For the last few years, if someone were to ask you what the key to success in small business was, you would have responded that marketing yourself online was the most important marketing tool for generating local foot-traffic and renewed revenue. After all, eCommerce levels are expected to eclipse $1.5 trillion globally by the end of 2014. However, you need to consider who is contributing to that huge growth. Is it just traditional web surfers, or are mobile users, the fastest growing marketing demographic, playing a key role? With over 50% of people using their favorite mobile devices to search for locally available goods and services online, the answer should be quite clear: mobile marketing is the key to any small business that wants to generate local traffic and succeed in 2014. Let's Look at the Numbers Depending on your industry, using mobile will have different effects. All of them, however, will be positive. For example, if you work in the restaurant industry, optimizing your website for mobile users puts you in the top 5% of all restaurants. Quite simply, 95% of restaurants don't take the time to optimize their web marketing pages for their mobile users. Further, since 62% of consumers are more likely to patronize a restaurant that offers its menu on a mobile optimized website, the financial benefits of focusing on mobile in this industry are huge. Of course, the benefits of mobile optimization aren't limited to any one specific industry. In general, statistics show that mobile commerce (mCommerce) is going up across all forms of business. By 2017, mCommerce in the U.S. is expected to explode beyond the $113 billion per year mark, still trailing behind overall eCommerce levels but marking a paradigm shift in the way consumers are doing business overall. Quick Tips for Improving Your Mobile Marketing in a Hurry Having said all that, you need to realize that harnessing the increased potential of mobile users and their pocketbooks isn't something that comes from resting on your laurels and hoping for the best. You need to actively pursue mobile marketing optimization if you want to succeed this year. Use Your Website to Offer Great Content As with traditional SEO, generating local traffic from search engines is all about creating smart content. By creating well written, informative content, you can build links, have your content shared across social media, and watch as your webpage climbs through Google search result rankings. Taking advantage of smart link building and social signals through content marketing has always been essential, but with the increase in mobile users, it's much more important than before. Stop Building Separate Web Pages Before the advent of responsive web design, you had no choice but to build two separate versions of your webpage. The first version was for the general population. Not only was it designed to look better, but more often than not, it was a lot easier to find and navigate through. The second version was a bare-bones mobile site. Using responsive web design, you can build one website that works across all platforms. This is essential for a number of reasons: firstly, you don't have to worry about your mobile site being seen as a source of duplicate content, a big no-no for staying in Google's good graces. Further, it's far easier to manage a single website that can be accessed from a mobile device as easily as a desktop, and it's much cheaper. Being more cognizant of your mobile users and refocusing your online marketing model to suit them is essential to your success going forward, but that shouldn't be read to mean that it needs to be difficult. Responsive web design and the production of great content, coupled with the usual list of effective web marketing tools, can help you tap into this increasingly mobile world.
A question that in not simple to answer - “Why do I have web project?” and of course there can be different answers. This article is inspired by poll prepared by Net Magazine, though at WebmaisterPro – social network for webmasters, we are running a similar poll (to participate in the poll, click here). This article lead to ask myself so many questions and I've decided to give few tips for any possible case scenario. I personally believe that everybody should thing in the same direction to build a successful web project, no matter it is blog, application, e-commerce websites or even a social network. Possibilities and possible scenarios are many and first depends on expertise in particular field, knowledge about SEO and web development, business skill set, hobby, previous work and of course financial situation. Scenario One – Business Website You are a business owner and try to build strong presence online, probably trying to expand market. Having a website, app or company blog is one of the most important steps for every business nowadays. Tip: Push it as hard as you can, hire a team of experts, lead by energetic team leader. The best, but most expensive is to hire in-house team and supervise the whole process. Scenario Two – Career Advancement Your side web project is related to your work, you think that company you are working for do things the wrong way and your voice remain voice unheard. You are planning one day to quit your job and build strong online business from your side project. You own a blog related to your work You try to grab part of market in secret from your boss You own a store with blog and have developed mobile/social media applications You are tired from your full-time job and need a change Tip: Don't leave your job on the first few sales. Making money online is easy, but making living from web project is difficult. Research, ask, keep low profile as long as it's needed. Try to leverage and ask your boss about potential partnership. Scenario Three – Learning New Skills You are a student or you are looking for career change. This is a good way to start making money on your own with nearly zero investment. Probably out of job and have already fallen into scam related to make easy money online. Tip:Be sure that you are always on the right track. 90% of online information can be misleading, so be sure how you select your sources of information. Don't jump into conclusion quickly, common sense is your best friend, try to disprove everything. Don't hesitate to try everything, learn from mistakes. Scenario Four – I want to use this project for personal needs Rare case scenario, but probably the most successful one – you have unique idea, you have committed extensive search and there is nothing similar to your idea. One of a kind project that you find very useful for many individuals and businesses, as well as for your personal use. Tip: Spend some time on planning, look into every aspect, lack of competition, doesn't mean that project will be successful. Seek help and try to raise funds, your idea might turn big! Scenario Five – I need extra cash In most cases, side project and you expect to make money from it. Have necessary skills or you are simply running a blog giving your own point of view on interesting topics. Tip: Your goal is to make money, find how much you want to make, discover how to make it and be sure that you like the niche. If you want to make money online (good money), blogging is not the best option. Whatever scenario you are into – planning, setting up achievable goals and keeping up with latest trends is critical. There aren't any secrets of online project success, it all rely on hard work and knowledge.