I was recently interviewed by Tarryn Hunt of Empowering Business Mums and asked to give a few tips for her network on online marketing, particularly all the talk about mobile friendly websites.
You can listen to the full interview and read a copy of the transcript below.
Thank you to Tarryn for giving me the opportunity to share my ramblings. Tarryn is the founder of Empowering Business Mums, inspiring entrepreneurial mums by giving them the tools, coaching and support to achieve a balanced, productive and fulfilled family and work life. She offers online coaching and a Business Boosting Programme .
Here are the links mentioned in the interview:
And here’s the transcript….
Could you tell our listeners a little more about you, and what made you start your own business?
I come from a background working in multinational insurance and banking companies. I gained experience across many areas including client management, sales, marketing, project manager and ebusiness manager (before Google even existed if there ever was a day).
Having been in industry before the internet existed and seeing the dramatic impact it had on everything we do, I was always keen to get involved in website management and online marketing in its earliest form.
I left the corporate world after my second child and since then I’ve concentrated on internet marketing and website management in all its various guises, initially working in-house for a web development company and subsequently freelance.
I started my own business for 2 reasons – a work/life balance so I have the flexibility to be there for the kids (and do the taxi service!) and because I believe there is a gap in the market for small business online marketing. I think I bring a very personal touch – businesses don’t always want to use a bigger agency and in particular they like it when they outsource to someone who almost becomes an extra member of their team – if I work from their offices I really get to understand their operations and how they should market themselves online. And of course I deal with the start-ups and one man bands, giving an affordable flexible service.
Now my life is about working with businesses of all sizes to show them how they can attract their target audience through the internet.
We like to share top tips with our listeners, and the hot news in online marketing, seems to be all about whether your website, is optimized for mobile phones and tablets, can you tell us a little more about this?
Unless you’ve buried your head in the sand over the last few years, you’ll be well aware of the growth of the mobile device. You can’t go anywhere without someone getting out their latest smart phone or tablet to go online.
If you are a popular mobile surfer yourself, how frustrating do you find it to look at some sites on a smaller screen; the text is too small, the menu is hidden, you can’t navigate the page well? The site is not mobile friendly.
What does mobile friendly mean?
A page is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following criteria:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
- Uses text that is readable without zooming
- Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
The simplest way to ensure your site is mobile friendly is to have it built on a responsive web design platform. In essence this means a website that auto-adjusts to display properly on all devices. To quickly see what I mean by this, click on the right edge of your browser window and drag to the left, shrinking your page from full screen to an area the size of a smartphone. No matter how small you makes the display area, a website with a responsive design looks good and is easy to read. As the page changes shape, the images may adjust, the layout change or the number of columns change but importantly, the page should be clearly readable, whatever the screen size.
Not sure you site is mobile friendly, check it online at
So what if your site isn’t mobile friendly. Well firstly, you are frustrating your customers and potentially losing business. But not only will your customers stop using your site, Google will also tick you off.
On April 21, Google updated its search ranking algorithm to place more importance on mobile friendly website, nicknamed mobilegeddon
These early results suggest that Google’s mobile friendly update has had an impact, albeit not massive, with sites which are optimised for mobile benefitting, while pages which aren’t mobile friendly have fallen down the rankings.
Do you have any other top online marketing tips you’d be happy to share with us?
I’ve been talking about making sure your site is mobile friendly for the search engines but the real message here is think always of your customer first. The reason that google keeps going through so many updates is they are trying to improve user experience all the time. They want to serve up sites that are user friendly and answers the question that someone has typed into the search field.
So in summary:
- Focus on your customer rather than appealing to the search engines
- Be clear about what problems they have and how you can solve them.
- Use their language in your website keywords.
- Make your website structure clear and easy to use.
- Be social – reach out to people both online and offline. If you haven’t already, you should consider installing a social share plugin on your website and encouraging your site visitors to share as much as possible.
This isn’t rocket science and applies just as much to offline marketing as online.
What’s the first thing that our listeners should do if they would like a little more help with marketing themselves online?
Take stock of what they already do online – are they just on social media with no website or do they have a website.
Go back to basics and ask themselves if they need a website themselves or can they just rely on social media or having accounts on other sites. Think about where their customers hang out and where and how they need to be online to reach those customers. If they do need a website, should it be just a brochure style site that enhances their reputation or a bells and whistles website where they sell their products online.
Then ask themselves how much time, effort and money they want to spend to get themselves working better online. It can take a lot of time and be a money pit and there really isn’t a short cut to online marketing other than putting the effort in or paying someone to do it for you.
If they need help to assess whether their current website is working and adding value to their business, they can take my free internet marketing healthcheck – just visit internetmarketingnaturally.com and follow the link from the home page.
How can people reach you to stay connected?
I’m lucky to have such a unique name so if you google Yvette Mindel you’ll see my website, linkedin and twitter accounts. I also have an internetmarketingnaturally facebook page. You can sign up for my newsletters on my website contact page.