Eight ways to optimise your website for mobile

By: Marketing Donut contributor

Date: 24 April 2014

Eight ways to optimise your website for mobile/Mobile Web 3D render{{}}Mobile conversion optimisation can be challenging. It forces you to focus on priorities. With limited screen real estate, you need to ensure that your online content is well structured, persuasive and accessible. 

Websites that split-test are getting an increasing advantage over their competitors. By steadily increasing their conversion rate, they’re able to get higher returns for the same advertising spend and that means they can invest more in advertising and grow their market share.

This is especially relevant with mobile commerce. We’re at a stage where most companies will have a mobile version of their website. But few websites are split-testing their mobile sites. And as mobile commerce grows, companies that split-test have a huge advantage.

Here are eight recommendations for users starting out with mobile conversion optimisation: 

1. Start small and scale 

Even if you don’t have a mobile or responsive version of your website, you can still optimise your mobile conversion rate. Choose one page (a high-traffic landing page works best) and create a mobile version of that one page. Split-test this, so 50% of your users see the original, and 50% see the new version — then track the impact on behaviour. If you see a significant increase in the conversion rate, you can build a business case for optimising the entire sales flow.

2. Create mobile and non-mobile dashboards in analytics

If you’re using Google Analytics, it’s simple to build a report that shows your sales funnel across devices. Look for differences in behaviour between desktop, mobile and tablet, as these will often pinpoint the biggest opportunities to increase sales.

3. Gather mobile-only qualitative feedback

Use on-site survey tools like Qualaroo to capture feedback from your mobile users. If you allow users to switch between a mobile and a desktop website, ask them why they’re switching — this will often highlight missing or broken functionality in your mobile site.

4. Prioritise content with a desktop heatmap 

Tools like Crazy Egg will show exactly where your users are clicking on your desktop website. These heatmaps are ideal for prioritising content on mobile. As you have much less screen real estate, you need to ensure that the most valuable content and elements are towards the top of the page — ideally above the fold.

5. Identify mobile personas

Mobile users often behave differently to desktop users — and that’s not just because of the device. They may have a different goal for their visit (and this can be revealed by qualitative feedback). For example, a flower delivery website may discover that mobile customers are significantly more likely to purchase same-day deliveries, which means that this content needs to be prioritised.

6. Conduct quick usability tests on mobile

Mobile usability testing is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get feedback. Services like Usertesting will connect you with members of the public who will video themselves using your website on their own phone.

7. Sketch wireframes on the back of a business card

Business cards are a similar size to mobile screen sizes. So rather than sketching mobile designs on A4 paper, use a blank business card instead. It’ll force you to prioritise the content needed to convert users.

8. Check out the competition

Websites like Airbnb, Target and Homedepot are excellent at mobile conversion. Their focus on simple, accessible content with a frictionless checkout experience means they’re getting a significant advantage over their competitors.

Stephen Pavlovich is the ceo of the Conversion Factory.

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