The advent of digital media has brought on a lot of challenges when it comes to adaptations. Having a website designed for desktop has become a standard practice…but are you giving thought to your mobile site and its experience? As users increasingly use different devices to access websites, the role of mobile has become incredibly important. Whether attracting new business or retaining customers and clients, the way your mobile website experienced is designed can have a lot of impact on whether they continue to pursue your business.
Consider the following statistics:
- In 2018, 52.2 percent of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones. Compare this to 2009, where it was a mere 0.7%. Clearly, there is a lot of growth involved.
- Over 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product while searching on their smartphones.
- Marketers and advertisers are putting 51% of their budget into mobile ads
- 52% of customers are less likely to engage with a company because of a bad mobile experience
What to do all of these points have in common? They paint a pretty clear picture of the role of mobile now and in the future. As smartphones become the go-to device for consumers across demographics, there is a clear need to optimize and get ahead of the game. Whether B2B or B2C, customers are becoming accustomed to certain experiences when they interact with brands online. And if that experience leads to dissatisfaction, there is little hesitation in cutting that brand off. Brands that invest in the user experience and try to identify ways to optimize the mobile experience are the ones coming out ahead of the competition.
Evaluating your own products and marketing is often difficult but that kind of candor is necessary to bring about change. Your brand is in constant evolution and identifying issues now means that you can instigate real change that drives the user experience in a positive realm. Within that framework, here are some elements of your mobile site that may be holding your user experience back…and where you can drive real change.
1) Not having a mobile site at all
This might sound like an obvious one but it bears a conversation. Many small and medium businesses continue to stay reticent about establishing an online presence and that is a fatal mistake. Having a website accomplishes a lot of different things for brands:
- Your website can serve as a holding spot for important information such as location, contact information, products, services, etc. Think of it as a catalog but where you never have to worry about physically mailing something out.
- It gives it a sense of credibility as users feel safer doing business with a brand if they can find information about it online
- It makes a brand more accessible since users do not need to be in a specific geographic location to interact with your brand and learn more about you.
- A website enables both new and old customers an easy way to access information and make contact
The list goes on and on, but these are some of the more salient points to consider. A website allows unfettered access to your brand in a way customers feel comfortable with. Rather than hunt for old and out of date information, your website can be their central point of correct information.
2) No analytics framework in place
Once you have established a website, is there anything in place to actually measure its success? Or to understand where your website can improve? Or even to understand when customers and clients are more likely to access your website?
If you answered no to these questions, it is time to think about analytics. One of the reasons why digital marketing efforts are so quickly adopted is because they provide real, tangible information. Instead of guesswork, you have actual numbers and statistics in place to understand your business. And this, in turn, helps you make far more accurate business decisions in real-time. Plus, it gives you the framework to start better predicting heavy traffic and uptick times.
There are lots of different analytics tools out there, ranging from free to premium to explore. Think about what some of your pain points are and use analytics to establish a baseline and try to solve these problems. Whether it is understanding product demand or what kind of information people are looking for on your website, analytics can help answer that and more.
3) Not considering security
Data security and privacy have become buzzwords now and for good reason. As people use mobile more and more, there is a real sense of security prevalent that makes people more (or less) likely to use a website. For example, if you have a contact form on your website, do you explain what the data will be used for? If people make payments on your website, what evidence do they have that the payment method is secure and you are not capturing and storing sensitive data?
These might sound like small concerns, but they add up for users and make them less likely to engage with your website. Run through each element of your website with a fine-tooth comb for a security perspective. For anything that may look unclear to the average user, be transparent about your data retention policies. Transparency and authority go a long way with online consumers and clients so let them know you take their security seriously.
4) Bad formatting and inaccessible contact information
The last one may be one of the more egregious ones that hold websites back often. Bad formatting and inaccessible information cheapen the experience for users and make them less likely to come back to your site. If they have trouble finding simple information like your location and contact information, that’s a problem. Similarly, if the website loads incorrectly, it’s hard to navigate (i.e. not responsive) and/or is formatted really horribly (think no subheadings or titles, an unclear main menu, things like that), these are all negatives.
To combat this, the first step is to try and access the website yourself on a mobile device. Empathy is key here – navigate this the way a new customer would. What information do you think they would try to find? (Hint: your analytics might be able to help here) and where would they look for it? Is it clear where each page will lead them? And is the information organized in a logical and correct manner?
These are just some of the things to keep in mind as you think about creating and evolving the mobile experience for your users. With some careful scrutiny and keeping the user experience at the forefront of your design, it will become easier and easier to attract and retain customers and clients across demographics.