Over and above Responsive Design: How to Optimize Your Website for Mobile Customers

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Everyone can acknowledge the importance of a mobile-friendly website, especially right after Google’s Mobilegeddon algorithm up-date.

Mobile optimization is here to remain, and it’s demanding more and more of businesses and their websites. But mobile optimization is about more than just a responsive web design.

In this article, we tell you precisely why and how to adopt a mobile-first mindset for your website.

Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm change within 2015 (and a few more since then) was evidence that this search engine recognizes its obligation to surface websites that will painlessly get users the actual need at the time that they require it.

Google doesn’t want to deliver mobile users to sites that provide a frustrating searching experience — that would damage its promise to its users to always deliver useful, relevant content.

Moreover, this particular algorithm change was and it is a signal of a much larger change that’s afoot — customer behavior is changing, and it’s your work to adapt.

Building a mobile-friendly website is step one, but tweaking your website will not a person ahead of consumers’ changing conduct and expectations.

In short, you need to infuse your marketing strategy using a mobile-first mindset. Here’s just how.

1 . Map your customer journey.

Imagine the experience associated with Sally, a young marketer who has just moved to Chicago. While out for a walk, Sally passes by a hair salon and realizes she needs a new hair-do. She pulls out the girl phone a search for hairstylists in Chicago who focus on curls and color. Her Google search pops up Joann’s Stylez .

The girl flips through the website quickly and wants to research a lot more, but it’s too hard while on the move — therefore she texts herself a hyperlink. When she gets house, she opens her texts on her tablet and rapidly checks Yelp reviews, looks at her calendar, and then publications an appointment using the simple form on the Joann’s website.

When Sally loads up the girl laptop later that night to check her email, the girl discovers an email from Joann’s that confirms her visit and gives her the option to add this to her calendar. The next day, 30 minutes before her appointment, the lady receives a push notice on her work computer reminding her of the appointment.

The following day, Sally receives a mobile email asking for feedback for the cut and offering to create a recurring appointment at a discounted rate. She’s sold.

Sally’s experience is illustrative of the cross-device, omnichannel trip that many customers now create as they move through the advertising funnel. Every day, consumers change a handful of different devices whenever completing common tasks such as online shopping, readying blog posts, reservation appointments, or communicating with each other.

HubSpot’s Blogging Software equips you to publish relevant, conversion-optimized content you can preview on any device — allowing you to engage with customers wherever they may be.

Consumers now expect this kind of experience from all of their electronic interactions. They want to be able to achieve whatever fits their elegant on whatever device reaches hand. This means that simply changing your site to look nice on different devices is not enough. As a marketer, you must dig deeper into your customers’ and prospects’ lives.

For example , at HubSpot, we know that a customer on a mobile device is very unlikely to fill out a long form on one of our getting pages. So we started using Smart Content to automatically reduce the form when a mobile audience is looking at it. In this way, our mobile prospects increased by 5x.

2 . Catch intent-rich micro-moments.

You’ve probably already developed a strong set of buyer personas. You’ve executed user research and assessment to understand which content plus CTAs to present to every persona as they move over the funnel. You must now go a step further. You must understand both the rhythm and rhyme to when, why, with what, and from where individuals are interacting with your website and content.

Google encourages marketers to distinguish the “micro-moments” in a client’s journey:

Micro-moments occur when folks reflexively turn to a device — increasingly a smartphone — to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and choices shaped.

A number of brands have figured out how to anticipate and capitalize on these micro-moments. Apple Passbook loads up your Starbucks card when you’re near a coffee shop. Hertz sends you an email when your airplane lands to let your know that your car is prepared. Starwood allows you to check in and open your hotel room together with your smartphone.

Consumers are increasingly becoming acclimated to companies offering such intimately responsive experiences. 59% of shoppers say that being able to shop on mobile is important when deciding which brand name or retailer to buy through, and 39% of mobile phone users are more likely to browse or even shop a company or brand’s mobile app because it is easier or faster to create a purchase.

How can you figure out these types of micro-moments and design your articles to meet prospects’ intent? Make use of your data. Here are three analyses you should start with:

  • Search : Which usually queries, ads and key phrases are bringing users on different products to your website plus landing pages? Once they property on your site, what types of queries are users on different devices performing?
  • Content : Examine the content that users access by stage in the funnel and by device. Will there be a trend around exactly what prospects on their phones are downloading? Sharing?
  • Movement : Dig into a flow analysis segmented by device. What is the path mobile-using prospects adhere to? What is the path tablet-using customers follow? From what sites and sources are these visitors arriving?

