A Beginner's Guide to Mobile Websites

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Even though mobile marketing has been around for a few years now, many businesses are still struggling with how to fit mobile into their digital strategy.

Ultimately, mobile is no longer an option as part of a digital strategy – consumers expect your site to be mobile friendly and they expect to be able to find businesses when they perform a search on their mobile device.

When considering the integration of mobile marketing into your digital strategy, you must take into account two core pillars that will set you up for success – you must ensure that your website is both easy to navigate (User Experience) and easily found (SEO).

USER EXPERIENCE
People are already visiting your site on a mobile device.Make sure the experience is a positive one. The experience a user has on a website may make or break an online deal. If a user visits a website and cannot find the information they’re looking for to complete a desired task, they will leave for your competitors.

Additionally, the way you access the internet on your mobile device is not the same as how you would at home on your desktop or laptop computer. The screen is much smaller and is most often operated with your finger tips. This can be a cause for frustration when trying to click on microscopic links or navigate through several pages of content.

SEO
Help people who are searching for your business, find it. The goal of search engine optimization, better known as SEO, is to improve a website’s visibility in the organic search engine results, which ultimately drives more traffic to the site. SEO is the cornerstone of any good website as the value of high visibility on a search engine results page cannot be understated. Organic search engine visibility is achieved by following a list of best practices that help search engines better match your website with the needs of search users, therefore listing them higher in the results page. SEO results do not happen overnight and it can take 3-6 months before results are seen. Search engines are also constantly making updates to algorithms, therefore SEO is an ongoing process, not a set it and forget it one-time activity.

Local SEO: It’s one thing to optimize your site for visibility in search engines. It’s another to optimize your site for visibility in local search results.

With major search engines increasingly delivering locally relevant search results to users, local SEO has seen an increase in interest among users and enterprises particularly those operating in a regional context.

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A Beginner's Guide to Mobile Websites

