Tony Doty

Mobile Marketing 101, Part 2: Ease of use and quality of content are key

January 14th, 2011

So, you’ve done all of this, right?

1)      Made sure you understand what your current site looks like through a variety of mobile operating systems. Is it good? Is it even adequate? (User Agents)

2)      Understand what people use your current site for? What is the top content overall, and top content immediately preceding a successful call to action. (Analytics)

3)      Understand your target audience? (Internal discussions)

4)      Lastly, determined if the benefits of building a mobile site or redesigning your current site outweigh the expenditure.

If not, refer back to our previous blog post, but now we’re moving on to actual mobile website design recommendations.

Now let’s say you’ve made the decision to create a website specifically for mobile devices. The main thing you need to understand about mobile devices is the difference in usability:

  • They have much less real estate
  • Buttons are harder to click
  • People will be zooming in to see any small features
  • When a potential customer clicks on a box to enter text a good portion of the screen is covered by the keyboard

So, you need to make your page as easy to use as possible. I can’t stress that enough! While there may be TONS of great content on your site, you need to keep your mobile site as easy to use as possible.

Usability is key

A big part of that is avoiding the urge to overload the mobile version of your website with too much information. There are lots of great technologies, such as sliding drop-downs, that give you different ways to lay out your top navigation without cluttering the entire page. Remember, you want to make it as easy to use as possible, and minimize the number of steps it takes a user to reach their primary objective.

Now, that’s tricky since you won’t always know what that objective might be for unique visitors. You just need to ensure that all the high-level detail, and top relevant content from your desktop version is available on mobile. Again, this is where all that research you did in part 1 pays off.

Understand how people use mobile devices

When someone is using a mobile platform they’re not usually looking for the full user experience they find on the desktop. Typically people are looking for very specific pieces of information on their phones, for example local movie times or restaurants in the area. Historically, a very deep, in-depth sales process is not effective through a mobile platform, but that is always changing with updates to technology. As phones continue to become more advanced, people are becoming more and more likely to want to jump directly to the desktop version of the page.

Ecommerce is something unique, but most product- and service – based companies really want to view the mobile site more as a starting point for the visitor. You’re going to want to make sure you’re driving traffic back to your fully featured website, since that’s where all the details and highly specific content will stay. Give them a teaser, and then encourage them to go back to the desktop version where they can set up their profile or do other activities.

It’s really hard on a mobile device to punch in your email, password, user name and change your preferences and settings; all of that stuff is more easily done with keyboard and mouse for the majority of users. You really want your mobile site to be a jumping off point – this is what we do, what we offer, this is the top-level stuff – but not get into nitty gritty on mobile. Drive that to desktop. As we covered earlier, make it easy and obvious to view the desktop version on your mobile device.

Segment by operating system

Using metrics you can also segment mobile visitors by OS. If your traffic is 90 percent iPhone, you obviously want to ensure your site works on iPhone before you move onto other devices, right?

You can also eventually offer different content and pages based on the individual user’s OS system, but you first want to focus on getting a page that just works.

So, to sum up, most people are using mobile devices to hunt and find specific information, unlike a typical desktop experience where you may be browsing with no real goal in mind or for the sake of entertainment. In this case, just ensure that:

  • Your content is easy to find, access and read
  • It’s the right content

By doing so, you should be set to keep the visitors on your site or drive them to your preferred call to action.

Related Resources

Mobile Marketing 101: Should you make the leap to a custom mobile site?

Testing Mobile Pages – Simpler Than Thought

Mobile Website Advice from Taco Bell: 5 considerations to reach more mobile devices – MarketingSherpa Members’ Library

Page Tests Cut Mobile Bounces 22%: 3 steps to improve experience for mobile visitors – MarketingSherpa Members’ Library

photo by bengrey
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Categories: Internet Marketing Strategy, Site Design Tags: , , , , , ,



  1. January 18th, 2011 at 12:28 | #1

    “Tony, very useful article. One thing I think is good to mention from a usability standpoint is offering mobile visitors a click-to-call option. Like you mention, it’s difficult on some phones to complete fields using the keypad, but with a click-to-call link, users don’t have to type anything or go find a desktop to complete a form. Also, by introducing call tracking solutions, you can still keep track of visitor to lead conversion rates for all traffic sources to continually improve mobile site performance.”

  1. April 6th, 2011 at 03:03 | #1
  2. December 15th, 2011 at 11:54 | #2