeted mobile audience.

  2. Understand the ROI: People these days are using mobile devices to browse the net, connect to social media, shop unparallel and this is only slated to grow more from here. One of the tips to consider while strategizing is to know how the competitors are doing in this regard. What kind of mobile applications do they have, how good their responsive website is. This can give you the insight as to what is there in the market already and what you need to do to stay ahead in the competition.

  3. Understanding mobile marketing tricks: Mobile web is not just about the mobile applications and the responsive websites but it can do lot more than that. So, it is imperative to understand what tools and tactics you can choose to promote your business. One such is to know completely of various sources compatible with various hand-held devices that customer make use of. Another is directing the potential customers to your landing page; hence it is equally important to make use of mobile optimized landing page in an effective way so that the conversion rates get high.

  4. Right technology: The most critical part of mobile strategy is to zero down on the right approach for building apps. Developing a mobile app is extremely different from developing for web or desktop. There are countless options available for creating mobile applications; however, it depends on requirement to requirement due to cost involved at various stages of its lifecycle. The effective way is to find out the total cost of ownership of that app for various development options that you have zeroed upon. This will include comparing the software, implementation, expected maintenance after the delivery, security, support and service agreements etc.mobile applications

Considering all the above and some more can help you stay focused and craft an effective mobile strategy for your business. Going forward you can let us know if you already have a strategy in place for mobile applications or are looking to have one. We would be delighted to help you in any way we can.

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Website’s responsive design with Search Engine Optimization

search engine optimization

With the ever increasing rate of usage of the Smartphones, it has become critical part of website design and development to make a website that is responsive. With Responsive website, I mean here is that design that detects the device and adjusts the layout accordingly. As the screen size gets smaller, the page may show fewer images, less text, or a simplified navigation. It is a perfect example of ‘one-size fits all’. This works great for smartphones, tablets, laptops, huge monitors, and even for the dashboard of your car.

With the drastic growth in the mobile usage, it is projected that the number of mobile devices will exceed the world’s population in the near future. There are 6.8 billion mobile phones used by more than 7 billion people already. Countries such as US, Brazil, Germany, Philippines, Iran and many have already more mobile devices than their population. (Source: Wikipedia)

That radical growth opens up a huge opportunity for retailers and other businesses to make them available to the mobile users on the go. These days people are using their smartphones for very purpose, from making a call to sending a text, social networking and doing every type of possible searches on the mobile web. The mobile search is big and is going to continue getting bigger. To take advantage of this technology it is important that your business possess a responsive website design that can be viewed perfectly on any hand held device.

Now, more than ever, it gets essential that users while searching on the mobile for a product related to yours are able to find your site with ease. Here is where Search engine optimization comes into play. When the search is made, the search engine spiders patrol the web and digs out the most relevant and best-equipped site as a result to answer the mobile user’s query.

Search Engine Optimization

Hopefully, by now you must have agreed to that ‘Mobile optimization and SEO go hand-in-hand’ and must have given you a fair idea of what responsive websites are and how they can help you in your business. Now, let’s talk about various ways to better mobile search engine optimization.

  1. Make it on the go: You should optimize your website for the user’s hand held devices. These devices usually come in numerous shapes and sizes. Websites designed for desktop typically do not execute well on hand-held devices, unless they have been made responsive. Moreover, you can provide mobile and desktop users with either the same URL (responsive design or dynamic serving) or different URLs (mobile-specific pages)
  1. Information rich: Create a relevant, information-rich website, and include pages with rich content. Pnder over some keywords that user’s would type to search your pages, and include those keywords in the website content wisely. The more relevant, compelling and regularly updated the content, the more frequently people and spiders will visit, and the more readily it will be recommended, by linking from other sites and social media. Instead of using images, use text to display important content or links. If you must use images for textual content, consider using the “ALT” attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.
  1. Use the unique capabilities of mobile devices: These days mobile devices comes with very distinct features, playing to the advantages of mobile devices will improve the mobile experience and thus improve SEO. There are some functions that do not exist for desktop such as SMS, camera, GPS, voice etc.Because of this mobile-optimized site is usually a different Website from the desktop site. There are so many such distinct features that are widely used across the globe by retailers. These are:
  • Barcode Scanner
  • Click to caller
  • Mobile/promotional coupons usually sent through sms
  • Store locator – Mobile’s GPS is coupled with mobile mapping for this feature can guide the visitor straight into your store.
  1. Local mobile searches: More than anything else, locality is of prime importance to Mobile searchers. The Our Mobile Planet survey (Ipsos and Google, May 2013) found that 94 percent of smartphone users had conducted a search for local information and 84 percent had taken action as a result. Another survey Mobile Search Moments (Nielsen and Google, March 2013) found that 63 percent of people who take action following a mobile search do so within an hour, 84 percent do so within five hours.
  1. Social Networks: These days’ Social networks have an undeniable fancy influence on all search engine discoverability; maximum users today access social networks from mobile devices. For example, 874 million or 74 percent of Facebook’s monthly users worldwide are mobile, according to Facebook’s Q3 earnings.
  1. Quick Mobile sites: Sadly the typical mobile page takes more than seven seconds to load. However, according to the new speed guidelines from Google says that ‘above the fold’ content should take less than 1 second to load. For the SEO purpose slow loading pages are not recommended and they can attract penalty from Google.
  1. Content should be visible and no hidden inside the apps: Web search engines can’t search in-app content. Using “app store optimization” and mobile advertising, you can make your ap more discoverable within mobile app stores.

