As of 2014, approximately 64% of US adults owned a smartphone. As mobile devices become more and more affordable and integral to everyday life, that percentage is only going to increase. If you’re an online retailer, you’d better be ready to meet customers on the portable, internet-enabled devices where they spend so much of their time. Make sure you’re caught up with the latest trends and best practices for mobile optimization by checking out the link roundup below.
Moz published this post back in April, just in time for Google’s mobile-friendly update (aka ‘Mobilegeddon’). This update was designed to rank sites that work well on mobile devices higher than sites that don’t. While most sites haven’t been as negatively impacted as originally predicted, it’s still worth keeping the tips in this post in mind. After all, if your site is too slow to load, your potential customers will quickly go somewhere else.
These tools will help you determine if your site meets Google’s standards for mobile-friendly, loads quickly, looks good on different types of mobile devices, and is free of web markup code errors. Some of these tools are a paid service, but others are completely free.
Have 60 seconds to spare? Want to learn the basics of reaching out to customers through their mobile devices? This one-minute Marketo video offers straightforward explanations of SMS/MMS, push notifications, and in-app messaging. There’s also an accompanying blog post that elaborates on each mobile message type in case you forgot your headphones and can’t watch the video.
The best way to figure out how to optimize your site for mobile may be to look at other sites that have really nailed their mobile design. Check out the 10 ecommerce sites listed here and take notes.
This post covers a lot of ground, from how to think of mobile users vs. desktop users to how to design a landing page for mobile. I think the advice for crafting mobile ads is particularly useful—web users are usually in a different state of mind when searching on their mobile device than when they’re on their computer (usually they’re looking for more immediate services), and your ads should reflect this.
Watch Out for Challenges and Pitfalls
Optimizing your site for mobile is a start, but you can’t just coast from there. This post reminds us to think about the core pages web users will need to access on the go, look at trends in the mobile overview report in Google Analytics, and make sure that all elements on your site are responsive using Chrome’s mobile emulator tool.
This first fairly obvious fail described here is not optimizing your site for mobile, but the article gets more detailed from there. It points out that you’re going to create a frustrating user experience if your site doesn’t cater to touchscreens, has complex navigation, and requires users to fill out lengthy forms.
Not all brands need a mobile app (usually a mobile-friendly site will do), but if you are intent on making an app, pay attention to these tips from MarketingProfs.
According to eMarketer, one third of worldwide marketers don’t know how to collect and integrate data from mobile with other digital channels, and close to two thirds of marketers don’t know how to effectively track and analyze mobile app data. This post is an important reminder that you need to come up with a plan for measuring mobile, especially if that’s where a significant number of conversions are coming from.
Responsive Design, Adaptive Design, and Beyond
Not entirely sure what responsive design is all about? This article serves as a great primer. It discusses why Google recommends responsive design and how this type of mobile optimization can benefit your website, and it also looks at some situations in which responsive design might not actually be the best choice for your business.
With a title as intriguing as this, you can’t help but read on to find out why the author thinks responsive design is the fast food of the mobile SEO world. Amidst the burger metaphors, there’s some good information about the pros and cons of responsive design, as well as the potential benefits of adaptive design and separate URLs for some businesses.
We know that responsive design is the mobile configuration that Google recommends, but does it actually affect how your site ranks in the search engine results pages? This post looks at recent studies and indirect SEO ranking factors that may point towards an answer.
The four brands discussed in this post took different approaches to improving their mobile marketing, but the common thread between all of them is their attention to serving mobile users’ needs in the moment rather than being an unwanted disruption.
Push notifications are mobile messages that are triggered by a customer’s actions, and they can either be incredibly useful or kind of annoying. Avoid going the annoying route by following the actionable advice in this post.
If you’re a mobile retailer who runs product listing ads, you’ll want to read about the relatively new buy buttons on Google, which will allow users to click a ‘Buy’ link for certain eligible products and quickly make a purchase based on payment info that they’ve already stored with Google.
Let’s face it: no matter how great your ecommerce site is, your target customers are probably spending more time on social media. Why not let them shop your site without ever leaving their social media app of choice? Shopping through social apps isn’t the norm yet, but this Entrepreneur post covers some of the emerging trends that are pushing ecommerce in that direction.
Get tips on how to optimize your emails for mobile, capitalize on location-based micro-moments, and think about the cross-device experience in this Hubspot post.
While this link roundup is focused on ecommerce, I thought this post might be useful for anyone who has both an online business and a brick-and-mortar store. It’s important to remember that you can get a lot of value out of mobile marketing even when potential customers are already in the door.
This headline shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but it’s worth looking a little closer at the way mobile is reshaping holiday shopping trends in this interview with Branding Brand CEO Chris Mason.
The majority of online transactions still take place on desktop devices (for now), but this article points out that smartphone activity often drives those conversions. A customer may start their research on a mobile device but wait until they’re in front of a computer to make a purchase, and retailers need to remember to assign value to the devices that move customers down the conversion path.
Know of any other great articles on mobile marketing, or just want to talk more about how to optimize your site for mobile? Comment below or contact Leverage Marketing directly.