Digital marketing in a mobile world

Earlier this month we attended the Spring Fair at the NEC in Birmingham – it’s a goldmine for many e-commerce retailers, with 20+ halls packed with product inspiration.

Of course, e-commerce was high on the agenda, with back-to-back seminars and workshops about every aspect of selling online.

While we were there, we took the opportunity to hear a speaker from Google’s Digital Garage. (Check out Digital Garage here, it’s a fantastic online resource for anyone who wants to boost their online selling and marketing skills).

While much of the speech covered the basics, like using Google Analytics data to inform your digital marketing strategy, we were interested by how much emphasis was placed on mobile-friendliness.

Why is ‘mobile-friendly’ so important?

As we stated in our post on priorities for successful SEO in 2017, it’s clear that we are now entering a ‘mobile first’ world.

Google is standing firm on its promise to rank mobile-friendly sites above non-mobile-friendly sites, which means marketers must focus on giving users a fantastic web experience, whatever device they’re accessing from.

For some time now, web designers and developers worth their salt have been using responsive web design.

Responsive web design means your site adjusts the display to various screen sizes while using the same URL and code. (If your website is less than two years old it’s likely to have been designed to be responsive though you can test your site’s mobile-friendliness using this simple Google tool.)

This site is (of course) responsive – the top of the homepage looks like this if you view it from a smartphone:


ap image

User experience is key

Responsiveness is only one part of the mobile-friendly story. For us, the best-performing mobile-friendly sites will have been designed with the ideal user experience as the priority.

Not only will these sites render well, whether accessed from a desktop or from the small screen of a mobile phone, but they will also allow people to access the information they need in the fewest possible clicks.

By joining the ideal user experience with responsive web design, you’ve got a great formula for successful SEO to attract more customers, and an equally great formula for conversion.

Making your site more mobile and user-friendly

If your website doesn’t work well when accessed from the small screen of a mobile phone or tablet, it’s time to take action.

1. Set objectives

  • The first thing you need to do to make your site more mobile-friendly is to clarify the most common reasons for customers to visit.
  • Analyse your site to find out what content your customers consider to be important, and what path do they typically take through your site.
  • You can then design your site so that it’s easy for customers to come to your site and do what they expect to do with the fewest number of steps.

2. Create clear navigation

  • Mobile visitors will navigate around your site using their thumbs and index finger which means you need mobile-friendly drop down menus which can be activated with a simple tap, and plenty of space between different elements.
  • Think about the common tasks people undertake on your site and make each step ultra-obvious and super-simple.
  • We like sites with big buttons which show where additional information can be found, and we like it even more when those buttons highlight when they have been clicked, enabling users to know they are being taken to the area they want to visit next.

3. Keep it simple

  • If you need users to input text to get the information, products or services they’re searching for, then keep the form as simple as possible. It takes longer and is more of a hassle to type on a small screen, so make sure you ask only for the information you really need.
  • Where possible, take advantage of the fact that your visitor is searching with their mobile phone by making your phone number click-to-call or your address can link to a navigation feature. Use recognisable icons rather than words to communicate calls to action – the ‘hamburger’ icon is now well-known as a short-cut to the main menu but you’ll also be familiar with shopping bags, social media and search icons.

4. Monitor results and improve performance

  • You need to continually monitor what’s happening on your site to understand whether users are getting what they need. Whatever goals you set your users – whether that’s to buy a product or make an enquiry, sign up to your email newsletter or download some great content – you need to continually measure your results. Unless you are getting maximum visitor numbers and all those visitors are converting, there is always room for improvement!

And finally, while mobile devices may now be our most common tool to access websites, not everyone likes mobile design. When all is said and done, you should still give your visitors the opportunity to view your full website – that way you really can please all of the people, all of the time!

For further advice or information, please get in touch on 01606 610808, we would be happy to discuss how we can help your website work harder.