The Mobile Web Is Here – Is Your Business Ready?

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The history of today’s internet is awash with the corpses of the previous generation of machines, software and even companies and corporations that have failed to adapt to the changing face of the web.

Once again the fortunes of businesses large and small is being tested, by technological changes in the landscape brought about by the emergence of the mobile web. Today’s smartphone technology is changing the way people interact online, and that is affecting the commercial processes that businesses rely on for profit. Which inevitably leads to fundamental changes to the way business is done online.

The Mobile web is here, and consumers are flocking to make use of the newest brightest and most functional web ever created. The consumer is Mobile and they are searching for businesses smart enough to take notice and to react to the changes, providing products and service where people want them delivered.

The web today is a very “On demand” service and today’s small businesses have to be ready and able to serve their customer base on every platform that is available and used by their clients and customers. Mobile is one of these developing platforms.

Wayne Gretzky famously said of his hockey skills ” I go to where the puck is going not where its been”.

That’s a lesson for today’s small business especially in these times of global austerity, where every customer counts. Businesses have to be everywhere that their customers are and what better place than right on their smartphone, which is one device that goes everywhere the customer goes.

Google has had a mobile vision of the web for a considerable time, in fact as far back as 1999 when it was discussing innovations that would eventually allow a truly interactive portable internet experience. It has taken the last 13 or so years to move the technology forward enough to be in a position to make formal plans for adapting the new mobile platforms for commercial purposes. That day has arrived and Google has spent considerable time, money and resources to ensure that its leading the pack in terms of monetizing the this new and exciting mobile platform.

This is no surprise when consideration is given to the fact that Google basically decides who reaches the top of the search engines and is therefore instrumental in the success or failure of any business that operates online.

This leads to the changes that Google has made in the whole search engine algorithm used to determine search relevance, and the weight given to certain aspects of a web based business profile online. The changes might surprise you.

Not every business has or needs a global reach.

Google has refocused search from a Global perspective to a local one, forcing companies to adjust their online strategy’s to encompass local marketing and to adapt their own focus onto markets closer to home. This makes more sense for a small business, because research has shown that in most cases, customers search locally for companies and businesses that are generally within 5 to 8 kilometers from their home.

As such Google has rewarded companies that have adapted for the local/mobile web with an increased visibility for companies and organisations that have claimed their Google listings page via Google Places especially those optimised with images, videos and online reviews. If the business has a Mobile site that is set up in the preferred way, according to the emerging industry standards then even more weight is applied to that business and they rise further up the search chain. So clearly Google is telling businesses how to get on the first page of the search listings, but not every business is listening.

The Mobile web concept gives Google a whole new ad platform to attract new advertisers and to help retain old clients and this platform is always on and its always connected.

Clearly Google wants to be able to maximise revenue streams from these locally focused mobile enhanced companies by developing advertising for the mobile web using its mobile advertising division called Admob.

The recent purchase of Motorola Mobility coupled with the Android operating system has positioned the mobile market at the forefront of the advertising markets and this is helping to drive the changes towards a truly mobile web experience. Google is gambling its future on the hope that as the mobile web grows, so will the numbers of consumers who use it.

The mobile web is in its infancy as we begin 2012, and over the course of the next couple of years traditional websites will still be created and maintained, but the growth will be in the development of mobile sites and mobile applications.

Companies that adopt a mobile presence either by a Mobile App or an optimised Mobile Website will reap the benefits of being market leaders and will be best positioned to build their brand and grow their local market share ahead of the mobile wave.

The question most businesses have to face is not so much IF but WHEN they jump on the Mobile web. The consumer is already there looking your business, So are you mobile ready?

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