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Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011 at 7:30 am

12 Days of Conversions: Day 6-Optimize Your Mobile Site

By Mariel Bacci
November 30th, 2011

glass phone that reads Merry Christmas with string to hang it on the tree

This year, IBM has predicted that 15 percent of Americans will use mobile devices for their holiday shopping via Coremetrics benchmarking.  With phones getting smarter, ipads and tablets being used more heavily, and many people on the go all around, mobile devices are going to be helping people more than ever with their holiday shopping this season.  Is your mobile site optimized to create the best experience for your visitors this season?  It is difficult enough to optimize your standard site, and mobile devices add even more frustration.  You have to deal with small screen size, short time frames, and all the distractions that are going on as your prospect navigates your mobile site.   Following are a few tips to help you optimize your ‘on the go’ site experience this season.

1. Look at Your Data

Do not waste your time or resources if your data says less than 5% of your traffic comes from mobile sources.  You have more important things to be working on!  Leave your mobile optimization for next year.  If you have a good amount of mobile traffic, what are you waiting for?   This should be a priority for you.  Remember, even if 20% of your traffic is mobile, you should use your resources to focus on an early and middle stage experience. It is less likely that your visitors are going to be entering their credit card information on their phones than at home on their computers.

2. Optimize your Copy

We all know you have to cut the s*** with web copy.   Consider this even more important with mobile devices.  People read very few blocks of text on their smart phones.  Your copy needs to be edited down to the bare minimum of what you are trying to communicate.  Imagine every block of text as something that could be retweeted on Twitter. Front load your copy so that if your message is delivered in the first line.  Don’t try to draw people in with leading copy.  There is no time for that in the mobile world.

3.  Scale Down Content

A big problem we see with mobile sites is that they are just a very tiny version of your regular site.  The landing page of your mobile site should include only the elements you show about the fold on your normal site. These include the most important, persuasive, and helpful content.  Elements to include are a unique value proposition, straightforward navigation, and a clear call to action.

4.  Trash Flash

A large number of mobile devices do not support flash.  If you do not make a separate site for your mobile users, and you are using flash creative on your normal site, at least substitute the flash content out for something else on your mobile site. There is nothing worse than looking at an IPhone that says ‘plug-in not found.’  There are several packages freely available which perform this detection for you or you can use the tools built into Flash.

5.  Speed Up Load Times

Mobile devices have significantly slower speeds than the average transfer rates on your prospects desktops.  Make images as small as possible, no one can view high resolution on their phones anyway.  Make sure your text is encoded before video or images to be sure your visitors will receive the content of your site as quickly as possible, even if your creative takes some time to load.

6.  QR Codes

With gift certificate sales on the rise during the holiday season, you should offer QR codes.  This makes it easier for  you gift givers because they can e-mail a gift certificate and it never has to be printed.  QR codes have worked great this holiday already for airline boarding passes. They save everyone a lot of trouble and make gift giving easier over the holidays.  There are many programs out there to create QR codes. Implement them now for the holiday season!

What have you been doing to optimize your mobile site throughout the year?  Do you find people converting via their cell phone?  Do you think they look to your site on mobile devices most often to find where you have a brick and mortar location?  How do you see mobile devices changing the activity of your site in the future?  We’re always here for your mobile site if it needs some love this holiday.

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Comments (13)

  1. I`m agree with you Mariel.
    Its good to have a fast loading website. For search engines like Google and as you say..for mobile devices.

    15% is so high.

    After reading your post I looked at my website traffic. Only 1.98% of my visitors use mobile devices. Maybe in the future I will make some changes.

    Thanks for sharing this information with us Mariel!

  2. Thanks for sharing about mobile sites. I haven’t yet worked on optimizing for a mobile site, since the traffic is so low I didn’t see the ROI for the time spent on it. I know I prefer visiting sites on my PC instead of my phone. But it is something to think about as more and more devices come out.

  3. Interesting stuff here, I am just looking into this kind of thing to compliment my SEO and social media work I do.Truth be told I think, well I guess we all know that most people will be online via their phones than using computers in the very near future so I guess if we do not want to miss it we will have to be on it.I am going to start to really get my head around the mobile scene, thanks!

  4. hey 10x for sharing such a great info about 12 Days of Conversions: Day 6-Optimize Your Mobile Site this is the best source thanks again keep it up

  5. I appreciate the article. I am a personal injury chiropractor in St George UT. We have quite a few crashes down here. Most of our crashes are at low speed. I spend a lot of time educating patients that injuries still occur, even at low speeds. I think I do a decent job at educating people on my website, but I just started to incorporate a mobile version to my website. In the mobile version, I had concentrated on getting the basics out to the public. After reading this article, I will add some education in there as well.

  6. My website gets hardly any visitors from mobiles, but I think that it is something I may have to address in the not too distant future.

  7. Before we had optimalized our site for Mobile devices, we experienced a lot of ‘quiters’ in the first few seconds. Now 80% of the visitors view two or more pages, so its really a thing to consider.

  8. I agree with most of the comments here – even if your website is currently receiving a low amount of visitors from mobile devices we need to think about making our sites mobile friendly for the future

  9. Our team builds websites, including mobile sites. I just purchased a new plugin for building mobile sites. Looking forward to trying it out next week to build one for a contractor client. Finding your post was very timely, as I was not sure about optimizing it. Thanks!

  10. When I design my website, I never think of making it to be mobile friendly. Your post has made me considering to put more efforts to capture mobile users as well, thx!

  11. We must make a website mobile friendly. which is helpful for high end mobile users on the go. GOod info.

  12. Now a days creating mobile website is must, since more and more people will use mobile device compare to PCs. And also now create your online store in mobile device is becoming popular

  13. WHen working through nursing school and developing or should I say trying to develop sites that would be good for nurses to use on tablet or smart phones this info might have been helpful. I hope that others find it, just not as late as I did.

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Mariel is a GA certified analyst at FutureNow, Inc.

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