Nearly 60% of searches performed on Google are via mobile devices. This means more than half of the visitors to your site could possibly be using a mobile device to view your website. But, does your site entice, interest and then drive your potential customers to make a purchase or enquiry? Driving conversions with a mobile site consists of multiple factors. We will be covering them throughout this article to see if your mobile site is up to par.
Due to the high number of mobile searches being performed and with it raising every year; businesses need to have or obtain a mobile version of their site. Not only will having a mobile site generate more conversions due to its accessibility and usability, it will help you avoid being penalised by Google.
Currently Google are striving to improve their search engine results by dropping/penalising sites without a mobile version of their site. Many previous updates have worked on getting responsive sites to rank better. However, Google now aim to improve their search engine by using mobile-first indexing.
A poorly built mobile site is just as bad as not having one. You will be sacrificing a lot of potential business as a result of a poorly built site. Customers will leave your site and go to one of your competitors that has a better user experience. Users expect to find their answers or what their looking for easily and quickly. Therefore, if your site doesn’t do that, they will go elsewhere.
The initial impression
The most common page people will land on is the home page hence why this page should give the user what they are looking for. A poor first impression will only cause people to leave. Comparable to a shop window as you will want to entice customers to enter; your home page will want to drive them into reading more or making an enquiry.
Clear and concise call-to-actions, internal links/efficient navigation options and balanced selling or promotions are just some of the key features of making a good initial impression.
CTAs should drive potential customers to get in contact. The user will be using a device with a much smaller screen. Therefore, important elements of the homepage can be missed. Ensuring everything on the site can be easily read and understood while also ensuring all the key parts are visible on the mobile site is what will set you apart from your competition.
If your content has enticed a potential customer to get them interested in your business, your CTA is the final tipping point where they will decide if they want to contact you. Poorly designed or uninteresting text can put someone off. Therefore, utilising the right words, font, size and general design will push someone to get in contact.
Internal Links/Efficient Navigation Options
Getting lost is never something you want to happen. In the same way, your potential customers don’t want to either. It is easy to get lost in a mobile site that lacks internal links, navigation menus or locations bars. Through using a navigation menu and internal links, the users can find what they are looking for and be directed to where they want to go. In addition to this, the location bar enables the user to be able to see where they are on your site and traverse back if they wish to.
Giving the user easy ways to navigate through the site will ensure that if they are interested in finding out more, they can easily access the pages they need to. Users will also want to be able to easily flick back to the home page. Hence why you should use your logo as a link to the home page as it is a great way to do just that.
Sales & Promotions
The primary goal of having a website would be to generate sales. However, this does not mean that you should be very aggressive with your sales techniques or promotions. This is a quick and easy way to put potential customers off. These are often put in the form of advertisements which either pop up on the screen or are placed on the website itself. This doesn't mean that you stop trying to sell your products or services. You still need to sell your benefits, but there needs to be a fine balance and don't sell yourselves short.
To keep users interested and drive conversion, the ads need to be kept to a minimum while also being placed somewhere that will not affect the user experience. Ads and promotions that are made to pop up on the screen are ways to instantly cause people to turn away and leave the site. Utilising small ads or promotional banners, if any at all, is the best way to keep potential customers interested.
Registrations, Checkouts, Security and Reviews
A large part of e-commerce sites are the registration options and the inclusion of reviews and checkouts. A user will expect to have a smooth experience no matter what site it is they are viewing. However, when it comes to e-commerce sites, there are some extra features which can cause this experience to worsen.
It is normal for an e-commerce website to have a registration feature. This allows the storage of user’s information for them to keep track of what they have ordered, review products on the website and (depending if this is offered) receive newsletters. This is a great feature to have on a mobile site as well. However, it must be used correctly.
If the first thing the user sees is a login screen to have access to your site, they will be more than likely to back off and go elsewhere. It is an immediate put off if registration is required to access the site. The option to sign up or login should always be available on the site. However, it should not be the first thing the user sees when accessing your site for the first time.
