This week we’ve explored the science of optimising the perfect landing page for mobile. Here we summarise the best practices and techniques when designing for mobile site visitors. If you’re trying to run a PPC Google Adwords campaign or to encourage people to download a mobile app you’ve developed, optimising a mobile landing page can be the quickest and smartest way to dramatically enhance conversion performance. With mobile web usage dramatically increasing at such a rapid rate, marketers can no longer ignore the fundamental importance of optimising landing pages for the mobile site visitor. So here’s a roundup of our top ten tips for optimising the perfect mobile landing page:
1.) Focus On Mobile Accessibility
The mobile landscape is fragmented and there are lots of devices to consider when optimising for mobile site visitors. There are also a bunch of technologies you can’t use if you’re optimising landing pages for mobile.
“40% of mobile site visitors turn to a competitors website if they have a bad experience”
Avoid flash and frames and various plugins that won’t be suitable for mobile site visitors. Instead focus on mobile friendly technologies like HTML5 and jQuery.
2.) Be Fast Or Be Last
Make sure your mobile web page loads in less than 5 seconds. Conversion performance is proven to decline dramatically if a page takes longer than 5 seconds to load. The top factors that negatively affect mobile site loading times are the number of requests and the size of the pages. Plan and strategize accordingly. You need to find a balance between creating an engaging and conversion focused experience for your mobile site visitors and loading the page super fast.
3.) Use A Single Column Layout
When optimising for the latest smartphones, be it iPhone or Android, make sure you present information in a single column layout design. When optimising landing pages for mobile, you have far less space to deal with when compared with desktop, so use it considerately. Make sure you only include essential information above the fold. Work out your conversion point. Are you generating new sales or generating leads via mobile? Once you’ve defined your conversion goals, make sure you have a distinct and clear CTA (call to action) above the fold.
4.) Be Clear & Concise
Similar to the previous tip, you’ve got to be brutal when it comes to stripping back content, as well as design elements. You should aim to cut your copy in half for mobile site visitors, so make every word count.
“If I had more time, I would’ve written a shorter letter”. – Winston Churchill
If a sentence isn’t essential in your copy, strip it out. Where you use 7 or 8 words to convey a message via desktop websites, you should ideally be stripping the same messages back to 3 or 4 words for mobile.
5.) No Room For Pinch & Zoom
This is a pretty basic litmus test to assess how well your website currently performs on mobile. Use an iPhone or Google Android device and go to your website, or any website. Do you need to pinch and zoom to make content legible? If so, this is an absolute non-starter for mobile visitors. You should be able to hold the smartphone at arms length and still be able to read the content. Imagine trying to read a newspaper through a magnifying glass, not much fun. That’s the equivalent of pinch and zoom for mobile site visitors. It’s just unacceptable.
6.) Enable Mobile Visitors To Make The Call
What do people do using mobile phone? It seems ridiculously obvious, but the top action when using mobile phones, unsurprisingly, is to make phone calls. So when you look at your website via mobile, are you giving prospective customers the opportunity to make the call? Make sure you include a CTA that enables potential customers to call you directly via mobile.
7.) Don’t Discriminate Fat Thumbs
If your content is too small, it’s challenging for mobile site visitors to engage with your service offering. Make sure content is large enough that it’s legible at arms length. If prospective customers need to be able to click buttons, make sure they’re big enough for people with larger fingers and thumbs. Also leave enough negative space between buttons to make them clear. If you’re creating a CTA, ensure the colour, form and overall design of the button and it’s surrounding area is clearly presented in order to maximise conversions.
8.) Be A Local Presence
This is one of the great things about the mobile web. You can be many things to many people. Using geolocation, you can create customised mobile landing page experiences for prospective and existing customers. Using Google Adwords you can create geo-targeted ad campaigns and adapt landing pages accordingly using local expertise and knowledge.
9.) Strip Back The Contact Form
If your desktop website uses 8 fields in the enquiry form, your mobile landing page should use 3 maximum. There is research that proves your conversion performance will be adversely affected if you use more than 3 fields in your contact form. Only display fields that are urgent and critical in terms of data collection for marketing intelligence purposes. Using between one and three fields is ideal. Anymore than 3 will decrease conversion performance by over 50% for each additional field parameter you add. This is significant so make sure your mobile landing page enquiry form is stripped back to the optimal number of fields, i.e. no more than 3.
10.) Provide A Compelling CTA
Developing a clear and compelling CTA is essential for success on the mobile web. Understand how you actually want prospective and existing customers to behave when they visit your site via mobile. The rationale behind the mobile pages existence should be clear and compelling with a strong CTA and urgency statement to imply scarcity.
Hopefully by now we’ve covered the fundamental aspects of creating a compelling and conversion focused mobile optimised landing page. Usability and loading speed are key. Less is more in terms of design, but make sure elements are clickable for bigger fingers and thumbs. Create a string CTA and urgency statement, much like you would when designing a website for desktop. Use mobile specific features like geolocation to give your mobile landing pages an authentic local flavour. You’ll inadvertently discover that optimising your site for mobile consumers will also vastly improve the conversion performance of your existing desktop website too.
Also remember to split test your mobile optimised landing pages to discover over time what works best for you and your customers. If your website is not currently optimised for mobile, and you invest in one piece of marketing this year, it should be to enhance the experience of your site on mobile for existing and prospective customers.