Over half of all worldwide web traffic comes from mobile devices, yet most websites are designed to specifically cater to traditional desktop devices. These websites have mobile versions, but everything related to mobile traffic is an afterthought. But why would the majority be an afterthought? There is a misconception about mobile traffic that it is less valuable and less likely to convert. “People on their phones are looking to browse, not buy. And they don’t use their phones for business reasons.”
While these perceptions may have had some validity a few years ago, times have changed. For both B2B and B2C companies, mobile users can be high-value visitors. While desktop traffic has lower bounce rates and more return visitors on average than mobile, mobile traffic has its own key advantages.
One strength of mobile is its domination of social media. Less than a quarter of social media traffic comes from desktop devices, and in addition to being a common traffic source, social media is an important tool for building and maintaining brand loyalty. Most of the traffic on search engines such as Google comes from mobile as well. In fact, one of the variables Google takes into consideration for its search algorithm is your site’s mobile performance and experience.
Mobile sales for both B2B and B2C companies are on the rise, and the growing role mobile is playing in the e-commerce space should not be ignored. Depending on your industry, mobile visitors can even be your primary traffic source; sports and gambling sites, for example, are dominated by mobile traffic.
So what can I do to target mobile users more effectively?
As stated above, both social media and search are made up primarily of mobile traffic. Investing in traffic sources within these channels is a great place to start. Even if mobile visits from these sources tend not to convert at the rate of desktop visits for the same sources, mobile is often used as a precursory browsing method of a larger multi-device conversion funnel. In other words, visitors often visit a new website from mobile, then return to that site later from a desktop or tablet device with intent to convert and/or take a certain action.
Directly targeting your existing customers through mobile can be effective as well. Traditionally, email has been the primary strategy used to directly communicate with opted-in customers to promote and encourage site activity. An average email click-through rate is between 1 and 5%, with anything above 3% considered “good”. That is just to get users to click your call to action (i.e. link to your site or content)! Email marketing has a very high ROI, but a new form of direct marketing- SMS- is emerging and taking traditional email marketing by storm.
SMS targets mobile devices and tablets by using text messaging as a traffic channel. SMS has an almost unbelievable 98% average open rate. You read that right. 98% of messages sent through SMS are opened. It gets better; SMS click-through rates average around 19% (some sources claim higher)! It turns out people respond very positively to text message marketing.
To get the most out of targeting mobile users through both email and SMS marketing, there are a couple of important tips you should know to optimize performance. The first tip is to have an extremely clear call to action. Give the user a next step, and an incentive to take that step. If you want the user to buy something on your website, give them a link to your site product catalog and a discount code. The other tip is to offer as much personalization as possible. Address the customer by name. Use data from previous purchase behavior to promote custom recommendations. Making customers feel unique and valued can go a long way!
What can I do to improve mobile UX once users hit my website?
Once you get a mobile visitor to your website, the next obstacle is to get that user to either take you up on your call to action or decide that they got enough value out of your site experience that they will come back at a later point. Depending on the purpose of your website or business, what your calls to action can vary site to site. While the needs of your site visitors might be unique, there are a few universal rules to follow when considering the mobile experience.
One of the basic ways to solidify your mobile site is ensuring an easy scroll experience. Think about the way that you behave on your mobile phone when navigating the web. It is all about ease of use and convenience. Try to ensure the mobile user can navigate your site with minimal need for typing, zooming in/out, or providing excessive information. One way to avoid an inconvenient mobile experience is by providing large, easy-to-click call to action buttons that are simple to select from a mobile phone; remember that mobile visitors are using their fingers and not a computer mouse. Mobile users are significantly less likely to jump through hoops to explore your site, and lowering the number of hoops will lead to lower mobile exit rates.
Another way to build a strong mobile site is to keep content short and concise. Long reads are not conducive to the mobile experience, and any written material should be to-the-point. Think bullet points instead of paragraphs and snappy one-liners instead of in-depth coverage. Text should have a font that is clear to read and on the larger side. You can use imagery as a crutch to make up for a cutback in text but be certain that visual content does not contrast the site layout in a way that is visually displeasing. Mobile deserves its own layout concept.
Additionally, remember that there are a lot of different mobile device types out there. There are over 500 different screen sizes amongst the major competitors in the mobile device space so you will need to verify that your mobile site works no matter the device. You don’t want to lose all your Android users because the links or text-boxes do not fit naturally on the screen!
There is a lot that goes into a strong mobile site experience, but don’t be overwhelmed! A good place to start is checking the current status of mobile web users on your site. How much of your traffic is coming from mobile devices?