Back in 2016, mobile search exceeded desktop search for the first time – and has shown no signs of slowing down since. According to statistics from Statista, the number of smartphone users worldwide is more than 2.32 billion and is expected to increase to 2.87 billion by 2020. In addition, Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey for the UK indicates that smartphone penetration has grown by year-on-year, going from 52% in 2012 to 81% in 2016.
This shift in device usage is something that small businesses and start-ups need to be acutely aware of. Marketing to today’s audience requires an understanding of the platforms they use to engage with your business – and chances are, it’s via mobile. With this considered, having a mobile optimised website and mobile optimised content is conducive to your success online.
How do you make your website mobile-friendly?
Firstly, take a look at your existing website and content. If you initially designed them for desktop computers, then it is highly likely that they will not be sufficient for a mobile audience.
Remember: not everyone will have the same smartphone or tablet, and pages will load quicker for others and scale differently to each device. This means the first thing you need to do is work out how users are accessing your website and content to optimise it accordingly.
With marketing tools such as HubSpot’s web analytics for example, you glean myriad information: what device your website visitors are using, the pages they are viewing, and from what geographic location they accessed your website. Once you have this, you can start constructing your website and content to meet the needs of your website visitors.
Next, you need to consider the type of design you want to use for your website - and there are two clear choices: mobile-first design and responsive design.
What’s the difference between mobile-first design and responsive design?
As you want to keep visitors on your site, your website needs to load fast and be tailored for the user – this means choosing between mobile-first design or responsive design.
Mobile-first design is where the mobile version of the website is created first over the desktop version. Mobile-first design provides the website visitor with a consistent experience across any mobile device. This means nothing changes or is unusable, just, scaled down. But if you're not ready for a responsive design strategy, mobile-first design is a good stepping stone and easily constructed.
Responsive design, on the other hand, refers to an evolving website, one that alters itself based on the needs of the user and the device that they are viewing it on. Of course, this option is more complex (expensive), but for a web page with numerous functions it would be much more appropriate and consistent.
In addition, it’s vital that you minimise your loading times when it comes to the mobile experience. Research by Google shows that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load – and that the average load time for mobile sites is 19 seconds over a 3G connection.
Once you have decided on the format of your website, here are a few other things you can do to improve the user experience and speed up your site:
- Compress on-page imagery to increase site load speed
- Layout and design must fit a small screen and have clear navigation, allowing users to easily click where they need to go without hitting other buttons
- User engagement should be designed for touch screens with swiping, scrolling or tapping
- Give users the option to view the desktop version of your website
Now that you have dealt with the optimisation elements for your website, you need to write your content with mobile devices in mind. Your content needs to include:
- A compelling, intriguing headline that draws readers in. You want people to investigate your fast, mobile-ready website – and the best way to do this is through powerful headlines.
- Vibrant images and video. The human eye is drawn to images and video. Mobile users react positively to interactive web page elements, providing they load quickly and do not interrupt the user experience - but make sure you compress your images!
- Consistent, clear formatting – this is for you to decide, but exercise judgement to determine how you want to scale your text. Give users options to read more or see more.
- Short segments. When creating content for mobile, it needs to get to the point quickly otherwise users will lose interest.
You can also build AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) which are essentially a stripped-down form of HTML, designed to be lightweight and incredibly fast. Some Content Management Systems will offer built-in AMP functionality, but it's an open-source initiative meaning anyone can use the code.
Lastly, ensure you analyse the performance of your mobile-first content. Knowing what mobile content drives the most activity or conversions will help you to discover what’s important to your prospects and create more content around it.
Understand mobile search intent and refine your content
Google has done extensive research into customer behaviour online to understand ‘how’ we search. Described as ‘micro-moments’, these are intent-driven moments in which consumers turn to brands and businesses to get information in real-time. Statistics from Google highlight that 82% of smartphone users consult their phones when they are in a store deciding on what product to buy and that 91% of smartphone users look up information on their phones while in the middle of a task.
While this is more applicable to B2C brands and businesses, B2B businesses can certainly use consumers’ ‘micro-moments’ to refine their content strategy. They need to be analysing the keywords mobile visitors use to find their content and website and then create new marketing collateral around those terms which website visitors can then turn to.
In the past, having a mobile-friendly website and content marketing strategy was seen as a competitive advantage. But today, with the majority of the populace owning a smartphone and accessing websites through that medium, it’s become an absolute necessity. Don’t neglect the potential of having a mobile website and content strategy!
Tip #16: With the majority of the populace on mobile, ensuring your website and content are tailored to and optimised for these devices is key. In order to attract and engage with the prospects of the future, your website and content needs to evolve accordingly.
If you want to learn more about creating content for your website, building your website for Google, developing your website over time through Growth-Driven Design, and the fact that your website meets your prospects before you do, please see these blogs below:
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