Mobile Optimization: The Top 8 Ways You’re Doing it Wrong
Accessing your site on a mobile device is a necessity for consumers, not a luxury. If you haven’t effectively optimized for mobile traffic you are not only losing a substantial amount of potential revenue but you are risking your brand’s reputation as a whole. A frustrating mobile experience can leave a bad taste in the consumer’s mouth, which translates directly into a negative feeling about your overall brand.
Current mobile usage and growth statistics are staggering and Advertisers need to pay attention. It is predicted that over half of all worldwide traffic will be coming from mobile devices by 2015.
A mobile user expects a mobilized experience which is an entirely different experience from your standard website. This is the epitome of mobile optimization – simplifying the mobile consumer’s experience in order to help them convert. Unfortunately, most Advertisers are still either not doing it well or even worse, not doing it at all.
We’ve compiled some of Advertisers’ biggest mobile optimization mistakes, what you should be doing to avoid them and examples of who’s getting it right.
You Think Your Site is Optimized for Mobile but it’s Not …
1. Slow Loading Pages
Slow loading pages are not just an inconvenience for site visitors; in the age of ecommerce, consumers expect your page to load easily and quickly. 74% of consumers will wait only 5 seconds for a web page to load on their mobile device before abandoning the site altogether (Gomez).
What you should do: Ideally, your mobile page should render in less than one second. Keep it simple. Limit page sizes by stripping out any unnecessary content, such as large images or Flash.
2. Elaborate Sites and Landing Pages
Don’t recreate your desktop for mobile. Function is more important than visual appeal – mobilize the experience. Google reports, 67% of mobile users are more likely to buy a site’s product or service when they have a pleasant, user-friendly mobile experience; this is how to capitalize on mobile traffic.
What you should do: Simple, clean pages with minimal distraction convert. Ensure that copy is concise so it is easy to read on a mobile screen.
3. You Forgot to Test on BlackBerry …
Or the Samsung Galaxy or tablets, etc. How does your page display on all popular mobile devices? Proper and thorough testing is a requirement. ComScore’s latest statistics reveal 138.5 million people in the US own smart phones and 1 in 4 Americans own a tablet. Becoming a mobile brand means reaching all potential consumers on every one of their many different screens: from an Apple or Droid user, to a Nexus or Samsung tablet user.
What you should do: Test your site across all mobile devices and browsers. Mobile Phone Emulator is a good free tool for testing: http://www.mobilephoneemulator.com/
You Think Your Funnel is Optimized for Mobile Conversions but it’s Not …
4. Not Paying Attention to Google
Google has taken a strong stance on mobile SEO. Faulty redirects and error messages for your mobile visitor will lead directly to demotion in mobile search rankings. If your site is not mobile optimized and friendly you will soon see a decrease in traffic from mobile devices.
What you should do: Adopt Google’s guidelines for best mobile practices: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/common-mistakes. This includes redirecting mobile users from a desktop page to it’s mobile optimized equivalent. If you do not yet have a mobile equivalent page, serve relevant desktop content rather than redirecting users to an irrelevant mobile or error page.
5. Missing or Impossible Calls to Actions
Google reports 61% of mobile visitors move to competitors’ sites after a frustrating mobile browsing experience. If your call to action is hard to find or impossible to press with a finger, don’t expect a conversion.
What you should do: You need a large, clear call to action. An adult finger easily covers 45 pixels when pressed on a mobile screen, so a CTA that is 44×44 pixels should be large enough to help most people to avoid frustrating tap errors.
6. Complex or Tiny Text Fields
A consumer that is asked to fill out a massive data capture form or enlarge the screen in order to type, will not convert. Adobe’s 2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey found companies with optimized mobile sites are 3 times more likely to have a mobile conversion rate of 5% or above. If everything else is done correctly on your mobile site, you don’t want to lose your customer on their last step.
What you should do: As the Advertiser, ask yourself what action you want performed – whether it’s short form lead gen or a credit card payment determine what information is critical. Simplify text entry with fewer, larger text fields and when possible use, dropdown menus, checklists and pre-populated fields.
7. Mobile Creatives That Aren’t “Mobilized”
In March 2013, 43% of all email was opened on a mobile device, according to Litmus. That means nearly half of your email creatives are seen only on a mobile screen and if you haven’t mobilized the experience, chances are over 80% it will be deleted. Same goes for your creatives, except instead of being deleted, they will simply be ignored.
What you should do: Even if your mobile landing page is properly optimized, your mobile creatives must be designed with mobile in mind:
- Avoid long subject lines in email
- Reduce email width to 640 pixels or less
- Reduce email size to 20K or less
- Format your ad creative to 320X427 pixels or less
- Check out: http://www.iab.net/mobileguidelines
- Just like on your mobile site, ensure your email and ad creative CTA and text links are clear and easy to press!
You Think You Have a Mobile Strategy but You Don’t …
8. Set It and Forget It Strategy
This is affiliate marketing, you must ALWAYS be testing and optimizing every aspect of your marketing strategy … there is no such thing as set it and forget it. The multi-screen customer is evolving every day. If the evolution of your mobile strategy doesn’t involve consistently optimizing your mobile creatives, funnels and landing pages – you’re doing it wrong.
It’s clear the mobile sector is growing. Still, it’s not too late to be early! It is projected that U.S. retail m-commerce sales will reach $108.56 billion by 2017. Jump into mobile optimization now – the right way – and be ahead of the pack; wait any longer and you won’t even be in the running.