As smartphone usage has grown, mobile marketing has become crucial for business success.

By Roy Rasmussen

Four out of 10 online transactions are now made from mobile devices, Google Analytics data shows. Nearly half of consumes prefer to use smartphones for the entire shopping process, according to Google’s research. Smartphones will account for one-third of total U.S. retail sales in 2018, Forrester projects.

These trends make having an effective mobile marketing strategy essential for running a competitive company. Here are four keys to succeeding in a mobile-oriented market.

Use a Mobile-first Web Design

The foundation for an effective mobile strategy is using a mobile-first web design. A mobile-first strategy bases your web design on how your site looks to users on smartphone-sized screens, so that your site’s default look is geared toward smartphones, and users on larger devices such as desktops and laptops see a modified version of your basic site. This is the opposite of the traditional strategy that uses a default look geared toward desktops and a modified look for other users. Taking the traditional approach tends to make images and text look cramped on mobile screens, whereas a mobile-first strategy is that your site looks and responds in a way that makes it more appealing to smartphone users.

A key to a mobile-first website is using a responsive web design. Responsive web designs that use HTML frameworks allow you to organize your content in grids, so that you can choose how large each grid section displays on differently sized devices, or even hide some sections for certain devices. Web developer site W3Schools provides some responsive web design templates you or your webmaster can use to create a suitable design.

Make Your Site Fast-loading

In addition to a responsively-sized presentation, a web design also needs a number of other features to be mobile friendly. One of the most important requirements for usability is that your site should load quickly on mobile devices. The average mobile web page takes 22 seconds to load, but 53 percent of visitors will leave after 3 seconds, whereas bounce rates drop 32 percent if you site loads faster than 3 seconds.

In order to be competitive, you should strive to make sure your site loads in 3 seconds or less. Google provides an online mobile-friendly test tool to help you optimize your site loading speed and other aspects of your site design.

Use Appropriate Digital Images

In order to make your site load quickly, one thing you need to do is select images that are designed for fast downloading. For instance, your logo design should be an image size that loads rapidly for mobile users, as well as a format that displays well online. Using file compression and loading on demand (lazy loading) can also help make your images more mobile-friendly.

Vector formats such as SVG are ideal for images consisting of simple shapes such as logos, while detailed images such as photos are better rendered in raster formats such as JPEG, although PNG can also be used for logos. How your logo and images look on other online platforms besides your website should also be taken into consideration. Digital logo provider FlashMarks provides tips on optimizing your company logo design for social media.

Prioritize Mobile Marketing

Succeeding in a mobile environment requires prioritizing mobile marketing strategies. The first step toward effective mobile marketing is optimizing your web and social media landing pages for mobile, says the Digital Marketing Institute. Use mobile analytics tools, such as social media analytics, to find the ideal target audience for your landing pages. Then use mobile-oriented content to drive traffic to your landing pages. Once you’ve captured contact information, follow up with tactics such as email marketing, text messaging, and personalized ads to increase your conversion rate.

When using mobile content to drive traffic to your landing pages, video content should be one of the major tools in your arsenal. Companies that use video marketing generate 41 percent more organic traffic, according to Adelie Studios. Home pages with videos enjoy 20 percent higher conversion rates, while conversion rates for landing pages with videos increase 80 percent.

A mobile-first web design with fast-loading pages and properly-designed images will make your site more engaging to smartphone users. Mobile marketing tactics such as video marketing to drive traffic to landing pages will help you attract more smartphone users to your site. Applying these keys will help your business attract more mobile customers, engage more users, convert more sales, and earn more profit.

Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance writer who helps select clients write quality content to reach business and technology audiences. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies and bestselling authors. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.

Mobile stock photo by ImYanis/Shutterstock