The importance of designing and creating websites using a mobile-first approach has been brought forward with Google announcing they are going to change their index to be mobile-first which will help in increasing your mobile conversion rate as 50.3% of e-commerce website traffic now comes through a mobile device. Put simply, this means that the mobile responsive model is no longer going to be enough. It’s no secret that your mobile site needs to consider the user experience and browsing behaviours and how these differ to desktop. However, this all needs to be wrapped up with ensuring that users can retrieve exactly what they are searching for as quickly as possible – quite literally. From a marketing perspective the functionality and speed of your mobile site contributes significantly to your overall customer experience. Here are my quick and easy changes that you can pass on to your development team to ensure you are doing just that.
Optimise your mobile site’s mobile performance
It seems obvious, but creating a mobile-first website should take smaller screens and slower connection speeds into consideration. Ensuring your site is mobile responsive (adjusting the sites layout and dimensions to a screen it’s being browsed on) may well be a quick solution but it most certainly isn’t the right one. Scaling up your content from mobile to desktop is essential for achieving a fast loading mobile user experience via 3G and 4G connections. Optimising your mobile sites performance includes two key factors:
- The time it takes to render content on the screen (such as an image)
- The speed in which a user can then interact with that content
How long do you think mobile users are willing to wait for a web page to download and render before they abandon it? You should be able to get the answer to this from your analytics solution. Generally speaking, mobile users are more tolerant than desktop users when waiting for a web page to load. This is because of slower network speeds and people moving when they’re using their mobile devices, preventing a consistent connection from being established. However, loading time is a major contributing factor to users abandoning a website. On average, if a page takes up to 4 seconds to render, sites can see a 25% page abandonment rate – very concerning when you think about how many users that could equate to.
Use responsive images to speed up the user’s mobile experience
- Minimise HTTP requests to download content for your website by prioritising or personalising the content
Make it easy for your customers
Did you know that 60% of global mobile consumers use their mobile device as their primary or exclusive internet source This is the final and the most important consideration when using a mobile-first approach. By designing mobile-first you will be forced to make decisions about what is really important to your audience and users. You will need to make decisions that you would never be forced to make when designing for desktop first. Although some of the decisions on what to prioritise may be difficult, the result is almost always a more focused, cleaner, and more usable design. A good place to start is to use your websites analytics to understand the content that your users are demanding most. If you have access to, or are using, a Data Management Platform, you can then also start to prioritise content based on your users search enquiries or previous behaviours. By introducing these very simple techniques I guarantee you will achieve faster download and screen rendering times, therefore contributing to a more positive mobile experience your customers have with your brand. I would love to hear your thoughts on this post and if anyone has any other thoughts on how to quickly and effectively implement simple changes to sites to make them more mobile friendly.