Giving users the ability to browse through your site without the need to login or register is one simple way to drive conversion. Also, one off purchases might be common which will mean some people might not want to create an account for a single order. Giving them the chance to purchase products as a guest is essential for this.
Checking out from an e-commerce site should be quick and easy. Making this process take too long can end up causing people to cancel their order or stop purchasing from you in future. Checking out needs to be an easy process for your customers. This doesn’t only include making it quick either!
The advancements in how people can pay for products will catch some businesses out. Android Pay, PayPal and Apple Pay are just some of the ways in which people will use their mobile phones to pay for their order. Offering a virtual wallet where previous successful transactions are tokenised and allows the user to select this the next time they make a purchase. They will only need to input the three digit number on the back of the card for the information to be used again. The address is also able to be stored on the site to make the next checkout simpler and easier for the user.
The ability to save data for returning customers ensures that they can quickly checkout without the stress of filling in each field every time. Doing this greatly aids mobile users. Every field would require the user to tap on it, fill in the information and then minimise the keyboard to advance to the next field. This is a very time consuming and tedious task and should be avoided where possible.
Websites also require a SSL Certificate to be seen as secure. An SSL certificate is what encrypts traffic between the browser and the website which then makes it harder for potential eavesdropping on your information. It does not protect your site from hacks, but gives your site a much higher level of security. Your potential customers are able to see if you own an SSL certificate as well.
Both Google Chrome and Firefox will warn it's users if a site doesn't have a certificate in place. Chrome has a part before the URL which will say 'Not Secure' and Firefox will display a box (if you click in the email or password field) detailing that the site is not secure. Potential customers are getting more savvy with knowing if a site is secure. They will be on the lookout for a green padlock (on Google Chrome and Firefox) or a grey padlock on Internet Explorer. They will be more likely to bounce off the site if you do not have an SSL certificate.
The warning appears once an email address and password is required. Therefore, if you have a login at the top of your home page, any visitors will immediately see if your site is insecure. Getting an SSL certificate for your website gives your customers more confidence in using your site.
Reviews are highly important to a website. No matter if it is on a mobile device or desktop, over 90% of visitors will read online reviews before doing business with a company. Potential customers will use the reviews you have to determine if they will want to do business with you. This would be for both normal and e-commerce sites.
Normal websites will not have reviews as often on their site itself. Instead, they will be on social media or on organisation websites such as Check-a-trade. E-commerce sites however have a review section for every product as well as the ones mentioned already. All these avenues are utilised by potential customers to determine if they will do business with you.
We recently covered how you deal with negative reviews as well which can be found here. Utilising the reviews to your advantage is an easy way to drive conversions and get people interested in doing repeat business with you.
The other part to reviews is the filters. Filters enable the user to list the reviews in a certain way. This can be from ‘most recent reviews’ to ‘lowest rating reviews’. Filters enable the user to see what information they are looking for before making the final decision. As seen on sites such as Amazon, they have a star rating system. You can use this as a filter as well. When you click on one of the ratings, it will filter out everything that doesn’t match that rating.
Mobile Site Usability
A website must have good usability, especially on mobile platforms. This is a large determining factor when someone is looking at your website. If they are unable to use your site easily or effectively, they will be more likely to bounce off and head elsewhere. Different features of a mobile site enable viewers to do much more than just view the page. This includes zooming, expandable images and transparency.
Complete mobile optimisation
Navigation through a desktop site on a mobile phone is much harder and more tedious. A mobile site puts the text in an easy to read fashion while also organising the images to make them easier to view. A mobile site also offers better and much more efficient navigation methods. This is most commonly through using a button to access the navigation menu. It is not only text and images that need to be optimised however. All forms, slideshows, videos and everything else on each page needs to be optimised.
You are also able to link to the different versions of your site. This is seen as a label, but because it is to be viewed by your potential customers, it needs to be worded correctly. The label should be as simple as ‘Mobile Site’ and ‘Desktop Site’. Something along the lines of ‘Full Site’ might be seen as you saying that not all of the site has been optimised for a mobile phone so parts might be missed.
