How Do You Best Measure Your Website Traffic?

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Traffic to a small business website is the most important aspect of owning a website.

The amount of traffic you receive lets you know how many people are visiting, what they are reading or viewing, and how long they are staying. There are many ways to measure traffic, not all are equal.

Google Analytics

Google is the big player in almost everything website related. From measuring traffic to monitoring advertising, Google has it down pat. People around the world use Google Analytics to keep track of how well their website is doing.

To use this service you must create a Google account. This is accomplished by creating a Gmail account, once this step has been taken it is a matter of visiting their Analytics site. Your account information is imported. To this you add the URL of your website and a small code is generated that you or your web designer insert into your website code. Once Google has registered this entry, your site will be monitored.

Google Analytics reports on Pacific Time.

Free Traffic Monitors

Many free traffic monitors exist. Much like Google, you must enter a snippet of code into your website’s HTML. Most of the time the free traffic monitors only calculate the number of visitors to your site. None are quite as in depth as Google. Some are available as WordPress plugins – be wary of plugins, some can corrupt your website’s code. Only install those that are direct from WordPress. Read reviews on their performance.

Some free traffic monitors are only free for a limited time or they have features that must be paid for. Free software from a no-name company is usually sub-par.

Importance of Traffic

Traffic is important because without traffic you have no audience. If people are not visiting your site, it is a waste of time and money. To bring in more traffic, consider a marketing strategy. This can involves advertising or adding more, relevant content to your site. Content is one of the best ways to bring in more traffic. People that are in search of information pertaining to your service or product will flock to well written, relevant content.

Some companies improve traffic to their site by adding forums. These forums can be a boon if well maintained. Forums should include a customer service area, FAQs, and information about your product. Many people enjoy a ‘free forum’ area where they can interact with other customers, but unless your forum is well moderated this can backfire. Paid moderators can keep an eye on you forum to delete spam and offensive posts.

Never underestimate the power of good customer relations in building traffic.

By keeping your customer support emails, phone numbers, or live chat active, you can ensure high traffic.

A user friendly site will encourage people to stay on site longer than if the information visitors seek is hidden. Always keep important information prominent and avoid clutter.

About the Author: Tina Samuels writes on online physician reviews, small business, and social media.

Why Should Google’s Panda and Penguin Still Scare You?

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Google’s Panda and Penguin updates have changed how your website ranks in Google.
As a result, website owners need a clear understanding of how these updates impact their rank in Google.

Search Engine Optimization in the Past

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) used to be about producing mass quantities of content that included keywords being repeated over and over. The more content and the more keywords were repeated, the better off most people thought their website would be.
Another common tactic of search engine optimization used to include gaining inbound links from any website possible.
Small business owners often spent hours submitting content to various directories to gain links back to their site. Many people sent out the same article to hundreds of places to gain a link back to their site.

Others paid top dollar to get help gaining hundreds of backlinks. There were many companies devoted to helping you get backlinks. For a small fee, you could get thousands of backlinks from all over the web to help ensure your content would be ranked high in the search engines.
All of these search engine optimization strategies changed when Google implemented their Panda and Penguin updates.

Changes Resulting from Panda

Panda updates began taking place in 2011 and there have been update up to several times per month with new versions of Panda since then.
The purpose of Panda was for Google to reduce the rank of low quality websites.
Websites that contained “thin” content were penalized. Thin content includes low quality articles that consisted of keyword stuffing with very little relevant content. Websites that repeated the same information in several articles were penalized as well.

Changes Resulting from Penguin

Google’s Penguin updates began in 2012.
Google has never released exactly how the algorithm works, however, it is clear that the updates target poor article marketing efforts.
Penguin began penalizing websites for having mass quantities of inbound links from low quality websites. Article marketing efforts that focused on quantity over quality of inbound links began to hurt websites more than help after Penguin.

Impact on Businesses

Many businesses began seeing huge declines in organic traffic after the updates.
Google does not reveal when the next updates will take place so website owners may not know that a change has occurred until they see changes in traffic.
Many businesses suffered large decreases in traffic and sharp declines in sales. Re-building the website to comply with Google takes time and Google doesn’t recognize the changes until the website is indexed again.

