Optimizing your web presence for mobile is a digital marketing no-brainer. With more than 60% of U.S. adults owning a smartphone and more than half of consumers saying they won’t return to a website if it doesn’t work right on mobile (Business2Community 2014), it’s not a question of when to establish a mobile presence, it’s a matter of how best to execute it.
Here is a 10-point mobile-preparedness checklist to get you on the fast-track to mobile success.AS consumers
1) Answer the question – what information do mobile visitors need from my website?
Do they need contact information? The ability to log into their account? Information about products and services? Make sure you know what your audience needs before moving on to the next steps.
2) Make a decision regarding mobile-specific or responsive design
The answer to question #1 should help you decide whether mobile-specific or responsive design is best for your audience. If visitors expect the same experience as the desktop environment, responsive design is the right direction.
On the other hand, if they expect a limited set of tools, then consider building a mobile-specific website – a site that includes only the necessary functions and designed properly to the device size.
3) Remember that search engines take mobile sites into account for rankings
Yes, mobile sites play a role in search engine optimization. Ensure that title tags are displaying properly and that navigating the mobile site is easy. Both mobile-specific and responsive design environments are acceptable to search engines.
4) Test the ease of clicking
We all have different sized fingers, so take into account how easy it is to tap on navigation buttons, links and other clickable items on your mobile site. Make adjustments if it’s too difficult to successfully and easily click. HubSpot recommends making call-to-action buttons at least 44 x 44 pixels for the mobile environment.
5) If you have an ecommerce site, test out the shopping experience
Even if you have a great desktop shopping experience, that doesn’t mean you can check this one off the list. Walk through the entire experience on mobile – you will likely be surprised at little nuances that need to be addressed.
6) Consider how the device will access the Internet
Most desktop computers are connected to a network that has decent connection speeds. If your website offers more than basic content, visitors may be expected to download items or interact (like filling out a form) on a slow wireless network. You may need to rethink or alter your mobile presence to accommodate varying connection speeds. There are lots of people working on a coffee shop Wi-Fi connection.
7) Incorporate more visual elements
Since the screen size is significantly smaller than the desktop environment, consider ways to share information visually. You can likely condense content and get more information across with optimized infographics and videos. We know that visual content is process faster by the human brain (HubSpot 2014), so this advice is practical for your entire digital ecosystem.
8) Think beyond your mobile website – have you considered apps, email marketing and social media?
While it’s important to fully evaluate your mobile website, there are other mobile marketing tactics to keep in mind.
Do you need an app to further support your customers?
Have you considered how current and potential customers interact in social channels while on mobile devices?
Do you execute email marketing?
Have you opened your test emails on a mobile device to ensure it’s an optimal experience?
Give careful thought and consideration to mobile as you plan and execute your entire digital strategy.
9) Check the numbers
Check your website analytics and look for the total number of mobile visitors, comparison of desktop to mobile visitors, which mobile devices accessed your site, the time spent on your site via a mobile device and mobile bounce rate.
Remember that the mindset of a mobile visitor is likely different than a desktop visitor so don’t assume it should be an apples-to-apples comparison in stats. Instead, evaluate mobile stats each month to look for trends and insights.
10) Rinse and repeat
Pull out this checklist once a quarter and evaluate your mobile presence against the first nine points. Have the needs of your audience changed? It may be time to overhaul your presence, or make simple updates like adding new visuals.
Don’t let your mobile – or entire digital presence – get stale. Mobile marketing is a crucial element of your entire marketing strategy.
Originally published Nov 14, 2014 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016