  1. 1. A beginner`s guide to mobile websites: create a mobile friendly website that can be found by search engines Mediative.com
  2. 2. About Mediative Mediative is a digital marketing company providing performance services and access to media platforms. Organizations who want to significantly enhance their digital presence and influence buyers turn to us to help generate revenue by quickly moving their targets from awareness to purchase. Location and research-based data fuels our insight, which we leverage across our consultative performance services, online properties, and location-based marketing platforms in the dynamic digital world. With precise and unmatched knowledge of how “shoppers and clients buy”, we take a consultative and holistic approach, based on our people’s passion for insight and results, to provide the outcomes you need now, and for the future. 2
  3. 3. Table of Contents The Two Core Pillars of Mobile Websites 4 Mobile User Experience Improve the experience of people already visiting your site • 10 Quick Tips • 9 Ways to Improve Forms • Improve the Purchase Experience 5 6 7 Mobile SEO Ensure you are visible in search engines on a mobile device • Responsive Design • 4 Major Considerations for Local Search • Optimize for Local Search 8 9 10 3
  4. 4. THE TWO CORE PILLARS OF MOBILE WEBSITES Reach your consumers through their online capable mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. Even though mobile marketing has been around for a few years now, many businesses are still struggling with how to fit mobile into their digital strategy. Ultimately, mobile is no longer an option as part of a digital strategy – consumers expect your site to be mobile friendly and they expect to be able to find businesses when they perform a search on their mobile device. When considering the integration of mobile marketing into your digital strategy, you must take into account two core pillars that will set you up for success – you must ensure that your website is both easy to navigate (User Experience) and easily found (SEO). 01 USER EXPERIENCE People are already visiting your site on a mobile device. Make sure the experience is a positive one. The experience a user has on a website may make or break an online deal. If a user visits a website and cannot find the information they’re looking for to complete a desired task, they will leave for your competitors. 02 SEO Help people who are searching for your business, find it. The goal of search engine optimization, better known as SEO, is to improve a website’s visibility in the organic search engine results, which ultimately drives more traffic to the site. SEO is the cornerstone of any good website as the value of high visibility on a search engine results page cannot be understated. Organic search engine visibility is achieved by following a list of best practices that help search engines better match your website with the needs of search users, therefore listing them higher in the results page. SEO results do not happen overnight and it can take 3-6 months before results are seen. Search engines are also constantly making updates to algorithms, therefore SEO is an ongoing process, not a set it and forget it onetime activity. Local SEO: It’s one thing to optimize your site for visibility in search engines. It’s another to optimize your site for visibility in local search results. With major search engines increasingly delivering locally relevant search results to users, local SEO has seen an increase in interest among users and enterprises – particularly those operating in a regional context. Additionally, the way you access the internet on your mobile device is not the same as how you would at home on your desktop or laptop computer. The screen is much smaller and is most often operated with your finger tips. This can be a cause for frustration when trying to click on microscopic links or navigate through several pages of content. 34% 56% of Americans have a smartphone of adults have a tablet device Source: Pew Research (2013) 4
  5. 5. MOBILE USER EXPERIENCE: 10 QUICK TIPS Websites that are optimized for mobile experience higher conversion rates, more page views, and lower bounce rates from mobile users. 02 Mobile means mobile - context is key • People using their mobile device tend to be on the move and need immediate information relevant to their situation or location. You must deliver a highly contextual, personalized mobile experience which is too convenient for them to pass up. 01 • 06 Get to know your users Simplify site accessibility A mobile site should, in most cases, be a simpler version of your desktop site with larger buttons, reduced graphics, and easier navigation. A mobile site home page should fundamentally begin with a menu (see example below). Minimize the click path to a desired action • Prioritize links by popularity, ensuring that the most sought-after content appears first. • Limit links to ten per page. • Don’t crowd links together - this minimizes the chances of clicking on the wrong one. • Make clickable buttons larger than you would on a standard site. Apple’s mobile guidelines suggest a minimum target height of 44px. Conduct user experience tests or `voice of customer`surveys on your standard site to discover the critical pieces of information that users look for and make sure your mobile site delivers them. 03 07 Mobile content is not desktop content • • • • 08 Mobile Version 04 Eliminate horizontal scrolling 09 Optimize navigation 10 • • Design your mobile site so users can move quickly and freely through it (less is more). Multiple drop-down options and levels take up valuable screen space and can overload the user with information. Source: Google Research Content is still king, even on a mobile device. however, limit your content categories to avoid user disorientation as they navigate deeper into the site. Content needs to be simple, short, focused, and fit within the screen width. Consider bandwidth constraints on a mobile device limit the use of images. Place important content toward the top of the page. Make sure redirects work properly Set up your server to automatically serve the appropriate version from a single URL but also give your users the option of visiting the standard site through a link in the page footer. Desktop Version Screen width is an important consideration for optimal user experience and mobile site attractiveness. Develop in portrait mode – single column design layouts with text that is left justified works best. 05 Remember that it’s impossible for a user to hover over an element - they’re either clicking it or not. Forget about having the same navigation repeated on every page. Breadcrumb navigation works best on mobile. Compress images Avoid using large images with resolutions higher than 72 dpi. Make your calls-to-action stand out (CTA) Use dark text on a light background - it’s easier to read, especially in bright light. 72% of consumers want mobile-friendly sites 5
