5 Principles To Improve Mobile Users Engagement On Your Website
by Silvio Porcellana - May 31, 2016
Ok, so let's face it, we all know by now that mobile marketing is important. If you want your business to be successful online you can't ignore your mobile users. In fact, depending on the niche of your business it may be more important to think about your mobile users than your regular users!
But before you worry too much about marketing to mobile users, it makes a lot of sense to make sure the your mobile users are engaged and are enjoying the user experience on your website.
In this post, we will show you how:
1: Design Mobile First
People talk a lot about designing for mobile. But true mobile first design means thinking about how mobile users will actually use your website. Mobile users have different requirements to desktop users, both in terms of how they use your website and what they are looking for:
- Small screens make navigation tricky
- They don't want to read lots of small text
- Large navigation menus take up screen space
- Typing anything is an unwanted hassle
What they are looking for
- They may be in a rush
- They may be looking for information prior to making a buying decision
When you think carefully about all of these points, you may want to simplify your website for mobile users. Removing all but the most important navigation items from the menu and placing them in an alternative, less intrusive menu can be a great way to make mobile navigation more efficient.
It also goes without saying that buttons and links need to be large enough to easily tap, and placing too many navigation links close together is likely to be a mistake.
Above all else, mobile first design means thinking about what information is most important for mobile users and making it easy to find with minimal effort and time.
2: Load Speed Matters
Load speed is always important, because internet users tend to be impatient and in a hurry. This is doubly true for mobile users who are likely to be in a hurry and may be using a 3G connection with limited bandwidth.
Additionally, load speed is a ranking factor for Google and may well hold more weight for mobile users. So improving your load speed might help to improve your search rankings and gain you more traffic.
Google have a load speed testing tool, so if you haven't already, use this tool to test your website's load speed.
A few of the easiest ways to improve load speed for mobile users include:
- Compress your image files to a sensible quality setting
- Resize your images to an appropriate size
Another great idea is to serve mobile users with smaller images (to match their smaller screen size) by using CSS media queries.
3: Build Scrollable Pages
No matter how fast your website loads, navigation is always a hassle for mobile users, because some users will have slow connections and some users will have slow loading devices, which you can't really fix.
So another great way to improve your mobile users' user experience is to reduce the need to actually navigate. This is why "scrollable" websites are becoming increasingly popular, because they offer a great way to reduce the need to navigate between pages.
By arranging your key information into digestible chunks you can create longer pages which still load quickly and can be easily scrolled to find the right information.
4: Think About Desktop
Here's an idea that you might not have thought about: What about desktop users? It's easy to forget about desktop users when you are focused on mobile users, but it's important not to neglect them altogether.
Many mobile users use their mobiles as an initial research tool, but may not actually be ready or comfortable to make a buying decision on that device. In fact, a large portion of website users report regularly using mobile devices to do initial research and then returning to the website on a larger device to continue their journey.
For this reason, it is an excellent idea to consider not only what a mobile user needs, but what they might need later when they return with their PC (or tablet) and how their user journey will transition between the two.
A well designed mobile site may be quite different from its full sized version, but the navigation, branding and layout need to be intuitive and easy to understand so that when mobile users return, they feel familiar and comfortable to continue their journey.
5: Be Concise
Perhaps the biggest challenge of marketing to mobile users is the need to get across the key information in the most concise way possible. As we have discussed, mobile users have small screens and don't necessarily want to read a lot of text.
While PC users might like to absorb all of the information gradually with in depth information, mobile users need the facts in the most concise and easily digestible way possible.
This doesn't mean that they don't want to know all of the information, but you do need to consider how you can craft your text to get across that information efficiently.
With mobile devices becoming ever more popular and ever more advanced, the opportunities to engage your users are increasing every day. My hope is that using the principles in this post you can harness new technologies as they come along.
Whether it be text content video, or augmented reality, these 5 principles are almost universally good for your users, and what is good for your users is good for your business.
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