The five golden rules of mobile-ready sites

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Matt Brocklehurst, Product Marketing Manager, Google

According to recent Google research, 32% of UK consumers make a purchase via a smartphone each month – higher than in any of the other 18 European countries surveyed. With UK smartphone and tablet penetration already having reached 68% and 40% respectively, the need for organisations to have a mobile-ready site is clear.

The reality is that consumer expectations for mobile browsing experiences have risen. They no longer accept pinching and zooming to view content. Instead websites need to “just work” on mobile, or businesses risk losing out to their competition.

There are a number of ways businesses can make their websites work across devices such as responsive web design, dynamic serving or entirely separate builds for mobile and desktop. Here are some guidelines to help when developing a mobile-ready site:

1. Focus on what the customer wants

A mobile customer accessing a retail website on the go is most likely looking for store locators, product search or the shopping basket. Contrastingly, when browsing a service provider they are most likely looking for information, contact details and maybe even a click-to-call button. Think about what is most important for your customers when they’re on the go, make it easy to access and then ensure it works flawlessly

2. Speed is key

Not only is speed taken into consideration for search rankings on Google, but mobile users, who are typically on the go or multi-screening, want quick access to content. Retrofitting a website to boost speed can be incredibly time-consuming so avoid slow load times by using data-light images. It is also important not to overload the homepage with information to achieve a streamlined browsing experience.

3. Simplify the checkout

By making your checkout as easy and short as possible you’ll avoid missing out on a conversion at the crucial point in the path to purchase. Include default inputs to save time and prevent errors. Little things such as auto-switching to a number typepad when a phone number is required can make a big difference.

4. Customise don’t cut

By cutting content you risk giving mobile consumers a less valuable experience than one they’d see on their laptop or desktop. Mobile consumers should be able to see all the content on your site – just ensure it’s customised for easy browsing.

5. Make it easy to call

We often forget that majority of mobile users simply want to use their device to make a call.  Our recent research found that 48% of consumers would use click-to-call to get a quick answer to a question. Make sure mobile users can call you easily by providing a click-to-call button at drop-off points during the path to purchase.

These tips are a good starting point to ensuring your site and its content is mobile-ready. However, the journey will be continuous, so you should consider how your site needs to evolve. By using analytics tools such as Google Analytics you can find out more about your mobile customer, how they access your site and at what points they drop off. This data can then be used to adapt and optimise your site and content for mobile users to generate higher conversions rates.

Visit Google Think Insights for more information on the best ways to build and improve a site that works on mobile.

Matt Brocklehurst

Product marketing manager

Google

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