Is Your Mobile Visibility Nonexistent?
Annisa Farese | 04/05/2012
Your business website is beautiful, full of interesting content, images, and cool functionality. You’re feeling good — until you try to view it on your smartphone or tablet.
If your website has not been optimized for an audience on-the-go with a smaller screen, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to drive physical traffic to your business. But effectively maximizing your mobile visibility includes far more than just the aesthetics of your website.
Now that we have your attention, it’s time to tackle the essentials of optimizing your business website for mobile consumption.
Catch Them If You Can!
Thanks to the amazing growth in smartphone usage over the past few years, a cultural shift has taken place that demands online information be presented in a smaller, more portable way. And, importantly, it must be delivered clearly and immediately to consumers when and where they need it.
For certain business categories, the need for a mobile site is even more important than others. Restaurant, Retail and Auto round-out the top of a long list of highly searched categories.Category Search Trends – xAd Q4 2011 Report
Think about the expectations associated with searching for the perfect happy hour spot, the nearest clothing boutique, or an auto shop — the need is near-urgent and thus the information needs to be readable on a smaller screen, render fast and provide easy to access contact information (i.e. Click to call, map & driving directions etc).
If your site is not optimized for mobile viewing, it may lead to consumer frustration or your site may be filtered out of mobile search results altogether.
Your Customers Know What They Want. Have You Been Listening?
If you have a website, there should be some analytics mechanism in place to track visits to the site and a plethora of other traffic, geographic, and demographic data. (If you do not have analytics data being captured from your website, please stay tuned for a proper slapping on the wrist.)
The most crucial nugget of information you can pull from website analytics is what type of device your visitors are using when they view your site. Knowing what percentage of your traffic comes from mobile devices can help you better understand the need to optimize properly and what information is most important to those users.
When profiling your mobile users, pay attention to the bounce rate and the most popular pages. That will help you decide what to include, and more importantly what to chuck, when creating your mobile site.
Now here’s the wrist-slapping… for those of you that have a) no idea if your site has analytics built in and/or b) have no idea what these analytics would mean anyway, here’s what to do. Call your webmaster and ask if there are analytics available and where to find them. If analytics aren’t already available, have your webmaster set up Google Analytics immediately!
Can You See Me Now?
An essential element of any online site is its ability to recognize whether a visitor is using a mobile device or a full-scale computer. The fancy new mobile version of your website is useless without enabling user-detection functionality. This will automatically serve the mobile-version of the site when a visitor from a mobile device tries to access your main business URL.
If you’re worried that mobile users will still want access to the expanded content on your full-scale website, no worries. Just make sure there are clear links back to your full desktop site found on each page of the mobile version.
Track & Optimize
This last element may be the most important as it will help to prove all this hard work has a payoff. The mobile-optimized site is up and running, accumulating rich and usable data via Google Analytics or the like. Through the use of your website analytics you should see an increase in new visitors to the site.
This is all thanks to not only an improved mobile experience for your consumers, but an improvement in your organic rankings in mobile search engines due to your ability to now provide a mobile optimized experience.
The ultimate goal of mobile-website optimization is conversion — money in your pocket. By fully understanding and leveraging this information, you can not only continue to optimize your full website and mobile version, but prepare your business to serve your customers and clients with exactly what they need when they reach your business through their mobile device, online via their desktop or tablet, or direct to your doorstep.