5 Tricks for Better Website Traffic

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Posted on in Inspiration

Increasing incoming traffic is the main concern of every website owner.
Even if your company website is very well-designed and has quality content, it will not be very beneficial to your business if it cannot draw a large number of visitors.
By attracting more people to your website, you can generate more interest in your products or services and make more sales.
Here are 5 tricks for better website traffic.

Constantly Add Fresh Content to Your Website

Constantly adding new content to your website is one of the most effective search engine optimization techniques.
Search engines assign higher rankings to websites that are constantly updated with fresh content. If your website is highly visible on search engines, it will draw a greater number of visitors.
Also, fresh content will make your visitors want to come back to your website, giving you a steady flow of traffic. Some of the types of content you can post on your website include blog posts, articles, new releases, product descriptions and others.

Promote Your Website on Social Media Networks

Social media marketing is another excellent way to drive traffic to your website.
Promoting your website on popular social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or LinkedIn enables you to reach out to potentially millions of people.
To generate interest in your website, you can share useful and engaging content with other users, announce sales, post coupons and even hold contests. The more popular you become on social media networks, the more traffic you will generate for your website.

Post Videos on Your Website

Websites that have videos tend to rank higher on search engines, and the click-through rate of videos is about 41 percent higher than that of plain text.
Posting videos on your website is also a great way to keep your visitors engaged.
Depending on the kind of products you are selling, you can post informational videos, how-to videos or even funny videos.

Offer Discounts and Freebies

Nothing quite draws the attention of consumers like freebies and discounts. Giving away freebies and discounts on your website can increase your incoming traffic and sales substantially.
You can also post coupon codes on social media networks or other websites to attract more customers.

Provide a Pleasant Experience for Your Visitors

Drawing high traffic is only half the job done. You also have to try to make your visitors spend enough time on your website and possibly purchase your products.
If your website is visually unappealing, difficult to navigate and slow-loading, it will most likely turn away your visitors.
On the other hand, if it is well-designed and fast-loading, it will provide a pleasant experience for your visitors. When your visitors are pleased with your website, there is a higher chance that they will become loyal visitors, and they may also recommend your website to their friends.

Building a successful company website requires constant effort.
If you follow the tips provided above, you could soon see a significant increase in your website traffic.

About the author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from online marketing to business management.

Is Your Website PR a Problem?

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Posted on in Inspiration

For years Google’s pagerank has been considered one of the top tools in determining how ‘good’ a web site is. But, is it really as important today as it was a few years ago? Some experts say no.

Google uses more than 200 different factors today to determine how a web site will show up in searches, pagerank is only one of them.

So, is page rank or PR really your web site’s problem if it isn’t getting the hits you want or need?

High PR

A high page rank isn’t really that important for your own site if you are generating good content.

A new site just starting out will likely have a PR of 0. This doesn’t mean that no one will link to you or share your content. In fact, your PR isn’t that important it is the PR of sites linking to you that counts. As you receive links from other sites with higher PR ranks your own rank will rise.

So what does this mean for your site? How do you get higher PR sites to link to your own?

This is a question that irks many website owners. They’re just not sure what to do to increase their incoming links. The answer to this question is usually the same for most sites. High quality content will bring in the links.

Quality Content

To ensure that high PR sites will link to you, your own site must have high quality content. This content can be educational articles, great videos, or well described products.

Educational doesn’t need to mean boring. Customers or readers are usually interested in learning something. So any high quality content that teaches someone something they weren’t aware of before can be educational.

Content can be written by you or you can hire someone to write it for you. Many content creation services exist, though you can also find a freelancer by placing an ad. It can be difficult to find the best writer, so as for links to their previous work.

Social Media

Using social networks can help increase your PR if you feel that it is a problem for your site.

Link to your site through social media accounts. Create accounts just for your site and interact with customers or fans often. It can take a lot of work to keep your social accounts active.

You can hire social networking pros to admin the accounts. Often these social media gurus are also freelance writers, so ask about a package deal. The social media expert will help increase your site’s PR by getting more people visiting and linking to your site. Social media can help your content go viral if the right bit of content hits the network at the right time.