Today’s Best SEO Techniques

Websites need to focus on gaining organic traffic by offering quality content.
Creating content that readers will find helpful greatly improves search engine rankings.

Avoid creating articles or content that is geared toward gaining traffic. Instead, focus on creating content that will truly interest readers.
Keywords are still important, but not to the extent that they were in the past. Use keywords that are relevant to your article, but keyword density should be 2 percent or less.
Gain relevant, high quality links from other related sites. Look for quality links from websites that offer similar information versus a high quantity of inbound links.

It’s essential that website owners and small businesses pay attention to the latest search engine optimization news.
Authoritative content is necessary in today’s search engine rankings.

About the Author: Amy Morin writes about psychology and marketing topics, such as Reputation.com reviews.

Time for a New SEO Consultant?

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In an endeavor to drive more traffic to their websites, many business owners hire SEO consultants to help them achieve higher search engine rankings.
However, not all of them have obtained the results they seek. It is easy to hire an SEO consultant, but it can be very difficult to find one who can actually make a big difference in your search engine rankings.
If you are beginning to wonder if it is a good idea to replace your current SEO consultant, going through the following questions may help you make the right decision.

Does Your SEO Consultant Have a Good Track Record?

First of all, you need to find out whether or not your SEO consultant really has what it takes to make your website more successful.
This can be done by checking his or her track record. Ask your consultant to show you references and examples of websites that he or she has worked on in the past. Also, find out what metrics he or she regards as important.
Examples of metrics that are important include organic traffic, organic traffic revenue, organic keywords and conversion rate. If your SEO consultant has a website, try to find it on search engines. If it cannot be easily found, how can he or she make your website more visible?

Is Your SEO Consultant Giving You Vague Answers?

It is important that your SEO consultant keeps you updated with his or her SEO efforts regularly, so that you can feel safe about your investment.
Some SEO consultants and companies may not be willing to provide detailed information about their work, probably because they are afraid that their clients will run away with the information and try to implement the strategies themselves, or they are not giving their best effort.
If your SEO consultant is always trying to keep you in the dark, you should consider sending him or her packing.

Is Your SEO Consultant Writing for Search Engines or People?

While well-optimized content can help your website gain favor with search engines, it is not as beneficial as content that is appealing to your readers.
Well-written content that is interesting and useful to readers can help you increase brand visibility, win the trust of your customers, gain a reputation as an authority in your field, improve organic search engine rankings and achieve better conversion rate.
A good SEO consultant writes for people, not search engines.

Does Your SEO Consultant Know How to Use Google Analytics Effectively?

Google Analytics provides a lot of useful information to enable you to assess your website’s performance and make the necessary changes to achieve better results.
Your SEO consultant should be able to interpret Google Analytics accurately and come up with effective strategies to boost your SEO campaign.
Also, if you find that your website has not been drawing new traffic after you have hired your SEO consultant for six months, it is time to let him or her go.

The information above does not only help you determine if your current SEO consultant is worth keeping; it can also be used as a guide for hiring the right consultant if you decide to get a replacement.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who provides useful tips on a wide range of subjects, from finding the right SEO company to finding payroll outsourcing.

Is Your Business Blog Coming Up Dry?

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A blog can do wonders for your business.

Other than drawing more visitors to your website, it can help you engage and educate your target audience, establish good relationships with your customers and gain recognition as an authority in your niche.

As such, it is important that you make sure your blog is constantly delivering results.

If you feel that your blog is going nowhere, you need to know why it is failing and how you can get it back on track again.

Unclear Target Audience

With so many blogs out there on the Internet, it can be difficult for you to make your business blog stand out from the crowd.

If you want your blog to get real attention, you have to make it more appealing to your target audience.

To do this, you need to identify your target audience and find out more about their interests and problems. Then, write blog posts that provide solutions to their problems.

