Mobile technologies are fundamentally changing consumer behavior. Research shows that if your clients aren't already accessing your website or appointment-booking platform via a mobile device, they soon will be. According to The Nielsen Company and the Pew Research Center, more than 105 million people in the U.S. surf the Web via their smartphones.
To remain relevant to this mobile clientele, your online presence needs to work on a mobile platform. It's a safe bet that any mobile traffic coming to your website now will increase as smartphones and tablets become even more prevalent and robust. Google Analytics will give you an idea of your current mobile traffic by showing you how many people already visit your website using mobile devices. To catch up and keep up with this growing demand, upgrade your online presence.
Your Online Presence
Your mobile presence is similar to your online presence. You want to be where people can find you when they search for you—in this case, on their mobile devices. Consider how your future clients might search for your services. They'll likely use their mobile devices to track daily deals related to massage, check out online reviews of spas and therapists, and search for massage services. Will they find you?
Deal sites like Groupon and Living Social send daily deals straight to consumers' phones. If you haven't already experimented with offering a deal via these sites, Groupon Now adds mobile to the mix by geo-targeting your deal to a consumer's location.
Review sites like Yelp and CitySearch are mobile favorites for anyone seeking feedback on the value of a specific service or business. Update your business listing on these sites with visuals, videos, contact information and introductory offers. Be sure to monitor reviews often to see what's working and where you can improve.
Consumers also search for services via directory sites like SpaFinder or specific "finder" mobile apps. To ensure your business is listed, visit the directory or app's website. There will likely be a section detailing how to add your business.
Mobile consumers may discover you via other sources, but those sources are likely to send them straight to your website for more information. One of the most important things you can do to convert interested browsers into actual clients is to make sure your website doesn't drive them away with a clunky design that's impossible to navigate on a mobile device.
Be sure to take a look at your website on a smartphone and tablet. If you need to zoom and scan continuously to read everything, it's time for a content overhaul. Streamline your homepage to work with mobile devices. Make sure your navigation is simple, easy and visible. Only include images that enhance, not frustrate, the user's experience.
Also be sure to search for your own services via a mobile device. Does your website show up relatively high and on the first page in search results? If not, update your website content further to include words and phrases people are likely to use when searching for your services. Check your website's Google Analytics for a list of top keywords currently used in searches that drive traffic to your website.
Your clients aren't the only ones on the go these days. Consider whether your business needs to be more accessible to your own mobile lifestyle. Would you like to access your business data at any time, from anywhere or take payments on the go? There are several mobile business-management options available to you: mobile apps that turn your phone into a credit card swiper; devices that process payments directly from a client's mobile device; and cloud-based business-management software that gives you 24/7 mobile access to your business metrics and administrative tasks.
There's no doubt being mobile is a hot trend. In fact, you may be tempted to create your own mobile app to stay current. Before you take that leap, update your mobile presence. Next, consider your clients' needs and how—or if—they can be addressed with a mobile app. You'll then be able to determine if you want to create one from scratch or if one already exists that can be customized to your needs. Whichever path you choose, listening to your clients' needs is sure to lead you in the best direction for your business.