4G Mobile is Coming — But What Does that Mean for your Business?

The UK government has announced its plans to prepare for the selling of rights for the next generation of wireless networks, heralding the start of the fourth generation mobile spectrum. This will mean faster download speeds on mobiles as more capacity is freed up for the networks, so what will this mean for your mobile strategy?

Stepping up the capacity of the networks should have a huge impact on the download speeds on offer to the mobile internet and with tablets such as the IPad utilising this technology, as well as phones such as the IPhone and Google Android, the demand is certainly there for faster mobile internet speeds.

So what will this mean for website owners and online businesses? Well if you hadn’t considered mobile before, now is the time. This announcement illustrates that mobile internet is only going to grow, so to ignore it now would be to alienate a large potential audience from your website or business. Here are some of the directions you can take.

Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Compatible

The first step is to ensure that your website can be comfortably viewed on a mobile phone. If you have ever tried to view a regular website on a phone then you will know that the sizes don’t match up and that most of the images cannot be seen.

Mobile friendly websites usually start with m. and if you are using Google they will have a little mobile phone symbol at the bottom. This means that they have been reconfigured to work seamlessly with mobile phones and will offer the mobile viewer a proper online experience.

If you aren’t mobile compatible, have a look at your website on your phone to see how bad it looks, and then have a look at your Analytics to see how many mobile viewers you have received that will have seen it in that state. You might be surprised by the numbers of people you will be putting off by not considering this ever growing audience.

Look at the Options Available to You

Faster download speeds will be opened up by 4G technology and this opens up more online opportunities than just having a mobile compatible site. Think what downloads would be useful for your audience to have on their phones. Do you want to create an app? How about linking to your YouTube video from your mobile site? With faster download speeds will come more opportunities to interact with your audience through online means, so look at mobile as a part of your whole online strategy.

Remember Google!

Just because we are talking about a different platform, it doesn’t mean that the old rules of SEO should be ignored. With many phones (especially Google Android) having a link to Google on the front screen, making sure your website is search engine friendly is as important as ever.

One of the most talked about issues with the mobile internet is whether there will be duplicate content issues between the desktop and mobile websites, but all of the noises coming out of Google say that they treat the mobile and desktop sites as completely different entities, so web owners shouldn’t worry about coming up with new content for their mobile site.

Google have even produced a section on developing mobile sites, so this is a good place to start when trying to keep the big G happy with you mobile friendly website.

With 4G on the horizon it is clear that developing a mobile presence will be crucial for any business with online ambitions. While it has been possible to get by without focussing on mobile up until now, it seems that it is going to become increasingly important as devices such as IPads and Google Android phones become more popular, and now is the time to start developing your mobile strategy.

Alan is a web marketer for the promotional gifts industry and writes articles on SEO and marketing for The Promotional Gifts Company.