Even though PR may not seem as important today as it was in the past, it can still help your site. As discussed, many factors need to be considered.

Work on all aspects of your site and the page rank will likely rise as your site matures.

About the Author: Tina Samuels writes on the ripoff report, small business marketing, social media, and home improvements.

What Will Push the World Towards Mobile Payments?

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Many consumers are still reluctant to adopt mobile payment technology despite the fact that retailers, banks, equipment manufacturers, and mobile network operators are providing more and more mobile payment options and encouraging their use. Today’s technology, such as QR codes, is making mobile payments easier but not enough customers are taking advantage of these advances just yet. What, then, will break consumers’ reluctance? What will push the world towards widespread use of mobile payments?

• Give customers incentives to use mobile payments.
Rewards and other incentives can encourage consumers to try and then become comfortable with this new technology. To try it is to love it.

• Ease customer security and privacy concerns.
More and more cell phone users are adopting smart phones that already have built-in mobile payment capability. But these consumers are reluctant to use this technology in large part because they’re concerned about privacy and security, despite the fact that mobile payments are just as convenient and secure, or in some cases more so, as other payment options such as credit cards or checks. Education is a key factor; more knowledgeable consumers will help push the world towards mobile payments.

• Inform customers that they can indeed use their mobile phones to make payments.
Although approximately 41percent of people in North America who use smart phones know that they can be used to make payments, 33 percent don’t even know that their smart phones can be used in that way, and 40 percent haven’t downloaded the applications needed. Ramping up the learning curve is paramount especially for so-called “baby boomers” that are comfortable with other aspects of smartphone technology.

• Increase the scope of mobile phone and mobile payment technology.
It’s one thing to make a store purchase or buy a cup of coffee with your smart phone, but what if you could fill up your car with gas, track purchase receipts, manage personal finances, and show your driver’s license and/or proof of insurance with your smart phone?
If consumers could use their mobile phones to pay for just about everything (and eventually truly everything), and at the same time, manage their finances, insurance documentation, and other aspects of their lives, no one would wonder about what will push the world toward mobile payments.

• Make mobile phone payment technology seamless across all platforms.
Mobile payment technology is in the early stage of adoption and integration into society as a whole. At the same time, consumers still worry about the brand of smart phone they have and even whether they’ve got service in some areas. Adopting mobile payments as the “preferred” method, easing consumers’ fears and expanding applications, requires that mobile network operators, equipment manufacturers, merchants, and banks team up to make the purchase process as reliable and as easy to track as other, older purchase methods such as credit cards or checks.


About the author:
Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a firm providing solutions to support mobile phone credit card processing for businesses and merchants. She has more than 15 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management & marketing and also serves on its Board of

Mobile Marketing Strategies for Big Brands

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Posted on in General, Inspiration
Mobile-Marketing-getting-started


Big brands have adopted mobile devices as an important strategy for communicating with customers and as a means for interacting with preferred products and services. It is easy to create an app and then forget about it, but big brands must maintain a concise, focused strategy to keep a target audience engaged and motivated. First and foremost, however, is ensuring that your brand has a mobile-friendly website. This is key since more people are now searching via their mobile phones instead of their desktop computers.
Marketing an app and a mobile-friendly website does not come with the same challenges as traditional marketing techniques and other online marketing strategies. The number of factors involved in the process can be overwhelming, even for big brands with large marketing teams. The following advice will help your particular brand implement strategies for successful mobile marketing. It is important not to get overwhelmed with all of these suggestions. Pick one or two factors that are most relevant for your big brand and build from there.

Mobile Marketing & Branding

• Have an app? Dedicate marketing resources for your app. Most big brands have already invested in mobile apps, but must move beyond marketing apps through traditional means. Apps require a dedicated budget and staff to generate revenue. It has been established that a marketing budget should dedicate 7 percent of its funds to mobile marketing. This number may increase as more people start using apps on a regular basis.

