The world of SEO and online businesses is continuously changing. The practices of yesterday can no longer be applied for two simple reasons: the modern man has also evolved, and thus his needs have significantly changed. Secondly, the constant evolution in of technology has made it possible for us to use smart-phones and other devices to their full potential. As a matter of fact, people are no longer interested in laptops and desktops the same way they were a few years ago. Handheld devices are winning ground, and it is actually predicted that by the time that we enter the year 2017, tablets and smart-phones will surpass desktops in terms of sales.
According to recent statistics, in the year 2000, only 44% of adults were using mobile devices. By the time we entered 2012, 88% of the adult population (as well as teenagers and children), had mobile phones, and approximately 50% of them had access to the internet. Although I do not approve of certain things that people do on their smart-phones, I can’t deny the strong hold that they have on us. Nowadays, people use smart-phones to socialize, find information, purchase stuff and many more.
The concept of internet marketing has also changed. If in the beginning it was possible for retailers to market their products with the help of banners and ads, this is no longer possible. (The reason? Banners are extremely annoying, they affect the site loading speed, and although some sites still use them, they are not so efficient). Nowadays, reviews and social media comments are what determine whether or not a person will purchase a product or not.
For the considerations mentioned above, and many others, it is easy to understand how different practices were born. One of them is SoLoMo. SoLoMo stands for Social Local Mobile. In order to better understand how these things work, let’s take every aspect into consideration, and find ways that your online business can apply them successfully.
Human beings have felt the need to communicate and socialize from the very beginning of time. It is true that at first the attempts to communicate were rather primitive, but as time went by, we have developed new ways to make it happen. As a matter of fact, if it were not for the inventor of the first electric telephone, we might have never been blessed with smartphones and laptops today. Anyway, we can safely say that the social aspect is an extremely important one in our lives, now more than ever.
The internet has made it possible for people to keep in touch even if they are millions of miles away. We can share live images with friends that are separated by oceans. Furthermore, social media platforms like Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter, which have millions of followers, are excellent mediums for people who want to share their stories, experiences and photos. One might say that we are actually so addicted to these networks that we forget how to socialize in real life.
Ok great, but how can this help my business? That’s easy! By creating a social media profile for your business, and sharing useful, interesting or insightful information you will be able to create your own followers, and who knows, you might even get some brand evangelists. The whole idea is to make yourself heard online, and surpass your brick and mortar status. Obviously, you should try not to make it all about yourself, and focus on how you can benefit your customer. Social media reviews, customer service and many other things will definitely increase your online credibility.
It has been proven that alternative types of content have the power to attract and enthrall visitors. In addition to this, considering that most people are online most of the time (even when they are on the move), it can be very useful for them to find information they need, exactly when they need it.
Let’s imagine that your potential customer is walking around your company’s headquarters, or your little shop, and he is checking Google Maps to find stuff that might interest him in the area. If you haven’t listed yourself on Google Maps (or other maps), you are invisible. He might never find what you have to offer. This is why it is essential to make yourself visible to others. This is not difficult, and it will definitely help you on the long run. Now try to imagine that you combine the social medium with the local one. Can you imagine how many opportunities you will find?
Here is a quick tutorial that will help you better utilize Google Maps: How to Create a “My Map” in Google Maps
I believe that, in a way, the previous points also proved the usefulness of having a mobile site. Most eCommerce pages and blogs don’t have a mobile version, and this will definitely anger a potential mobile visitor. The key to a successful mobile site is speed and navigability. If you do not optimize your site for mobile use, images will probably be out of scale and affect the loading speed, and this will lead to visitors leaving your site.
However, before you invest in such a version you should make sure that it will truly benefit you. In order to determine whether or not mobile visitors are checking out your pages, you should take a look at Google analytics (or other great analytics tool which can be found online). Once you have determined that people are actually visiting your site from their smart-phones you have to determine which type of design will work best with your site. There are two major choices in this case: a dedicated mobile page, or responsive design.
But what exactly is the difference between the two? First of all, the method of exporting data. A dedicated mobile site means that you have to code, and rewrite all the information again, while responsive design websites means that you are actually adjusting your desktop site to fit on multiple screens. In addition to this, responsive design doesn’t only optimize your page for a smart-phone.
It will make it fit on any type of screen, may it be tablet or desktop. Last but not least, responsive design means that you don’t have to change the address of your site (mobile sites require the “m” in front of the address). This means that you will have to invest once again in back-linking campaigns, and grow both of your page separately.
The obvious response you would be tempted to give is definitely responsive design. While I agree with this solution, you should keep in mind that responsive design is difficult to implement, and it might not be suitable for all types of sites.