Infrequent Blogging

Infrequent blogging is another common reason why blogs fail.

If you want to win the loyalty of your customers, you need to communicate with them on a regular basis. When your regular visitors find that you do not have enough fresh content for them to read, they will look elsewhere for the information they need.

Also, infrequent blogging can undermine your website’s ability to achieve high rankings in search engines. It is recommended that you blog at least twice a week.

Unappealing Titles

The title is one of the most important parts of a blog post, because it helps readers determine whether or not the post is worth reading.

As such, blog posts with appealing titles have a higher chance of getting read than those that do not.

If you want more people to read your blog posts, you need to create attention-grabbing titles that appeal to the specific needs of your target audience.

Content is Not Easy to Read

Busy Internet users generally have short attention span, and they want to get the information they need in as little time as possible. If your blog posts are not well-organized and easy to read, they can turn readers away.

To make your blog posts more appealing to readers, you have to break up the text by including sub-headings, bullet lists and other elements.

Lack of Visual Appeal

Another way to grab the attention of readers is to include images or photos in your blog posts. Images and photos can make a blog post look more interesting and provide a rough idea of what the post is about.

You can also place photos between paragraphs to create a more relaxing reading experience.

Insufficient Promotion on Social Media

If you are not sharing your blog posts regularly on social media, you will miss out on a great opportunity to drive more traffic to your website.

Social media is an excellent tool for reaching out to your target consumers and building a loyal audience. Make a point to share all your blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

A well-managed and well-promoted blog is critical to the success of your online business.

Following the tips above can help you create a winning business blog, something that could enhance your revenue over time.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from blogging to online business reputation.

How Important are SEO Analytics to Your Site?

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In order to develop a good SEO strategy, you need to constantly monitor the SEO effectiveness of your website.

By doing so, you will know how well your website is doing in search engines and what you can do to improve its rankings. SEO analytics can provide a wide range of useful information that can help you achieve better SEO results and increase traffic to your website.

Here is a look at the functions and benefits of SEO analytics.

How SEO Analytics Work

The purpose of SEO analytics is to collect, analyze and report online data to enable website owners and SEO experts to understand and improve the SEO performance of websites.

Generally, an SEO analysis tool provides information such as the number of times your website has appeared in search engine results, the number of times search engine users click on your website’s URLs, your website’s average rankings in search engines and click-through rates.

Some SEO analysis tools perform a more in-depth evaluation of your website, enabling you to know the demographics of visitors to your website, your website’s adherence to basic SEO practices, the most important keywords in your website, the effectiveness of your content, your website’s authority, backlink count and others.

The Benefits of Using SEO Analytics

Monitor Your SEO Campaign

SEO analytics enable you to determine how well your SEO campaign is running.

If you find that it is not producing satisfactory results, you can do something to make it more effective.

There are also SEO analysis tools that can predict the outcomes of your SEO efforts in the future, allowing you to make the necessary adjustments to get the best results possible.

Segment Your Visitors

Even if your visitors like your website, they may not purchase your products.

As such, it is important that you try to attract visitors who can be converted into paying customers more easily.

SEO analytics can help you segment your visitors by analyzing the keywords that led them to your website, so that you will know which keywords will send you visitors who will be more interested in buying your products.

Evaluate the Quality of Your Web Pages

Another benefit of using an SEO analysis tool is that it can show you whether or not your web pages have the kind of content and design needed to draw visitors.

It will provide visitor-flow visualizations to let you know which web pages are appealing to visitors and which ones need redesigning and rewriting.

Understand Your Visitors

If you want to stay abreast of your competitors, you need to understand the needs and preferences of your target customers.

By using SEO analytics, you will be able to find out what your potential customers are looking for, so that you can use the right marketing strategies to win them over.

SEO analytics are an essential tool for all online business owners.

If you want to get the most out of your SEO campaign, you should start using SEO analytics right away.


About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from online marketing to biographies of executives such as Steve Ballmer and Charles Phillips.

5 Tricks for Better Website Traffic

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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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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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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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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.