Have you pondered the fact recently that less than 20 years ago there were no smartphones and the entire web was used only by desktop owners?
Time flies, doesn’t it? And technology doesn’t stop for a tea break.
The rapid development of mobile devices over the last ten years has changed the online landscape greatly. According to statistics found by StatCounter Global Stats in 2016, mobile and tablet internet usage now exceeds desktop usage worldwide.
The primary reason for using mobile devices is, of course, their convenience – they’re usually right within our reach. Next comes privacy and price.
Not all mobile users are action-oriented searchers. Some mobile users are just trying to entertain themselves or keep informed. But for the purposes of this blog, we’ll focus on mobile users who are ready to take an action that translates into profits for you.
The Google Mobile Movement Study states that 9 out of 10 searchers have taken action as a result of a smartphone search. 95% of smartphone users are looking for local information and a great number of them are ready to buy.
Mobile users take different actions after accessing content that can significantly influence the income of business owners.
Looking at the above statistics, it’s clear that a smart business owner should create conditions to satisfy a mobile user’s needs (and close the sale).
Online business owners need to adjust to the requirements of mobile users so as not to fall behind and to promote further business development and growth.
If you haven’t optimized your website for mobile devices yet, you need to rectify this mistake immediately! Customers searching for products online expect a seamless experience – and their expectations extend to a seamless mobile web experience.
As the mobile web is constantly evolving, I’ve come up with five easy ways to maximize the appeal of your website to mobile users and, ultimately, increase your mobile traffic.
1. Make your website 100% responsive
When we talk about responsive websites, we talk about mobile-friendly web design that immediately reacts to the size of the device used.
It automatically offers the correct layout and adjusts content to perfectly fit the screen.
As a result, website visitors are able to access your entire site within their mobile devices without zooming in and out or side scrolling.
Their needs are met just as efficiently as they would be on a desktop computer.
Responsiveness is a major factor when it comes to ranking high in search engine results. If your potential mobile customers use search engines (and they do), you should be very interested in gaining the top spot in search engine results.
In 2015, Google announced that it would begin to reward websites built responsively for multi-device support. Since then, responsive development has become Google’s recommended approach for mobile web design.
Plus, responsiveness saves you precious time when it comes to updating your website. It’s much easier to update one site than to work on its mobile version separately.
2. Join the AMP movement
It’s no secret that the crucial deciding factor when it comes to your bounce rate is the amount of time your website takes to load. According to Kissmetrics, 40% of web users will abandon a page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project is a Google-backed initiative that increases website rendering on mobile devices – in other words, makes pages load more quickly. When introducing the AMP Project on its blog in 2015, Google said that the main aim of AMP was to enhance the performance and potential of the mobile web.
“Every time a webpage takes too long to load, [businesses] lose a reader – and the opportunity to earn revenue through advertising or subscriptions… We want webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously. We also want the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant – no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using.”
The AMP framework is open source, available to everyone and completely free of charge. There is a common AMP cache URL format that a publisher must follow, and all AMP-optimized websites are distinguished with a little bolt of lightning that represents their lightning-fast load time.
Google surveys have shown that websites created with AMP load between 15 -85% faster than non-AMP versions on mobile devices. In February 2016, Google officially integrated AMP listings into its mobile search results.
So if you want instant loading, increased conversions, refined ADS impact and an open source framework, you may want to consider joining the AMP movement.
3. Use best site navigation practices
A website that is confusing to navigate is never appealing to mobile users. When they don’t know where to click or can’t find what they need, they’re not likely to become customers.
Focus on making sure your site’s layout is simple and streamlined, and make it a priority to create an enjoyable user experience. It’s best to adapt your site’s layout so that key information is visible without too much scrolling and that all the key information is available on the home page.
Think about the context in which mobile users are coming to your website. People using their mobile phones are usually on the go or about to be on the go. They don’t have the time to surf the web as they would if they were on a desktop. They are often eager to find an immediate solution.
That’s why your mission is to provide mobile users with a website that’s easy to navigate and difficult to misjudge. The main tool they will be using while dealing with your website is their fingertips, so try to keep all the clickable elements (buttons, links, etc) at a definite distance from each other. The space between them will allow your customers to comfortably put their intentions into action.
Design for touch: suggest options via drop-down menus to negate the need for unnecessary typing. Typing on a mobile device is time-consuming and inconvenient so enable mobile users to navigate through your products and services as easily as possible. Incorporate touch feedback into your navigation if you can – this basically involves a color change, text highlight or another visual cue to reassure mobile users they’ve selected the right option.
4. Use email campaigns to combat shopping cart abandonment
Did you know that 69.23% of shopping carts are abandoned before a customer completes a sale? But this doesn’t always happen because the customer doesn’t want to buy your products. Sometimes, it happens because they’re viewing your products from a mobile phone and get distracted, or intend to return to the website later.
Pre-empt this problem by putting an email campaign in place to combat shopping cart abandonment. When mobile users leave items in shopping carts, give them a shot at completing their purchase later (and from any device) by sending them a custom email, preferably one which includes relevant product links and special offers.
It’s wise not only to insert an ’email my shopping cart’ button for them to use, but to mention that if they email their shopping cart list to themselves, they will receive special offers. According to SaleCycle stats, more than half of cart retrieval emails are opened, and over one-third of them result in purchases.
Using an email campaign to combat shopping cart abandonment also helps solve the problem of customers who prefer to seek advice from family members, spouses or friends before completing a transaction or simply prefer to buy from their desktop computers.
5. Take advantage of social media marketing
It’s common knowledge that millions of people actively use social media all over the world. Social media takes second place when it comes to the volume of of mobile traffic – with only certain search engines ahead.
Consequently, it’s a smart idea to use social media marketing to make your mobile website traffic soar.
Don’t be coy about promoting your website on social media profiles – if you want to increase your number of potential customers, you need to take measures to be easily found. Make sure all of your social media accounts include mobile URLs so that users can click and bookmark for future visits later on.
It goes without saying that you should have buttons for liking and sharing your content on social media on key pages, and that you should install plugins linking to all your relevant social media accounts.
It’s more than worthwhile to invest time and patience in optimizing your website for mobile to improve engagement and increase profits. In today’s digital environment, it’s essential.
The above tips will help you not only catch the attention of mobile users, but encourage them to return to your website again and again. There are many more steps you can take, including using advanced mobile analytics to learn from the behavior of mobile users. However, the five tips I have listed above are a great place to start and you will definitely enjoy a steady growth of mobile traffic to your website from incorporating them.
Don’t waste your precious time – start optimizing your website for mobile users now, if not sooner! By increasing the amount of mobile customers you attract, you will improve your profits considerably.
Guest Author: Julia Blake is an experienced writer of many articles related to web design and development, usability, trends, inspiration, etc. She likes learning and sharing her knowledge with others. Follow her on Twitter.