• Create marketing goals that are specific to your mobile effort. Mobile marketing necessitates new marketing goals along with tactics and strategies independent of other marketing goals. Goals with a mobile focus must move beyond standard metrics such as downloads and rank to track competition, both organic and loyal user acquisition, revenue, key performance indicators (i.e. in-app purchases, mobile site purchases, session lengths), geography, and velocity. Many big brands end up with primary goals for larger marketing initiatives and secondary goals for detail-oriented factors of specific campaigns.

• Use mobile media to market your mobile properties. Brands must devote a percentage of their comprehensive marketing budget to mobile promotion. While the majority of mobile users discover apps on their own through app stores and mobile-friendly sites via a smartphone Web search, big brands cannot simply rely on this and still stay ahead of their competitors. Mobile users primarily participate in live bidding exchanges and mobile advertising networks. Big brands need to participate in these channels as well to quickly build and maintain a strong user base. Over time, this will increase the chances of being discovered and having people install the app or find your mobile site. Many big brands also use incentive networks (i.e. SponsorPay, FreeMyApps), social media, and premium traffic (i.e. The Weather Channel, Pandora) to reach mobile users.

• Target organic and loyal app users. Big brands will not be successful with their app use unless they are reaching users who are spending time in an app store. As a big brand, you must consider both organic and loyal app users. To target organic users effectively, it is imperative to consider optimal rank as opposed to highest rank because any rank will eventually reach a point of diminishing returns. Loyal users make use of the app on a regular basis, which includes making purchases within the app. A number of technology resources can assist your brand with identifying and then targeting this loyal user base.

• Drive marketing performance with optimization technology. One of the most important aspects of any big brand mobile marketing initiative is optimization. Because there are numerous targeting variables, every mobile site and app has a different performance. Optimization technology allows big brands using traditional marketing means to gain valuable, comprehensive insight about the marketing resources designed to carry out their goals.

• Select an established mobile marketing technology partner. As you become more strategic with your mobile marketing, join forces with one or more vendors that offer mobile marketing technology options. Some big brands are able to gain insight about brand marketing and user acquisition from traditional advertising firms, but mobile marketing is best served by specialized technology and skill sets.
You will also want to explore your options when it comes to QR codes. What’s the marketing potential of QR codes? They are open source, free to generate, and have a hyperlinking capability. QR codes can connect your customers to text or contact information, email, IM, SMS, a website, or a wireless phone number.
QR codes are used on billboards, in-store displays, business cards, event ticketing and tracking, trade-show and conference management, print ads, contests, direct marketing campaigns, coupons, restaurant menus, sides of trucks, point-of-sale receipts, products tags and packaging, and more.

Finally, there is SMS text advertising. Advertising agencies, businesses, and marketers use texting to build opt-in databases to send promotions and announcements to subscriber’s smart phones. If you have 50,000 customers or more who have opted in, the ROI can be significant. And that’s just the beginning.

So, what is your company and brand doing to maximize its mobile marketing? We’d love to hear from you!

About the author:
Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm that offers mobile credit card readers. She brings more than 15 years of experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management, and marketing to the company and also serves on its Board of Directors.

5 Mobile Commerce Basics

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Posted on in News

Mobile commerce occurs when a company conducts business via mobile gadgets, such as smartphones and tablets, or wireless technology. Since these devices are often simpler to operate than personal computers (PCs), people can easily carry out a number of everyday tasks such as making restaurant reservations, buying products, and accessing valuable financial and other data. Today, businesses everywhere are accepting mobile payments and using data from these transactions to fuel their marketing strategies, organize tax documentation, and more. As a result, mobile commerce has become a marketing platform and educational tool for these companies.

The Proof is in the Research

A recent study conducted by a well-known research trade group revealed that smartphones were responsible for $5 billion of a $200 billion e-commerce market, while just a few years ago this number was zero. Retailers are aware of this trend and continue to invest in mobile technologies. In fact, the majority of 2013 retail corporate expenditures will center on the overall user experience on their websites, website product descriptions, and improving Internet checkout, according to experts.

So what are 5 mobile commerce basics you should know?

1. By understanding your customers’ main requirements and building a mobile interface that addresses these, your company wins. Create a streamlined app and mobile website because research shows that the top ones restrict themselves to just a few main tasks.

