Many business owners and website creators still have not recognized the importance that the rise of mobile users has played in their industry. Every facet of your website design is impacted by the way people search, and now that mobile search is the main source of Google traffic, it’s more important than ever.
To succeed online, you need to understand how your mobile site is performing through Google Analytics, how to create a mobile responsive website, and understand how to convert when users are on mobile devices. To do this, ask yourself some critical questions.
Why Does Mobile Matter for Search?
We already know that mobile search traffic has grown exponentially in recent years, but why is that important? Mobile allows users to access information about your business anywhere, anytime. Consider that 90% of consumers read reviews before visiting a site, and now think about how easy it is for that user to do so from the palm of their hand. What happens when these millions of users find their way to your website?
Mobile is a Different User Experience
User experience is different on mobile. If you have beautiful, high-resolution photographs, these will appear differently on a 6-inch phone than they will on a 20-inch desktop. If you’ve developed an informative infographic that takes up the entire desktop screen, it will look tiny and illegible when shrunk down to 320px. Size now greatly matters when designing a website.
People Use Mobile Differently
Perhaps more importantly, the way users find and interact with your website and mobile search is different when they’re on their phones. When a user is on mobile, they may be looking for a piece of information quickly.
Maybe they’re out shopping and want to make a quick product comparison. If your website or online strategy makes it difficult for them to access information about your business, you will not convert those clients. Understanding what customers are looking for when searching from different devices will help you build a website that better responds to the user’s intent.
How Do I Use Google Analytics to Check My Mobile Site?
Using Google Analytics, you can start to understand how mobile users and desktop users utilize your site differently. While this is a field in and of itself, there are a few simple places you can look within Analytics to begin to understand what changes to make to your mobile platform. Only once you know how users interact with your site can you take a deep dive into building your mobile site.
Know the Percentage of Mobile vs. Desktop Devices
First things first, you need to know how many mobile users your site is currently getting. You can access this in analytics through Audience > Mobile > Overview. This provides you with fundamental information on the split between desktop, mobile, and tablet traffic. It also provides you with a broad overview of the behavior of these users and their conversion data.
Check to See if Bounce Rate Varies by Device
Looking at the bounce rate of pages based on the device is a great way to identify a problem or understand if user intent is different for your customers based on how they search. Under Content > Site Content > Landing Pages, you’re able to compare mobile and non-mobile bounce rates which will give you this information. If you see a large discrepancy, it is time to dig deeper.
Know Which Traffic Sources Your Mobile Users Are Coming From
For a rapid look at this data. You can use the report from Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels and add a secondary dimension of Device Category. This will show you if your mobile traffic from a specific channel (Social or Organic for example) varies significantly. For instance, if your paid traffic is predominantly coming from mobile, you’ll want to double down on making those landing pages mobile-ready.
What Are My Mobile Options?
When you begin to see the differences in your mobile search traffic compared to your desktop traffic, it becomes obvious that you need to optimize your site for these consumers. What you do next depends on your end goals and the tools you have at your disposal. The different options each have benefits, challenges, and costs associated with them that you’ll want to weigh before making a decision.
Responsive Web Design
In short, responsive web design adjusts the properties your CSS serves depending on the user’s device. It considers the screen size, orientation, resolution, and other factors to make these determinations. The benefit of a responsive design approach is that it reduces the need to redirect to a mobile-specific site which allows you to have a single web page for both mobile and desktop.
Adaptive Web Design
Adaptive design differs from responsive in that it provides users with a unique layout depending on whether the user comes through on mobile, desktop or tablet. Because these are entirely different layouts, you must maintain three separate websites. This need to maintain multiple websites is why most businesses opt for responsive web design.
What Should I Do to Optimize for Mobile?
Ensuring that your website is mobile accessible is getting easier every day. Tools like WordPress provide options to make developing a mobile-friendly site simple, but there are still important considerations you must make. While by no means an exhaustive list, you’ll find below some considerations to keep in mind when building your mobile responsive site or working with a designer.
- Images — Serve images dynamically so mobile devices are offered lower resolution images while larger devices receive higher resolution images. This will help pages load fast, as well as look better on the screen.
- Leave Room for The Finger—Desktop users have a mouse. This means they can click on small buttons where a mobile user may not. If a user’s finger is too large to click your link, they’ll likely not convert.
- Redesign Drop-down Menus—A drop-down menu may look great on your desktop, but poor on mobile. If it takes up the entire screen or you must scroll through your phone to click the links, chances are you’ll lose those users.
- Break up Forms—Typing is more difficult on the phone. Forms that require a lot of user input should be broken up as much as possible to make the user experience quicker and simpler.
- Mobile Specific Features like Click to Call—A great benefit to having mobile users is that you can utilize mobile-specific features. Click to Call, for instance, allows yours to immediately contact you through your website in a way they cannot with desktop.
Mobile traffic is not going away. It will only keep growing. While this may seem daunting at first, in truth, mobile users offer a great opportunity for businesses to bring in more traffic and convert users to customers. The ability to attract a customer anywhere and anytime can help your business drastically. All businesses now need a mobile-responsive site. Your own Google Analytics will show you the importance of this change. There are many ways to recognize the importance of these customers as you design or re-design your website.
It is time to make your website mobile-friendly to users. Call WebFX today to learn how.