This past week, I attended SMX East in New York. Gary Illyes, a webmaster trends analyst and search quality engineer at Google, spoke about the importance of making your website mobile-ready. By mobile-ready, he means that your content is accessible, legible, and usable by visitors on any mobile device.
All the way back in 2007, when I was just getting Blue Corona off the ground, marketers were preaching the importance and impact mobile would have on the advertising landscape. Every year was predicted to be “the year of mobile.” Year after year passed and the only thing that appeared to change was that business owners developed a sense of deafness to the topic.
That’s the problem with hyping the next big thing—it has the potential to become one of Aesop’s fables (“The Boy Who Cried Wolf”).
Well, sometime in 2012 or 2013, we actually entered the era of mobile—yet many businesses are still asleep at the wheel.
This morning, I was scrolling through Twitter when I was presented with this promoted post (ad):
That’s a pretty cool looking house, I thought to myself. I clicked “Read more” and was taken to Blu Home’s website:
Now, I’m sure this website looks awesome on a desktop device or an iPad, but on a mobile phone most of the text is completely illegible, you’ve got to scroll side to side to see some of it, and some of the sub-pages of the site don’t load properly:
You might say that Blu Homes isn’t worried too much about visitors from smartphones. But if that’s the case, why are they promoting their business on Twitter—a site where more than 75 percent of its more than 200 million monthly active users access the site via mobile devices??
Every time I hear a business owner say that XYZ form of digital advertising is a waste of money, I cite examples like the one above. If you’re going to pay for advertising, make sure you personally examine each step of the journey a prospect goes through in order to become a customer or client.
Compare the screenshots above with Twitter’s own promoted posts and landing pages:
I don’t know that “growing your follower base on Twitter” is the best call to action for small business owners, but let’s see if Twitter is mobile-ready:
Uh oh … it’s been more than three seconds and the page is still loading. Normally, I would have clicked “back,” but given my intention to write this post, I sat patiently waiting for the page to load.
Once it did, I was delighted to find this:
And this …
Now THESE are great mobile landing pages! No side-to-side scrolling, a mobile-friendly navigation, large and legible fonts, etc.
Thoughts & Takeaways
Getting your website and your digital advertising to display properly on tablets and smartphones is only the tip of the iceberg. By the holidays, you’ll have to think about how your site looks and functions on a variety of technology-enabled watches, in-car displays, Google Glass, and much more.
At Blue Corona, we’ve been talking about the importance of mobile and mobile marketing for quite some time. We know exactly what must be done with respect to mobile, but embarrassingly, we haven’t always done it.
That changes right now.
Making sure our site and our clients’ sites are mobile-ready is going to be one of my top priorities in Q4 and moving forward. At every opportunity, I’m going to educate clients and prospects about the importance of mobile. I’m going to use analytics and data to demonstrate the financial potential and impact of getting it right. I’m going to promote the forward-thinking companies that get it right and shine a spotlight on those asleep at the wheel.
The mobile era is finally here, and based on what I’m seeing in the marketplace, there’s an enormous opportunity for companies that take action now.