  6. 6. MOBILE USER EXPERIENCE: 9 WAYS TO IMPROVE FORMS Instead, use either a continuously scrolling calendar (left) or a compound menu (right). Mobile devices are often used on-the-go, one-handed, and with intermittent internet connections. Consequently, mobile input needs to be as fast, easy, and as error-free as possible. These best practices can help ensure your mobile forms are effective and as user-friendly as possible. 01 Avoid Text Entry - Wherever possible, don’t make users type in data. Instead, allow data selection via a menu. 02 Label Position - Many mobile devices zoom in on the field in focus so that it’s easier for the user to see what they’re doing. Field labels should be positioned above the field so that they are still visible on field zoom. 05 04 Use locked drop-down lists when users know exactly what information they’re searching for or when lists are in alphabetical or chronological order. Use predictive text when list items are lengthy, items cannot be arranged in a logical order, or when users know enough about what they are looking for and can type at least a few characters into the text field. 08 Orientation - If the user changes the orientation of the mobile device, change the way the form is displayed so that it’s still easy to complete the active field. 09 Location Selection - If possible, allow the user to specify their location using the GPS feature in their device (e.g. Use current location?). If entering text for location is required, provide predictive text so that the user is not forced to type the entire location. 06 07 03 Controls - Sometimes, the controls used on a desktop website appear cluttered on a mobile device. In some cases, it would be more appropriate to use a drop down menu. Choose controls that reduce the amount of work required by the user. Set Sensible Defaults - Consider the typical use of your users and provide defaults that match that use case. For example, if a user is looking for train schedules, the sensible default departure date and time would be today and the next available departure. Calendars - Many date pickers currently in use require users to scroll through months using small arrow buttons (as shown below). 67% Source: Google Research of consumers are willing to buy a product or use a service on a mobile-friendly site 6
  7. 7. MOBILE USER EXPERIENCE: IMPROVE THE PURCHASE EXPERIENCE 67% 5-7seconds is all you have to convince a user they’re on the right page with relevant results to their search of online shopping carts are abandoned Source: Baymard Institute 01 Current Issues in Mobile Commerce While mobile commerce is growing, there are still a number of issues that affect a consumer’s decision to shop using a mobile device. According to a Forrester Research Study report: • 41% of consumers feel shopping on mobile websites discloses their mobile phone number to the website, which they would like to avoid. • • Accounts Sign Up - Encourage users to sign up for an account after they add items to their cart. This will allow you to contact them via email for further promotions. • PayPal Access - Consider using PayPal Access to make the login and purchase process easier. • Reduce Risk - Before customers even get to their shopping cart, make sure they’ve been exposed to clear messaging about price matching and shipping/ return policies. • Gift Options - If customers can send products as gifts, ensure that it’s clear on product pages and include that option at the top of the shipping information in the checkout process. • Build Trust - Use trust marks such as Verisign or McAfee to reinforce that the checkout process is secure. • Thank Customers - Make sure that your thank you pages are in good shape. They’re an opportunity to re-engage customers and convince them to purchase again. • Follow Up on Cart Abandonment - Follow up with reminder emails or personalized, on-site messaging to remind them of the items in their cart. Give them a time limit and consider persuading them to checkout by offering discounts or free shipping incentives. • Make it Easy to Get Help - Inevitably, customers will have problems or will decide they don’t want to purchase online. Rather than lose them entirely, make it easy for them to chat live with a customer service rep, find a number to call, or locate a store. 33% of consumers would like mobile websites to have the same content, features, and functionality as standard websites. • 32% of consumers wish mobile websites were easier to navigate through the purchase process. As you can see from the last two statistics, there is a trade-off between website simplicity on a mobile device and full functionality that reflects a desktop experience. 02 Call-To-Action - Place the “Buy Now” button below the products description. 45% of consumers wish mobile payment services were more secure. • • Mobile Commerce Optimization • • • Distance - Many consumers choose to purchase from retailers who are in their close proximity to avoid long shipping delays and extensive costs. On the product page that contains the “Buy Now” button, clearly state the shipping charges and total delivery time so nothing is left to question. Relevancy - Mobile consumers are on the go and are looking to make quick purchases. This indicates a desire to find what they’re looking for within the top 3 search results. Make sure your pages are optimized with various long-tail keywords (highly specific) that reflect what your mobile audience might be looking for. Speed - Make sure your website loads quickly and the navigation lets the consumer find what they’re looking for with just a few clicks. 7
  8. 8. MOBILE SEO: RESPONSIVE DESIGN As the number of different types of mobile devices in the market increases, so does the number of screen sizes. Brands now have to design for desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, and everything in between. Before After Consequently, there are two primary website designs: 01 02 A single desktop responsive website - a website that serves the same content to a mobile device as it does to a desktop computer. The website served up to mobile users will be shrunk to fit the smaller screen and thus, will be far more difficult to navigate using touch gestures. A desktop and mobile responsive website - a website that serves one version to desktop users and another version to mobile users using a different URL (www. website.com or m.website.com). The mobile website is geared to deliver an enhanced user experience for those using a smartphone or tablet. need to crawl. Responsive design uses a single URL for multiple platforms making search engine indexing more efficient. • Links - Backlinks remain an important ranking indicator for search. Responsive design allows a mobile website to share the same backlink profile as its desktop equivalent. • Single URL - Google and Bing (the two major search players) both recommend responsive design stating that a website should be accessible from just one URL Delivering the right user experience across various platforms is key to ensuring optimal user experience is maintained. Design methods change the layout of a webpage based on the visitor’s device characteristics. Disadvantages to consider Responsive design means: • Cost - Responsive design can be expensive. • that the website will adjust to the format that is optimal for the device it is being viewed on. • • The screen resolution changes using flexible grids and images. Essentially, the website responds to the visual requirements of the user. Time - It takes more time to test and ensure that responsive design has been implemented correctly. • Standards - As the number of standard screen sizes continues to increase, so does the number of screens that responsive designs need to be able to respond to. SEO benefits of responsive design: • Crawling - If a website duplicates every single desktop URL for a mobile version, it’s effectively doubling the number of URLs that search engines 8
