Many years ago visitors to your website were only coming from one place, their desktop computer. With technology evolving, today they’re likely to be using a variety of devices to view your site including mobiles, tablets and traditional desktop computers – and it’s likely they’ll be using a combination of these at different times depending on where they are and what they are doing. Browsing the web, researching and making purchases on a mobile device these days is almost a no-brainer. With the ever increasing capabilities of mobile technology for internet access the pressure is on to meet the expectations of the users.
So why is it important to create an excellent user experience for your mobile visitors? To put it simply, even the most well designed website in the world will look awful when viewed on a smartphone or tablet if the website hasn’t been designed to be responsive. Mobile screens are smaller than our desktop computers so, when a non-mobile friendly site is viewed on a mobile device, it’s likely that the text is unreadable, images cut off and the pages are impossible to scroll through. Even if your website has all the information the visitor is looking for it’s likely that they’ll leave your site straight away as it’s just too awkward for them to use on their mobile device.
With this in mind we’re going to look at some easy ways you can ensure you’re engaging with your mobile visitors.
- Deliver content on time
The average attention span of a human is said to be around 8 or 9 seconds, which has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 when mobile took off – incidentally, 9 seconds is also roughly the average attention span of a gold fish according to ‘science’.
Google recommends that your average page load speed should be no more than 3 seconds, with 3-5 seconds being the window of time in which you have to make a good first impression on your audience.
- Use click to call
Click to call is a basic feature of mobile web browsing. It allows the user to simply click on your phone number or a phone icon to call your business. The chances are that if the main way your leads get in touch is by calling you, click-to-call on mobiles will make that journey much more intuitive. This study reports that introducing a single click to call button above the fold increased phone call conversions by 200%.
- Take advantage of mobile email open rates
Phone calls aren’t for everyone even when using a mobile phone. Research has shown that people are more likely to open an email on their mobile device than on their desktop: this is probably because new emails appear as notifications once they reach the inbox.
You can take advantage of this by actively promoting email sign-ups and opt-in forms for the user to access content or special offers.
- Use the technology features built into the phone.
Mobile phones record a lot of data all by themselves, most notably location and movement. Your site could take advantage of this. For instance, location-assisted search is great for search engines and directories as you can deliver nearby services without extra input from the user. This means you can reduce the number of fields your form displays on mobile devices. It’s also commonly used for location based apps like Fast Food Locator and Uber.
- Stay Active on all the Popular Social Sites and Apps
Mobile activity is intrinsically linked to social networking and the majority of your mobile customers will also often be active on social media, on their mobiles.
Use ‘Like’ and ’Share’ buttons for all the major social networks that your audience uses. They are more likely to share your content if the process is made easy for them. Also, make it clear that you’re active on those social networks and that you’re worth a follow.
Posting your new content, promotions and competitions on social networks is great way to attract mobile engagement quickly.
- Use mobile-specific actions
The popularity of browsing the web on a mobile device may increase, potentially even over-taking desktop computers, but that does NOT mean mobile is replacing desktop. Most mobile users understand what their phone is capable of and which apps they have installed and, as a result, will have preconceptions about how they’ll interact with your website, which may differ from desktop users.
If your website is used for in-depth research, let’s assume that mobile users will try to find a quick reference or specific information. If so, offer a strong search function and quick navigation around the articles – remove all other features that may hinder the mobile user.
Features like mouse rollover, iframes with internal scrolling, huge detailed images and fiddly sliding buttons can be useful for some sites, but they are impossible to use on a mobile screen. You cannot rely on these features for your mobile interface, so you must find an alternative solution to make them work. Double tapping and swiping are common actions that are intuitive to execute on mobile.
- Use mobile-friendly pop-ups
Adding promotions to the sidebar of your website can work well on desktop sites. They’re big and bold enough to get noticed, but not so intrusive that it detracts from the experience. However, in a mobile layout there simply isn’t the room to give this sidebar content any priority and usually it ends up pushed to the bottom of the screen – so much for promotion. So how do we get those promotions in front of the user without detracting from the overall user experience? The answer is pop-ups.
The dangers of pop-ups on mobile are as follows:
- They can slow down the experience especially if they’re slow to load or require the user to sit through an animation
- They can take over the screen and can seem to the user as if they’ve landed on the wrong page entirely causing them to leave
- They can be annoying to get rid of especially if the pop-up doesn’t have a visible ‘close’ button.
Make sure your pop-ups are designed for mobile:
- Include space all the way around the pop-up so you can see the original page in the background. Covering up too much content is a bad user experience
- Keep the content brief
- Make the ‘close’ button obvious and large enough to press on all screens
- If you can, opt for a banner or footer style pop-up, rather than occupying the middle of the screen
Engagement isn’t always just about generating leads immediately. In the fast moving mobile environment there’s often more value in making a great first impression and then taking it slowly. We’re talking about building a relationship between brand and customer. This is very important if your main offering simply doesn’t work on mobiles. Actively promoting cross-platform interaction by giving your mobile visitor a reason to return to your site or app later on is vital.
If you need a hand optimising your website for your mobile customers, get in touch with our web development team.