Marketing to Mobile? Here's What to Avoid.

Have you taken a careful look at your mobile marketing? U.S. consumers now spend 55 percent of their time on retailers’ web sites using mobile devices, according to Vicki Cantrell, executive director of Because of this, "retailers have to continue to invest to make sure they get their mobile offerings right," she said.

Are you getting your mobile marketing right? Here are five things you should avoid at all costs:

Assuming a Desktop Website Works on Mobile

What works on a desktop can be disastrous on a mobile device. You can't expect that a shrunken version of your website will look good or even be legible, even on large-screen smartphones like the Galaxy S4. Invest in a separate mobile site or an app that does everything on a mobile device a customer can do on a desktop, Andrew Lipsman of comScore, which provides digital business analytics, told Mobile Commerce.

According to comScore research, one-third of shoppers at the top ten retailers only use mobile devices. In short, customers will turn away if they can't use their smartphones on your site.

Assuming Mobile Apps are One-Size-Fits-All

Unfortunately, one app doesn't fit all mobile devices. Customized apps for the iOS and Android market will make "super-mobile shoppers" happier, reports a Forbes review of mobile marketing surveys.

Not Optimizing Content for Mobile

You don't need 500+ words on each mobile page, but you do need relevant content to rank on Google. This means uniquely optimizing your content for mobile. Here are three content-related items you must never overlook when designing a mobile site:

  1. Forgetting to create emails that work on a mobile device is one of Cezar Kolodziej's five pet peeves in mobile marketing. In a blog for iMedia Connection, Kolodziej, the CEO of Iris Mobile, notes that at least 50 percent of consumers view emails on their smartphones.

  2. Forgetting to include a clear call to action. The whole point of any commercial site, whether one for a PC/laptop or mobile, is to get the customer excited about a product or service. Yet many mobile developers forget to put in a meaningful call to action, Kolodziej and "Social Media Today" both note. QR codes have frustrated some mobile users, Kolodziej notes, and SMT says they take too long to download. Instead, just tell mobile users the next step, whether it's to scan for a coupon or to click for a store location (extra points if the customer's location is identified and the nearest site provided). Don't forget that the click to call option introduced in 2007 remains popular. A 2013 Google report shows that 70 percent of mobile searchers use this option.

  3. Forgetting how great images look on the latest smartphones. As you know, Google searches include links to images. Consumers buy smartphones for their display capabilities almost as much as they do for calling performance. Use images liberally on your mobile site: chances are, they will look great on smartphones.

Using .com Instead of .mobi

Let the smartphone world know about your mobile site by using .mobi in your URL. When mobile shoppers see this, they will be more likely to click there, says mobiThinking.