  9. 9. MOBILE SEO: 4 MAJOR CONSIDERATIONS FOR LOCAL SEARCH 53% of mobile searches have local intent Source: Mediative Labs (2012) Search engine use - For local searches, most people use 2-3 apps or mobile websites to perform their search including Google, Yellow Pages, and Yelp. • Ensure your business information is listed on multiple search engines and local directories - not just Google. • Make sure your name, address, and place details are complete and accurate across all local websites and directories. • Consider geo-local optimization strategies to help boost your business’ rankings on local search. • Consumers who search on their mobile devices usually demonstrate a sense of urgency. Make sure the mobile version of your website has the important information they need to visit or contact your business. Search terms used - Most searches are performed using two types of search terms: general descriptions (e.g. “Banks”) and specific business names (e.g. “Royal Bank”). For some industries, general descriptions are used more than specific names and vice versa. • If your category is searched for using general description terms, consider expanding your keyword basket to ensure your website’s visibility across the search spectrum. • Ensure your website is optimized for long-tail local searches. For example, a consumer that searches for “Product X Toronto” is indicating his/her desire to find Product X within their city (Toronto). 70% of mobile searches result in action being taken within an hour as opposed to a week for desktop searches • • Make sure your website is placed under the appropriate category on Google Places / Google+ Local Create a unique page on the website for specific locations and serve users with relevant contact information and maps access. Small screens and urgency - Considering small screen sizes and a sense of urgency, users of mobile search want to get access to the information they are looking for very quickly. • If your business doesn’t rank among the top 6 results for a search, you are missing out on a large number of potential customers. Employ SEO best practices (as outlined in this document) to boost ranking. • Some websites such as YellowPages.ca offer click-tocall buttons. Ensure that your business is among the top results and offer a click-to-call button to convince consumers to call your business. • Prioritize your content and put the most important information at the top of the page. Keep scrolling to a minimum. Load times - 73% of consumers find mobile website load times to be too slow and 74% say they will leave the site after waiting 5 seconds or more. To speed up loading times: • Do not use large images. Reduce them to a size that is manageable on a standard mobile device. • Avoid Flash as not all devices are compatible and it can take several seconds to properly load. 9
  10. 10. MOBILE SEO: OPTIMIZE FOR LOCAL SEARCH 01 Google+ Local Make sure the page is complete and accurate, in particular the location on the map. You can move the map marker to the business’ exact location. Ensure that other directories, such as Yellow Pages also have correct information, as Google obtains its information from several places, including third party providers. With the rapidly increasing adoption of web-enabled mobile devices and shopping apps, it is becoming vital for any business to optimize their local online presence – even if they don’t have a website. Google + Local is a simple way to take advantage of a powerful tool that has the potential to attract new customers and build a business’ reputation. How Can Google+ Local Help My Business? Get found on Google for free – You don’t need a lot of SEO experience to ensure you are visible. In fact, you don’t even need a website – having a Google+ Local listing is a great way of ensuring you have an online presence. It’s easy to manage - Creating a Google+ Local listing is easy and can be updated whenever you want – updates will appear as soon as you have verified them. Information can be updated at any time, and you can access stats such as how many people have seen and clicked on the listing. When people are searching for your company online, you want to be found easily - but also be in control of the information that is listed, and with Google+ Local you can be. Stand out from your competition – If you have a Google+ Local page and the competition doesn’t, you are already one step ahead. If the competition also has a listing, be sure to add photos, videos, promotions, coupons, additional information etc – anything to make yours stand out. Think about what customers would want to know about your business, and put it on your Local page. The key things to include when setting up the listing are company/organization name, address, phone number, website, description and email address. Search Page Results Google+ Local Page 02 Directory Listings Yellow Pages Online is a listing hub for almost every player in the local search world. That is why the accuracy of your directory listing has become more and more important for local SEO. When the address on the website matches the address on the verified citation site pages (yp.ca business profile page), Google sees the business as trustworthy and ranks it accordingly. To enhance your Google+ Local page, consider adding the following: As of 2012, Google gives better organic ranking to yp.ca listings results when people perform searches with local intent. It shows that Yellow Pages Online has an important impact when added to a local marketing strategy. According to Yellow Pages, this is the recommended type of data that businesses should have online: • • Business Name, Address, and Phone Number these must be consistent across publisher’s sites including the exact name iteration of a display name. e.g. Walmart and Wal-Mart. • URL • Hours of Operation and Services • Business Category and Description • Photos and Videos • • • Categories - Choose the most appropriate, specific categories for your business. Hours of Operation - This will save the user from having to call. It streamlines the process to potential business. Photos/Videos - Including photos and video adds visual appeal to the listing. Reviews - Reviews are really obtained by following through on what you promise. If you don’t deliver, don’t expect great reviews from customers. 10
  11. 11. Subscribe to Mediative’s newsletter to receive more insights and best practices. Other resources: > Spotlight on Local Mobile Consumer Search Behaviour - Part 1 > Spotlight on Local Mobile Consumer Search Behaviour - Part 2 > Eye Tracking and Click Mapping Google Places > Reasons to Consider Hyperlocal Display Advertising Questions? Ask One Of Mediative’s Digital Marketing Strategists info@mediative.com Mediative.com 1.800.277.9997 Info@Mediative.com

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