2. Those that use mobile devices rarely multi-task and frequently have a particular objective in mind when they interact with mobile sites. Because of the smaller screen size, simplify complicated procedures and use appropriate graphics and signage to make the site user-friendly.

3. Because of the small amount of time users spend on their mobile gadgets and the problem with bandwidth, an ideal mobile site permits consumers to do what they need to do and move on. Think simple.

4. Businesses must react to technological changes and innovations but remain practical too. Jumping on every new mobile commerce trend may prove expensive for companies and annoying to consumers.

5. E-commerce security is vital. Consumers need to know that their information is protected and safe. Spend extra time and dollars to make sure data are truly secure.

Key M-Commerce Statistics:

•Nearly all Generation Y consumers own a mobile phone and over 70 percent own smartphones.

•Over three-quarters of Americans under age 43 now use a smartphone.

•53 percent of American consumers use their smartphones to access search engines at least once a day.

•Globally, 80 percent of consumers have used computers to access the Web within the previous seven days. 60 percent used their mobile devices to do so.

•The smartphone market is now larger than the PC market. Smartphones outsold PCs in the fourth quarter of 2010 101 million to 92 million.

•Smartphones and tablet computers will increase mobile Web traffic by 26 times during the next four years.

•86 percent of mobile Internet users use their mobile device while watching TV, with 37 percent of those browsing the Internet for non-related TV material.

•The number of smartphone users worldwide is predicted to exceed 1 billion by 2014.

•25 percent of U.S. mobile Web users access the Web only from their mobile phones.

What is the future of mobile commerce?

The most obvious mobile commerce trend is further development. Yearly m-commerce sales are forecasted to increase fourfold to $31 billion in the next several years. Businesses are beginning to realize that m-commerce is key to enhance their brand, boost sales, and keep up with competitors. Basically, the future looks very bright for mobile commerce, although businesses are still experimenting with how to use the mobile commerce concept to their best advantage.

A big part of mobile commerce’s attraction may be convenience, but not at the expense of information. Businesses with informative, easy-to-navigate mobile websites are better able to attract visitors and convert them to buyers.

According to a recent eMarketer study, by the year 2017 more than 25% of all online retail transactions will happen in the mobile paradigm. Adweek explains that statistic with information that 18-34 year olds are very likely to use their mobile devices as a shopping tool. Their process is to visit their favorite retail stores not to shop but to view a product and compare prices, and then to compare prices at various online locations using their phones. They then buy the product using their mobile device.

Another step in m-commerce development is the increased use of tablets for purchasing. This is because of the tablet’s user-friendly size and features. The larger screen makes navigating a mobile website easier than with a smartphone.

Over the past few years mobile commerce has grown exponentially. This trend will continue in the coming years as more students from the mobile generation join the workforce and shop.

About the author:

Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm that provides iPhone credit card swiper. She brings more than 15 years of experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management, and marketing to the company and also serves on its Board of Directors.

5 SEO Tips and Tricks

Donna Vieira
Posted on in Inspiration

SEO is short for search engine optimization. This practice of optimization for search engines became popular over a decade ago when website owners realized that certain phrases or words would cause their site to show up higher in search engine results. SEO has undergone changes over the years and today many people market themselves as experts. Using proper SEO techniques can give your business a boost and you don’t always need anyone to help you, no matter how complicated SEO might seem when described by some.

Keywords and Phrases

Keywords and key phrases are still important elements in SEO. While these are not as important to good SEO as in the past, if you aren’t incorporating some key words or phrases into your webpage or content, you’re missing out on some SEO.

Choose your keywords based on your product or service. Google has a tool that is useful and located in their Adwords section. This tool identifies trends in search conducted by people around the world. Words have a number assigned based on how often it is searched.

Quality Content

Google is the main search engine that people rely on for their SEO. A leader in search engines, Google recently rolled out a number of changes in how SEO is used. Their site looks for high quality, relevant content. If a page is full of keywords, yet has no information or quality articles relating to the keywords, it is ignored. Always provide readers with quality content.

