Saturday, May 12, 2012

How to create mobile friendly landing pages


Unlike traditional desktop web browsing, where online brands have the full attention of their customers, mobile users are often distracted while engaging with you on their smartphone. But they also may be looking for that perfect pair of shoes.
How can you tell, and most importantly, use what you know about the mobile visitor to increase their likelihood of converting?

Usable vs. Useful

There is a clear difference between mobile sites that are usable, and those that are useful. Usable sites may load fast, have easy navigation, and a clear hero image that fits nicely on the page, but developing useful mobile pages that take advantage of the user's location and provide immediately actionable information are more effective.
Just like you can’t judge a book by its cover, you also can’t judge a customer by their device. Mobile adds valuable texture to the universal truths of how landing pages convert, and in order to improve mobile conversions, marketers have to take advantage of everything they know about their customers. The fundamentals of making pages usable matter more on mobile than they ever did before, and a generic landing page that ignores its users and their context will most likely be useless.
Geography Matters
Understanding the location of the consumer when they are engaging with your brand from a mobile device presents a big advantage for marketers.
For example, many shoppers frequently use their mobile devices during the in-store browsing and purchasing processes. Given this common behavior, it’s marketers must make it easier for in-store shoppers to find the information they’re looking for. One way is to allow shoppers to scan barcodes with their phones and find reviews, ratings, and other information without having to search around the mobile site. According to the National Retail Federation’s Mobile Retailing Blueprint, making it easier for mobile shoppers to make an informed decision can help close the sale faster.
The Right Technographics 
Mobile screen real estate is precious, and every inch represents selling space just like floor space in a store. To improve your likelihood of converting, you better use that real estate effectively.
Another important variable to consider when optimizing mobile landing pages is connection speed. We all know that the length of time it takes for a page to load has a direct correlation on its effectiveness to convert. So focusing on whether a user is browsing from an iPhone or Android device is less important than knowing whether the user is in their living room with a strong Wi-Fi connection or on a plane using a 3G signal, where the page will take up to 10 times longer to load.
Beyond the Landing Page
The most important question to ask about a mobile landing page is: Does it actually address the needs of your users? And since conversion doesn’t happen on the landing page alone, you need to help distracted mobile users stay focused throughout the entire session.
If a customer finds that other pages on your website are loading too slow, they will look elsewhere and all your hard work to optimize the landing page will be lost. Mobile users are distracted and have limited time to complete a task, which is why you have to make their shopping experience as seamless and efficient as possible.
The Bottom Line: Test
The evidence clearly shows that consumers are using their mobile devices to access your website. However, mobile optimization now is comparable to space flight in the 1950s. While we may know the basic rules, this is all very new and nobody has enough real-world experience to make universal statements at this point.
The only way to learn what works best for your brand is by constantly testing. Blaze some trails within your organization, challenge assumptions, and realize that you may discover something new by testing.
The more you test, the more you learn. And the more you learn the more you will earn.


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