Most web traffic now comes from mobile devices, according to digital market intelligence and website traffic tool, SimilarWeb. Based on 77 billion website views, 55.79% of traffic comes from mobiles, while desktops are at 44.21%. With these results, it could be time to re-evaluate how ‘mobile-friendly’ your site is to make sure your customer needs are being met.
With the future of content and online sites becoming more mobile-focused, you’ll need to make sure that your site is perfect for mobile users. This week, I’m looking at what you need to do, who’s doing it well, as well as what you can take away for your business.
Be sure your content works on mobile
The most important step you can take is ensuring that your content can be viewed on a mobile device. This underpins everything, so it should be your first priority before working on your mobile content. You need to make sure your website is responsive, which means it must respond to whatever device it is being read on. If you are using older site platforms, now is the best time to update it.
High-street fashion giant Topshop receives many visitors each day to its mobile site. While it is a functioning site, users are noticing several issues that are making the experience difficult. This includes images that don’t load, products repeating without showing additional products, the site crashing, baskets being emptied and promotional content that doesn’t lead to the products advertised.
A key issue was the release of Beyoncé’s Ivy Park range at the company in 2016.The high demand created technical issues that temporarily shut the site down. Many visitors missed out on the products, the mobile site did not indicate any issues, but it simply did not show the products. Leaving many confused, Topshop had to take to Twitter to clear up any confusion on the mobile site.
What you can learn from this: Although most of the Topshop online site is fully functioning, it has issues. It’s not enough for your page to be simply responsive, it must also work well.
Talk to your audience and ask them to ‘test’ your new site early so they can identify any issues. Asking for honest, candid and detailed feedback about what people think of your site’s usability will help to ensure your mobile site is user-friendly. It’s a good idea to ask people who are tech-savvy and active Topshop users.
Top tip: Build, test and check everything thoroughly. Check every page, submit every form, share pages to every social media platform, place an order and even write a review. This makes sure that it works well and is easy to use.
Make it easily accessible
If your content is easy to find, it’s more likely to be read. The best way to make your content quick to find and accessible is through using a format that allows for tabbed content. Tabbed content is any content that resides on a single URL but requires another click for the user to see. This means you can break your content into categories that each have their own URL, with the content for each category accessed from this point.
Doing this allows you to better structure how your content sits on your website. The ease of finding relevant content through a few clicks makes it more user accessible for any visitors to the site. As any potential customers that are visiting your page probably know what they’re looking for, using tabs will help catch their attention – and keep it – quicker and easier.
What to do: Buzzfeed
When it comes to content, Buzzfeed is one of the most visited entertainment sites. According to data released by Data Conversion, Data Quality, and Data Governance company DMR, Buzzfeed gains an average of 9 billion content views per month and approximately 70% of its traffic comes from mobile devices. But what is Buzzfeed doing so well?
The company is famous for its viral content and popular quizzes, Buzzfeed brings in hits. As a result of this, brands from Cancer Research UK to Motorola have used their native advertising content to push their brand. It even promotes its own range of merchandise successfully through its content to its high number of viewers. As it attracts so many visitors to their site on mobile, the company has adapted to create a smooth experience for all users on-the-go, who are visiting through their mobile. It has been made easier through the clickable menu found on the top left-hand corner of the screen that lists all the available categories. Through this, all users will be able to find what they want quickly, as the topics are clearly given.
What you can learn from this: Buzzfeed clearly places the content the readers want to see. If they are interested in a certain topic, from news to lifestyle, it can all be easily accessed through a drop-down menu. As mobile screens are much smaller than computer screens, you need to be more precise with your layout. By using tabs and breaking your content down into categories, your user will find what they are looking for quickly. This means that they’re less likely to abandon your site in favour of a competitor who displays their content in a more accessible way.
As the number of consumers who view content on their mobile increases, you’ll need to adapt. A smooth and easy to navigate site is the best way of doing this. Making tabs means your potential customer is less likely to be overwhelmed by your landing page. Smooth experiences create a better customer experience, so it’s worth investing in.
Top tip: Make your key information stand out. Giving users what they want – and fast – will appeal to your customers. Have information such as pricing, locations near them and directions easy to access for mobile users.
Keep it brief and quick
If your consumers are reading on-the-go, they want their information fast. So, keep it snappy. According to research from Google, 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Troublingly, the same report by Google states that the average time it takes to download a landing page is 22 seconds. This leaves an opportunity for over half of your visitors to leave before they even look around your site. Luckily, this problem has a few solutions.
You don’t have a lot of time to grab attention, so make sure your site is making the best possible first impression. If you can speed up your site enough for it to load for mobile users in 3 seconds or less, you’ll already be ahead of your competition. This means more website traffic, more return customers, more leads and, most importantly, more sales.
Once you’ve got potential customers to your page, you must keep them there. Again, speed is key. As mobile users tend to be more distracted, shorter content often works better for them.
Even if you think your customer base will want long-form pieces – or you want to offer the long-form content Google loves- there are ways to offer brevity to your lengthy pieces. Distill your content into a summary that can either sit at the beginning or end of the piece. This way you can attract your reader quickly to your content, without having to shorten your work.
What to do: The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post is a well-known news outlet that reports on everything from politics to entertainment and technology. But what truly makes their online content stand out is how well they have adapted their pieces for a mobile audience.
The company alters the headlines slightly for mobile users, making their content more scannable. If you compare the mobile and desktop sites, you’ll see that the mobile website has fewer words on the home page. The headlines are shorter and more digestible. With these short and to the point headlines, the pieces are better summarized for readers. This means they can look through the homepage quickly and easily, to find something relevant to their needs immediately.
What you can learn from this: If your desktop home page is too wordy, altering it for a mobile site will give positive results. Although large descriptions may work for your desktop site, it needs to adapt for its mobile audience. As they are more likely to be active, you should aim to capture their attention in as few words as possible. Bold and informative headlines and short summaries will go a long way.
Optimising your site is vital. By making sure that your site is always running at top speed and efficiency, you’re more likely to retain your visitors. As mobiles have a lot of distractions on them, a prompt and well-organized mobile site can maintain the user’s interest for longer.
Top tip: Try mixing up how you give your content. If your information can be given quicker in an infographic or a video, try using these too. While mobile visitors will read your content, they’ll also welcome their news and information in clear and quick formats. Offering more options that help you get your point across faster are key for capturing the attention of your mobile audience.
Optimising your content for mobile devices and their audience may seem difficult, but has a number of payoffs for your business. If your site is better, you’re more likely to see an improvement in your engagement too. With the possible benefits of this including more customers, more sales and more profits, it’s vital for a modern business.