Good Incoming Links

Incoming links are important as well. High quality links from good blogs are going to increase your search engine ratings. Organic links are the best and come from people or sites that link to you due to your information. People that find your site valuable will share it and increase your incoming links.

Titles

Many people aren’t aware that the titles of pages and articles can increase SEO. Ever article or post on a blog should have a title tailored to draw in visitors. The title needs to be interesting, yet describe the article well. Titles shouldn’t be more than 8 words long if possible. Any titles that are too short can be skipped by a search engine and ones that are too long might be cut off in results.

Articles Length

Another not so well known trick to increasing SEO is to keep articles at a certain length. People reading on the Internet aren’t always interested in clicking link after link to the next page of an article. Some are, but the majority of readers prefer shorter articles in the 500 word range. Much longer can cause your readers to lose interest, while shorter than 400 words might cause searches to skip your article.

Looking for SEO consulting and an analysis of your site? Contact Grow Socially today

How to Be a Good Client on a New Website Project

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Posted on in General, Inspiration

If you are working on a new site project and want it to go like clockwork, here are two critical questions I’ll try to help you answer:

    1. 1. What can I do, as a client, to get the best, highest quality website possible?
    2. 2. What can I do, as a client, to make the project as frictionless and quickly as possible?

 

10 Tips for a Smooth and Successful New Site

  • Give the agency a single point of contact. Site projects are complex and involve a lot of communication. Having one person and one person only communicate with the agency eliminates a lot of confusion and overlap on both sides.
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  • Make sure your point person has the right stuff. Ideally, the person communicating with the agency will have a decent working knowledge of marketing and web development best practices. More important, though, is the ability to manage and organize communication, and the savvy to know where to get answers internally.  The point person will be dealing with issues relating to programming, content, design and strategy.
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  • Build the right internal team. Your in-house project team shouldn’t be too big: this leads to drawn-out decision making and watered-down decisions. Project teams shouldn’t be too small: this leads to bad decisions because key considerations are overlooked. Think of your internal team as an elite collection of subject matter experts. You’ll want one to be accountable for each of the issue areas mentioned in #2 – programming, content, design and strategy.
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  • Maintain laser focus and keep politics out. Websites tend to get politicized within an organization because every department wants a piece of the spotlight. Great clients remember that the constituency that matters most is the customer, and the goal that matters most is persuasion. Anything that doesn’t contribute to those two causes is a distraction.  When in doubt, leave it out.
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  • Insist on a project schedule with deadlines. Our agency always provides a very detailed schedule of activities, in large part to help clients stay on track and prepare internally for milestones. For instance, if at some point you will be required to review 100 pages of new content, you’ll need to map out how it will be accomplished well in advance.
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  • Give the agency meaningful input. When the agency asks you for direction or feedback on strategy, design, content and functionality, your responses will produce the best outcomes when they are thoughtful, clear and reasonably detailed. Comments like, “I don’t like this” or “it needs to be more persuasive” don’t give the agency the insight it needs to learn and improve.
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  • Speak with one voice. We get tripped up when a client tells us something that sounds definite – but behind the scenes, they are still arguing internally. This is a common but very bad communication problem. If we take action on design direction and then have to reverse course because what we were told is later overruled, hours of design and/or programming time may have been wasted.
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  • Don’t expect perfection. I often compare website projects to building a house. No matter how carefully you plan and execute, there will still be power outlets in the wrong place and nail pops somewhere on the ceiling. The important thing is to take issues in stride. Keep it moving.
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  • Get clarity by asking the right questions. If you’re not sure why you are being tasked with a particular project detail, don’t dive in until you understand the purpose. Examples of great client questions: What are the main things you want us to consider on this wireframe?
    1. What specific feedback are you looking for during the design review?
    2. How much, and specifically what, input do you need from us to create new site content?
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  • Don’t overcommit. Clients frequently assume the agency can handle anything and everything, and seriously underestimate the effort they have to put in. For example, it’s easy for a client to approve a sitemap with 100 pages of new content – but it’s another thing to actually write it! The agency will need your help to craft the message and fill in the details. In the same way, it’s easy to approve a wireframe with space for 100 product photos – but it’s another thing to actually take the photos. Be careful: there could be scores of hours of work behind every simple “yes.”
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    Over to You

    What do you think? If you work for an agency or are a freelancer, what advice would you give to a client? And … if you are a client, what questions do you have about your upcoming site project?