E-commerce sites and blogs will be very familiar with the search function. This allows you to search for a product or a phrase to find blog posts about that subject. This search bar needs to be easily located and needs to be easy to use. It should be placed at the top of the site for quick use. The other part to the searches are filters which give the user the ability to filter out anything they aren’t looking for amongst your products. This should also be located at the top of the site.
A large part of the make-up of a website is the images it has on it. A site without images is off-putting and will often cause people to go elsewhere. However, all the time you spent looking for the perfect image could be wasted if it is not optimised for mobile devices. Especially with product images, customers will want to be able to see the images clearly and be able to zoom in on them. Pressing to enlarge images as well as using the 'pinch to zoom' function is a great way to give your customers this ability to see the images in higher detail.
CTAs might also be missed and important messages might be covered if images are not optimised correctly. The right size image needs to be used before it is uploaded and it has to make sense. Find out more on how to optimise images for the web by reading through our other articles. Using the right size and some clever CSS aid in making the image responsive and work more effectively.
For forms or surveys, there are areas in which businesses can go wrong. During the checkout process, there are multiple stages that need different pieces of information. Combined together, these pieces of information can make a very long form. This is a quick and easy way to put people off and can be easily avoided by using multiple pages. The information is then spread out, giving the user an easy way to fill the form in piece by piece. Along with the multiple pages, you will also need a progress bar to detail what each section is about.
As mentioned previously in this article, auto-fill on forms is a great method to aid and satisfy potential customers. The name, phone and address are sections in which auto-fill works its best. It enables customers to quickly make a purchase if they are returning for more business. Having to fill in all the information every time they try to order from you can be a quick and easy way to put people off.
For the companies that use calendars to plan a date for a meeting or for a product to be delivered, a visual calendar is a great asset. Many customers don’t want to have to use another app to look at the calendar to make their plans. Instead by using a visual calendar, you give them an easy way to set up the date.
The Technical Side
There are multiple ways you can test your mobile site to see if it is functioning its best. These mostly include running the site through different tests to ensure it is running at its optimum performance.
Become a Customer
A highly efficient method of testing your site is by looking at it yourself as a visitor. Does the site look it’s best? Does it entice you enough to make a purchase or get in contact? Do the images and forms work correctly? These questions should be asked to give you an overview of what you could do to try and improve the site. If you have an e-commerce and have not registered as a customer, shame on you!
The most noteworthy of ways to track conversions and traffic to the desktop and mobile sites is through Google Analytics. This will detail the number of visitors and how they accessed your site. Using this information, you will be able to determine if people are bouncing off your mobile site and make any changes to try and improve it.
A responsive website makes your site react to the screen size of the device it is being viewed on. Testing your site on different devices and browsers is a necessity to see if there are any areas that are not functioning the way they should be. If this is the case, get in contact with the web design company that developed your site to get this changed.
Ads and Promotional Banner Links
If you have ads or promotions running on your website, these should link to other mobile friendly sites. If they direct to desktop sites, it won’t give your customers a good experience. They might even bounce off to look elsewhere. Giving your customers the best experience throughout their visit to your site should be a priority.
Google PageSpeed Insights
Google have a tool available for you to easily check the speed of your mobile site. It also runs basic usability tests through your site to see what can be optimised to improve the usability of your site. This means that you can see if they think it has a good loading speed while also seeing what you can do to improve it. This is the Google PageSpeed Insights tool. Be it to optimise images as they are too big or through looking at some of the code that is slowing your site down; this tool will highlight these issues for you to try and resolve them.
One area that can cause drastic slowdowns or people to bounce off your site is through using flash. IOS and Android phones are not able to render flash animations. This means that any parts of your site that are using flash will not load correctly. Android can run flash with Plugins. Unless you download a browser that natively can run flash through the Play Store, you won't be able to run flash animations. If you need to have animations, they need to be in HTML5 and the video should be available in mobile friendly formats.
Utilising the different tips mentioned throughout this article is a great way on improving your website for the better. If your site has been optimised for mobile devices, yet does not comply with what we have mentioned or even worse, is not optimised for mobile at all, get in contact with us to see how your site can be optimised and improve your conversions.
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