We live in a fast, multi device and multi context(ual) world, where the digital atmosphere is constantly changing and the typical website visitor is more demanding than ever before.
To build a successful website in this challenging environment, I strongly encourage you to follow this quick tips:
Focus on the right data
Most of the users browsing your website on the mobile phone will look for quick information related to your company or offer. Couple of years back Google My Business introduced buttons in a stylish window for mobile users of the most popular search engine, when they are searching for a specific company. The most common buttons are “Call”, “Directions”, “Website” & “Share” (I believe I have seen “Message” too and there are also booking ads for hotels, events, popular hours and similar).
However, a lot of people can still come to your website via other keywords or channels and that’s the reason why you should make it easier for your visitors to find contact information and location as easy as possible on your mobile website. Also, think about the “second layer of information” which is the most relevant for the users that come to your front page via Google (either by taping the first hit result or “Website” button in search). For example, if you’re a restaurant with daily menus, this could be the way to go on mobile.
Don’t forget about context
Try to picture 3 – 5 situations your typical client or website visitor (or personas, if you have them defined) would be in, when visiting your website. Afterwards try to think up of the information that would be most relevant to them in each one of those situations and then try to find that information on your current mobile website. Ask your friends or colleagues to do the same and evaluate the browsing time and overall experience. Go over the results and focus on the weak spots.
Analyze mobile traffic
Go to your Google Analytics and filter out the mobile traffic. Find out where the mobile users are coming from, which devices are most popular among your visitors, which content they find the most useful and how long they stick around on the specific pages. Equipped with data, improve your website by doing small changes and don’t forget to measure the results.
Let the visitor decide
One of the things I see a lot on responsive websites is the huge amount of content, which adjusts itself in a “vertical manner” from the desktop version and then requires visitors to scroll like crazy. I prefer less scrolling by letting the user decide which information he wants to see via simple “show or hide” tap on the screen or by laying the additional content horizontally. That way the content gets structured, there is less scrolling involved and, if done correctly, visitor will be able to find relevant information faster and more efficiently. You can also prepare different views as can be seen on the MGM Grand website.
As website owners we should make the best experience possible for the visitor on the mobile – that means striping down and optimizing all the interactions on the website and focusing on the experience. On mobile we don’t want to spend a lot of time doing basic things like filling up a form. Is it really necessary to gather all that form data on mobile or is it more important to generate a new lead, which you can always “nurture” to providing more data? What about type size? use bigger fonts and/or enable user to easily enlarge the font. Are the “tappable” elements big enough or are we annoying the visitor by making them too small? Try to focus the visitor on just a few specific actions (for example “call”, “e-mail”, “subscribe” & “add to cart”) and try to make the most out of them. Think about the order and appearance of elements on the mobile website too – more accessible social interactions etc.
My goal was to present the basic questions and tools you can use for developing the mobile experience for your website. This segment of users is becoming more and more important (if it’s not already the most important segment out there). I believe that we’ll see a lot of exciting development in the future – personalization of content and design based on preferences, location and previous visits would be a nice start but I think that there is a lot more that we can do on these devices.