    About the Author

    Brad Shorr is Director of B2B Marketing for Straight North, a Chicago area Internet marketing agency. He has worked on website projects since the late 1990s.

     

    How to: Link a Phone Number on a Mobile Website

    Donna Vieira
    Posted on in Inspiration

    Q. “How do I make phone numbers ‘live’ links when building a mobile site for iOS or Android?”

    Perhaps you want to do the same thing. Maybe you are building a “Contact Us” page on your mobile-optimized website in iFlyMobi. If so, here’s how you can do it:

    How-To: Make Phone Numbers be a ‘Live’ Link
    • Via the “My Websites” page, select the website that you wish to edit
    • Then, click the “Edit” button for the page that you want to add the phone number link to
    • Within the WYSISYG editor, type in the phone number (i.e. “If you need assistance, please call us at 978-694-9992″)
    • Select/highlight the text that you want to be a link
    • Click the hyperlink button in the editor
    • In the “Link URL” field, enter the following “tel:9786949992″ (of course, change the phone number to be your own)

    By doing that, most smartphones will display the text as a link when someone views your page. Upon clicking the link, they should be presented with a prompt to call the corresponding number.

    We hope that this helps!

    FYI  — We tested it successfully on an iPhone and an Android phone. If you want to do this to your own website, iFlyMobi is a mobile website builder that allows you to easily design a custom mobile website for your business!

    Phone link on mobile website

     

    5 Steps To Creating An Effective Landing Page

    Kerri Stinson
    Posted on in General

    1. Branding

    While it is important to use consistent branding throughout your website, it is just as important to incorporate your companies branding into your landing pages as well.

    Using consistent branding in all of your marketing collateral is just as important online as it is in print. By incorporating your branding elements into your landing pages, your users will be able to easily identify that they are viewing another piece of your marketing collateral.

    2. Message

    When building your landing page, creating the proper message is the main goal in order to provide your audience with key information.

    In order to allow your audience to digest the information quickly and easily, it is key to develop your copy in short paragraphs and or bulleted lists. By condensing the information, your audience will be able to understand the information you have provided them with along with the ability to

    3. Questions and Contact Information

    Asking the proper questions is key to an effective landing page. While the purpose of a landing is to request information, it is vital to ask only the questions, which are necessary.

    By asking a limited number of the right questions, it will create the potential for more people to fill out and complete your form, which will provide you with the proper information that you are seeking to gain. Also, while asking the proper questions is important, it is also key to only ask the necessary contact fields for the same reasons.

    For more information on creating an online form, check out “7 Steps to Create an Online Form.”

    4. Images and Videos

    Another way to break up the copy on a landing page is to incorporate images and videos. By using these design elements, it will allow you to use less text to get your message across. Also, by incorporating images and videos into your landing pages, you will also be able to create a dynamic and visually appealing layout for your landing page.

    5. Submit Button

    The main goal of a landing page is to have your audience members complete the form. However, once someone clicks submit, it is important that it is not the end of the interaction. As a result, it is key to include teasers of information to additional resources and information about other services that your company can offer your users.

     

     

    7 Mobile Marketing Statistics To Start Your Day

    Lou Cimaglia
    Posted on in News
    • -$39 billion retail sales will be made on a mobile device this year (eMarketer)

    • -The iPad generates 12% of mobile ad revenue globally ( Opera)

    • -Samsung currently has 27.5% of the smartphone market share; Apple has 8.9% (IDC)

    • -82% of mobile media time is via apps (Smart Insights)

    • -70% of job seekers look for job information on mobile (Simply Hired Job Seeker Report)

    • -27% of emails are opened on mobile devices (Sirona Consulting)

    • -80% of physicians use mobile devices at work (Information Week)