What Experience is Your Website Delivering to Mobile Users?
By Glenn Cowan
Most businesses accept that having a website is integral to the success that they achieve. This might be stating the obvious, but stay with me here….as not everyone has grasped the concept of how their website is viewed across multiple platforms, especially mobile devices.
Sadly, having a website isn’t enough. You need to consider how people perceive it.
Consider these important questions:
One of the most important questions or considerations is ”What experience is your website delivering to mobile users?”
Mobile Search Greater than Desktop
It probably comes as no real shock to learn that mobile search has now overtaken desktop search. This means that in pretty much any industry in excess of 50% of the visitors accessing are using either their tablet or mobile phone.Taking Thailand as a relevant example, there are far fewer desktop users than mobile users, especially when it comes to personal users. The lack of desktop devices in home environments is evident by the volume of “internet shops”.
Factor in the demographics of your potential customers and it becomes increasingly obvious that to be successful you must consider how mobile users view your website.
Look around any restaurant, pub, bar or public transport area and you will see the majority of people with their phones or tablets on the go. These website visitors need to see the information delivered in a different way to those who are using a large desktop screen.
User experience is the big factor here. Put simply, you need to make it frighteningly easy for users to find the information that you have. If a website doesn’t deliver on these levels then you have lost the opportunity before you even start talking with the potential customer.
For example enquiry forms that don’t fit onto the smaller mobile screens. How can you possibly expect to capture an enquiry request if you make it hard for people leave their details?
Bounce Rate & Other Important Metrics
As a website owner you should regularly access your Google Analytics account. This FREE tool can provide a huge volume of usable data to help you to understand how your site is performing.Some of the most important elements to focus upon include:
Pages per Session
Average Session Duration
Bounce Rate relates to visits which the person left your site from the entrance page, without interacting with the page.Most of the times, a high bounce rate relates to the user not seeing the information that they are looking for.
Page per Session should speak for itself, and indicates the depth of the site that an user has visited during their session.
Average Session Duration, relates directly to how long the user has stayed on the website. The longer that they engage with your website the more chance that there will be a positive action taking place.
Checking for Mobile Friendliness
The important thing here is to think about how a new visitor to your website would see things. They don’t have the luxury of knowing their way around the site like you might. Sadly, a great many website owners believe their site works fine on a mobile, when the reality is far from it.
Top Tip: Get others to view your site and let them tell you their first impressions.
In addition you can also check to see how Google views your website. A quick visit to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly will show you whats going on.
Obvious statement warning!
We all agree that it only takes a split second to make a first impression? If that statement is correct then why would you risk losing a potential new customer or client before you even get started? Sadly, a great many website owners continue to do exactly this.
Think about how you feel when you visit a website on your mobile for the first time.
Can you get to the information that you need? Is it obvious how to follow up your interest and make an enquiry? Is the contact number or email easily accessible? If these aren’t right then the chances are you won’t stick around and are likely to “bounce” off and look elsewhere.
If you recognize that your website isn’t delivering then now’s the time to look at the options:
Thankfully putting things right (in most cases) isn’t going to break the bank. The most common solution being to rebuild your site incorporating a mobile friendly responsive platform. Put simply, with a responsive platform your website automatically resizes depending on the physical size of the device viewing it. To expand a little further, a user with an iPhone would get a different layout to one viewing on a tablet.Another major advantage here is that you only have one version of your website to maintain. This can be a great option if you are looking to freshen up your desktop site and deal with the mobile issue at the same time.
The alternative to a responsive site is to build a standalone mobile version. As the name suggests, this will run separately to your desktop site. One of the reasons for going down this route is that you can choose to deliver less detail to mobile users. Maybe you don’t want to cram your entire site onto the smaller screen and feel that visitors would benefit from an abridged version. The standalone mobile solution allows you to deliver exactly this.
Generally speaking, both options will provide the website owner with a content management system (CMS) to allow them to update their sites. However, it should be remembered that if you run a separate mobile site then any updates need to be carried out here as well as the desktop site.