Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Big Mistake I Made: Laptops vs. Mobile Devices

Over 50% of all searches are done on mobile devices.

I’ve been hearing and reading that statistic for a while.  In fact, I’ve provided that fact many times in my talks during the past year.

Yet, I’ve largely ignored it…at least in some ways.

I’ve been trying to help a friend of mine improve his search result rankings on Google, and while I was working with him and some of his customers, I noticed a few things.

Frankly, I’m embarrassed that I’m just now noticing this.

As embarrassing as this is for me, I bet that I’m not the only one making this mistake.  (I might be the only one to ADMIT it, but…)

For those of you who want to learn a lesson without “outing” yourself, read on…

In a nutshell, we need to ask ourselves three (3) main questions:

-How are people going to find us (online)?
-Once they find us (using that method), what will they see?
-Once they get there, how easy is it for them to more around it?

I forgot to ask myself the second question.

Most of the time, I use a laptop.  I have a mobile device, but I spend a lot more time using my laptop than I do my mobile device.  However, that is NOT true for everyone.

What do most people use? Their mobile device.

I’ve always been able to answer THAT question correctly, but I forgot to answer my 2nd question, “Once they find us (using a mobile device), what do they see?”

Wow!  That IS different!!!

What people see on their mobile devices resemble very little of what I see on my laptop.  Before trying to help my buddy with his business, I never looked at websites on my mobile…certainly not websites I “knew” really well.

This even includes well-known websites, like Yelp.

For instance, my buddy needs more Yelp reviews for his business.  He (legitimately) does good work, and many people really like what he does.  However, he doesn’t have any reviews of his business on Yelp.

Therefore, I suggested that he encourage his most excited customers to leave reviews for him on Yelp.

Using my laptop, using Yelp is a piece of cake.  Create an account there, and you can leave reviews.

However, on mobile phones, you need to download an app…first…even before you can think about leaving a review.  Not everyone is very interested in downloading an app onto their mobile devices.  Some people don’t have any problem with it, but that certainly does not involve everyone.

Essentially, all of his customers complained that “it’s too hard” to leave him a review.  Whether they’re being lazy, it does not matter.  We need help from them, but we have not made it easy enough for them.

When we plan any online marketing strategy, we need to make sure that we understand how our site will look on PCs, laptops, and mobile devices.  There is NO guarantee that it will look the same.  In fact, there is a good chance it won’t.

Not only might the website LOOK differently, but it also might NAVIGATE differently.  So people might not be able to see everything you think they can, and they might be able to move to the places you want.

My Recent Learning Lesson: We need to test websites on mobile and non-mobile devices. We need to visit them and use them to see what other people are experiencing.

You might be surprised about what you learn.  Your customers will find it if you don’t, and you might not even know it.

Author Comment: I’m not writing this for the people that “already knew.”  I wrote this for the people who don’t yet realize.

Hopefully, I’m saving everyone from too much more frustration.

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