This is the first post in a series on optimising mobile websites for conversions. This post focuses on content prioritisation as a means to making mobile websites quick and easy to use.
In Summary: Mobile website content needs to be prioritised for multi-tasking users on the move. Everything that helps a user to convert quickly and easily should be included. Everything else is surplus to requirements.
To understand how we should think about the content to be placed on mobile handheld devices we must first think about how these devices are used. A key to this is in the very description we use – mobile. Mobile device users are on the move. They are usually in a hurry and are accessing the net at times which are convenient to them and often for short periods only.
Desktop websites need to be optimised for small screen hand-held devices
Mobile users are task oriented. Mobile is about fast access to information and services – whatever tasks can be completed by your service quickly and on the go will be the target features for mobile users. When choosing mobile website content, focus on features which are local, mobile and easy to complete. Take a look at your website analytics and use an advanced segment for mobile users to see how they have been using the desktop features on your site. This will give you an insight into the kinds of services mobile users will want to access most on your mobile site.
Mobile users seek speedy answers. Quick convenient conversions are important to mobile users and latency is not tolerated. If a site is taking a while to load, attention may quickly move to something else. Mobile optimised sites are stripped of extraneous content as well as most advertising, videos, pictures and banners – unless they are necessary for a conversion. Flash should be avoided. Data download and streaming speeds are much slower than most home/office broadband connections. By prioritising content and building for smaller screens, it is possible to make your website accessible to users quickly.
Mobile users are likely to search. With mobile devices there is little room for navigation bars and drop down menus. Mobile users are in a hurry so they will often search rather than navigate. The search box should be big and obvious, near the top of the page. Make the search box large enough that a user can easily tap it using their thumb. Results should be easily filtered.
Mobile users scroll through content. Users will still scan but they will do so from top to bottom, scrolling with their thumb to access more information. This is becoming a convention of mobile. If your site layout obviously follows this convention, users will not think twice about scrolling. As with a desktop site, prioritise your content so that the most important features are seen first. It is also a good idea to put important information or buttons at the bottom of a page, particularly when the page is very long. Many mobile users will scroll really quickly to the bottom of a page if they don’t find what they need at the top.
Mobile users are online and offline. If you have a bricks and mortar store, mobile users may access their handsets to improve their offline experience. Store location, directions, product availability, product reservation and creating shopping lists are all things that the mobile user will need to be able to access easily on your site.
To summarise, 5 points to keep in mind when prioritising content for mobile:
- Build for task oriented users
- Make site navigation fast
- Have a visible search box
- Layout content for scrolling
- Build for online/offline experience
The next post will be looking at how to use white space to improve the experience for users of a mobile website. If you have feedback, please leave a comment.
Posted By Shane Cassells, Google Conversion Team