Optimising for Mobile: 5 Quick Tips

People are spending more and more time on their mobile phones than ever before. This new marketing world consists of terms like smart phones, SEO, mobile sites, geolocation, and social marketing. As marketers, we have to understand these new types of consumer and how best to reach them. Technology like geolocation and mobile tagging can help us better understand the mobile consumer and deliver more relevant messages.

There are 4 billion mobile phones in use and of those, 1.08 billion are smart phones. By 2014, it is estimated that  mobile internet will take over desktop internet usage. Did you know that on average, UK residents spend 2.7 hours per day socialising on their mobile device?

So, how do you create gamification with your mobile device visitors? Well that is a very long conversation on a case-by-case basis, but we have five quick tips for almost every marketing strategy when it comes to mobile devices:

Avoid text input, provide large call-to actions

When browsing the web on a mobile device, most users use one hand to do all the typing. Thus it is nowhere near as comfortable as a desktop experience. The only time a user should be typing is when they are finalising the site’s goal – whether that be a download of a brochure, a sale of a product or adding a comment on the blog. A user should be able to navigate around your mobile application (native or web-based) by only clicking your call-to actions (FYI small inline paragraph links are not useful at all!)

Loathe loading times

At least 46% of visitors will leave your site if your page takes more than five seconds to load, and that goes up to 86% if it takes more ten seconds. When you designed your desktop site, you had from 960 to 1040 pixels to play with. That’s alot of screen retail space for images, video and third party ads. But a desktop normally has a 3mb-40mb internet connection. Mobiles do not yet have that kind of speed (as a person obsessed with checking, I have only ever got about 0.4mb!) Remove anything you dont need from your mobile site and all pages should be less than 20kb.

Read top down

When browsing a site on a mobile device, we need to be wary of the screen retail space. Ensuring that the most important relevant information is at the top of the page. If your header takes up more than 20% of the screen – you need to reduce that! A user is alot more likely to leave if they are bombarded with hundreds of links to products they do not want, or adverts of sponsors, or generic information they do not need to know until later, if at all.

Images are pretty to look at, but not useful

Images are a great way to visually show someone something. But make sure you only use them when they are actually needed (e.g. figures for reference or a product you are selling). An average image file which has been save-optimised for web is around 20KB – that is the same as your whole code should be for a page! Most mobiles now support HTML5 and CSS3 standards, so drop the images and embrace the latest standards.

UI (User Interface) – Navigation

Navigation. Something so trivial that many skip over straight to the content. But without the right navigational prompts, how will anyone reach those amazing content pages! Ensure back buttons, and your menu is laid out to ensure maximum potential to the mobile users.

So there you are – 5 tips for optimising your website for mobile devices. Of course, if you want more, you will have to keep your eyes peeled as we put together a comprehensive guide to give away to you folks.