According to Microsoft Tag, mobile internet usage will outpace desktop internet usage by as soon as 2014. And—all you marketers out there take note—according to recent studies, advertising on mobile sites can improve click-through rates by almost 200%.
Creating a mobile site is rapidly becoming more of a necessity than an option. But if you are contemplating a mobile website, there are a few things you should be aware of. To be effective, a mobile site can’t just be a, well, mobile version of your online site. To optimize your mobile site for best results, try the following tips for a truly effective user experience.
Design for mobile shoppers
A lot of the awesome content on your website will be useless on your mobile site. Why? On-the-go users don’t have the time or patience for a lot of text, they aren’t there to browse and they already know what they want and need to get to it quickly. So tailor your mobile site design for easy access to vital information, such as hours of operation, phone numbers, menus and/or product pages.
Limit the amount of clicks needed to perform the desired action, as well as the amount of information you present to visitors. Remember—this is meant to be a mini version of your regular website.
Link to your site
While most mobile users will get the information they need through the mobile version of your site, your full site has features and information that they might also find helpful. Don’t make it difficult for people to get to it. Lack of direct access to your site may become the kind of friction that prevents further interaction with your company.
Automatic redirection between your mobile and desktop websites keeps this friction to a minimum. Check out Google’s tutorial on automatic redirection for more information on this step.
Keep it clean
Clean, uncluttered design is a big winner with mobile sites. Don’t give mobile users too much content to look at or too many features to contend with. If navigation becomes overly complicated, they may give up and leave your mobile site without further engagement.
In keeping with this premise, leave the flash animation and pop-up ads for another time and place. They often aren’t supported anyway, and mobile users are already distracted enough!
A consistent brand message is important for marketing in general. Wherever people see your brand, your company, your products and your services, they should see one consistent theme. So when it comes to your mobile site, make sure that your graphic design, logo and even your color schemes match what visitors see when they come to your desktop site. A custom mobile site design is not a bad idea—as long as it’s consistent with your brand.
These tips will help you stay on track with your mobile site design and take full advantage of the vast potential presented by the mobile marketing phenomenon.