Basics of Converting on the Go
It’s probably safe to say that 2013 is the year where mobile optimization will become mandatory. Designing mobile-friendly web pages has been a really good idea for quite some time now, but it’s becoming increasingly important. An estimated 1.7 billion consumers will access the web through a mobile device this year, a figure which surely includes some of your prospects.
What’s even better is the fact that it could be a relatively easy way to gain a serious edge over your competitors. Research indicates that only 8% of companies in the education and healthcare sectors even have mobile websites! In the words of HubSpot’s Head of Global Marketing Relations Dan Slagen, “For digital marketers, even as the opportunities expand, the playing field is shrinking—to a space about 2 inches by 3 inches: the smartphone screen.” Here’s how to make sure your content is perfectly mobile optimized:
1) Be Visible
The old principle of “Keep it simple” definitely applies to mobile optimizing your landing pages. Flash and many other plug-ins may be fine for computer browsers, but they don’t work as well with mobile. According to Slagen, HTML5, jQuery, or JPGs are optimal for relaying your landing page content.
2) Scale to Size
The wide array of screen sizes available across mobile devices has made the concept of user-friendly web design much more challenging than it was even a few years ago. Unless your company’s mobile web traffic is significant enough to warrant an entire mobile website, responsive web design is your new best friend. This methodology essentially detects the width of a browser and scales content accordingly.
3) Cut Your Word Count Back Dramatically
Brief and powerful landing page copy has always been critical to optimizing conversions, but it’s even more critical to keep the attention of mobile prospects. Put more time and effort into cutting back your landing page copy for brevity.
4) Make White Space Your New BFF
The concept of white space, empty space around content and icons, is a basic principle of designing with the user in mind. By surrounding content with nothing, you’re effectively able to emphasize a design element. White space matters on mobile-optimized landing pages, because it gives your prospects enough room to click on a button without much margin for error.
According to Slagen, this means the clickable area should be somewhere between 38x38 pixels to 44x44 pixels.
5) Aim for Above the Fold
It’s always prudent to make conversions as easy for your prospects as possible. Designing your landing pages to be presented entirely above the fold means your prospects don’t have to scroll, so they can simply focus on reading about your awesome offer. The problem is, where the fold is located can vary widely, though the top 100 pixels is a good rule of thumb for mobile design.
6) Keep Your Forms Super Short
Filling out landing page forms sucks, and it sucks even more when you’re typing on a mobile screen. Creating longer landing page forms isn’t always a poor idea, but it will reduce your overall conversion rate. Research indicates that it reduces conversions even more for mobile browsers. Keep your questions to the bare minimum.
7) The 5-Second Rule Applies
Streamline your landing page design for faster loading, and streamline it again. If your page isn’t loading in 5 seconds or less, you likely need to cut back even more. 80% of mobile users say the longest they’ll wait for a page to load on their phone is 5 seconds. 4 seconds seems to be the hard limit for tablet users.
8) Keep It Legible
Many mobile web users are used to having to zoom in to read content, but it’s not a wise idea if you’re trying to entice someone into downloading now. Requiring your prospects to zoom in can distract from the purpose of your landing pages. Whenever possible, keep your content spare enough that it can be presented on a mobile screen as is.
9) A/B Test for Mobile
Even if your prospects have shown a penchant for blue buttons or left-oriented design previously, you still need to test and improve. Mobile marketing isn’t like anything designers have encountered before, which is why you still need to determine what works optimally for your prospects.
There’s no escaping mobile. It’s time for marketers to fully embrace this new platform for converting prospects into leads, customers, and brand advocates.