In the near future, the traffic from mobile devices will outshine traffic from desktop devices. Still there is enough time to make your web presence felt across devices and ring the SEO and content marketing bell to ensure maximum reach.

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The dying mobile browsers… Really?

mobile applications

The app analytics provider Flurry, sometimes back released a data declaring the growing use of the apps on smart phones and slow death of the mobile browsers. According to the data released, the company states that users are spending way too much time on mobile devices, approximately 2 hours and 42 minutes per day, as compared to 2 hours, 38 minutes the previous year. The mobile app usage accounts for 5 minutes less than the total time spent that is 2 hours 19 minutes. On the other hand the mobile browser usage has declined from 20% to only 14%.

Dying mobile browsers

This clearly indicates that the users today are more inclined towards using the apps and not the browser on their devices. Flurry gather’s its data from a huge network of 450,000 mobile applications installed worldwide which testifies that apps continue to dominate the mobile browser.

Another strange revelation is that how a single company’s single application keeps the user engaged maximum time out of the total time spent on the device for example American’s spend 18% of all the time spend on their devices is utilized browsing Facebook application, which cuts the sorry figure for all the other social networking apps available in the sea of apps.

Facebook, collectively with Twitter (1.5%) and Social Messaging apps (9.5%) risen to 28% of time spent on mobile, slightly up from 24% last year, signifying the broader move from socializing on Facebook to sharing within smaller, more personal messaging apps.

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“We believe that with consumers continuing to try so many new apps, the app market is still in early stages and there remains room for innovation as well as breakthrough new applications,” Flurry says.

With this can we say that the mobile browsers are dear already?

Not essentially, if we dig a little deeper into this data the conclusion changes. If we combine all the usage for apps in the utility, productivity, news & other categories we get 18% – just a bit higher than the 14% for mobile browsers. That makes it approximately a 50/50 show. Considering another data released by Google sometimes back that states 60% of apps downloaded from Google play aren’t installed and 80% of those were only used once before being deleted, I’d say Web apps (over native apps) are still the way to go for companies that provide a real service to consumers or businesses.

iOS and Android: the race is heating up

The mobile platform war is heating up. But who is winning? It is among the favorite topics of discussion or blogging these days. Even a small new chunk of tech evolution attracts a storm of internet space.

Time and again, the researchers will come up declaring that Android is beating iOS or that iOS is beating Android. I was reading through an article two days back which stated that Apple lost its battle to Android.

According to that article Android usage is now higher than iOS, Apple’s iPhone and iPad. The latest data from Net Applications (via 9to5Mac) accounts for the same. The Web traffic to Android is much higher than iOS, first time ever. This clearly depicts and ascertains that consumers are using more of Android applications than the iOS. How is it going to affect Apple in the years to come? The race is heating up. Android has been gearing up since a long time to win this competition. However, it wasn’t affecting much to Apple but now the game is changing.

Another story the other day declared that Android grabbed 85 per cent of Smartphone market, threatening to marginalize rival platforms. Also, the overall Smartphone shipments were up 27 percent from a year ago to 295 million, where the growth was seen the most for devices with Android platform.

Also, Apple’s global market share fell to 11.9 percent from 13.4 percent a year ago. Android is consistently proving itself to be a game changer. It’s easy to use applications and inexpensive services are extremely appealing to the consumer’s worldwide, thus gaining popularity.

Despite of all this chaos in the global markets for Apple, it is still going sturdy. It has hundreds of millions of users. The iPhone business is nowhere losing its shine with the majority of the consumers. So, we can conclude that it is just the not so favorable phase Apple is witnessing.

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Mobile apps