After building your trove of micro-moments, it will be easy to think: “Okay, we all just need to strip our site down to the specific things our own visitors will mostly likely wish to access on the go. ”

Yet mobile users are not limited to completing short, simple duties. The device does not directly imply location or even intent.

A busy professional may use her travel time to conduct in-depth industry research on her phone, procedure her email inbox on her tablet while watching a movie with her family, and see the websites of potential contractors while flying across the country.

Credit reporting this intuition, the Pew Research Center’s study of U. S. smartphone found that 99% of smartphone owners use their phone at home, 82% use their own phones while in transit, and 69% use their phone at work each week. (This study was conducted in 2015, but we believe it can still relevant, if not more so , today. )

People have a tendency want a stripped down group of content. Instead, they want fast and simple access to the materials they require on whatever device they will happen to be using. Thus, as you want to optimize your site, landing pages, emails, etc . with regard to micro-moments, you do not want to force visitors into a box from which they cannot escape.

3. Think about (and reconsider) your metrics.

The metrics you established in the desktop-centric days may not seamlessly translate to our new multi-device, micro-moment world. For instance , you might have fought tirelessly to find techniques to increase visitors’ time on the site, recognizing that more time means higher engagement, which usually translates to higher conversion.

The micro-moments you identify for mobile visitors, however , might suggest that you want a lower time-on-site. A prospect visiting the site of a consulting firm might be looking for:

  • An infographic they want to display a coworker
  • The bio of a partner with whom they may be about to meet
  • A case research to read while traveling

In order to meet this prospect’s expectations for their mobile experience, you must design your website to quickly and intuitively help them find the specific piece of information for which they may be looking. If their mobile check out is distracting, frustrating, or too time consuming, you’ve broken their perception of your brand name.

4. Embrace the intimacy of mobile.

For better or worse, I go to sleep with my phone (reviewing tomorrow’s schedule and reading a nighttime meditation) and am wake up with my phone (silencing the alarm plus checking the weather). I communicate with my partner and our best friends everyday — through my phone. When my MBA classmate sends the GIF of Tyra Banking institutions being sassy, I convert my phone to the individual next to me, and we have a good laugh together.

Day-in and day-out, these interactions create an intimate connection between my phone and me personally. And I’m not alone: Many consumers imbue their cellular experiences with more intimacy compared to desktop experiences. The Pew Research Center found that Americans view their smartphones as freeing, connecting, and helpful, and associate their own phones with feelings associated with happiness and productivity. These types of associations can inspire greater engagement with and fascination with content.

As marketers, we should take advantage of these trends plus consider how to make our prospects’ mobile experience more personal and social. Perhaps swap out your website to increase the proportion of social CTAs you display when someone arrives on mobile.

5. Keep in mind the basics and think forward.

Overall, embracing the cellular mindset means ensuring that the entire customer trip is responsive, relevant, workable, and frictionless . Like a marketer, you want to help customers quickly and easily find what they want to find and do what they want to do. Again, this means thinking ahead, knowing when, with what device, and from where your prospective customers will interact with your content.

This could seem daunting, but mostly it means diligently applying the fundamentals across channels. For example , given that nearly half of all email messages are opened on mobile, ensure your emails are usually mobile optimized. We suggest doing the following:

  1. Use large, easily readable text.
  2. Use large, clear images and reduce file sizes.
  3. Keep layouts simple and invest in responsive templates.
  4. Use large, mobile-friendly calls-to-action and hyperlinks.

Spotting the personal associations people have using their phones, you’ll want to ensure that the “From” name is familiar which the preview text is definitely inviting. And think ahead: Don’t email a link to some form or an event registration landing page that is not mobile-friendly.

Make use of HubSpot’s Free Landing Page Builder to launch landing webpages that look perfect throughout devices and automatically change content based on who’s looking at your page.

Over to You: Time to Optimize

Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to living the mobile mindset plus weathering the change within consumers’ digital behavior. Move quickly and your organization might be at the head of the pack.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published within June 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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