The Thumb is in Charge: The Importance of a Mobile Optimized Website

Earlier this year, media buying team here at Hawke Media attended a Facebook conference that reiterated a trend that has permeated not just the tech and marketing spaces but our lives: “the mobile shift has happened – the thumb is in charge.” And what does this mean for marketers? Mobile should no longer be an afterthought and a mobile optimized website should be a priority.

According to a Facebook-commissioned study, 45 percent of all shopping journeys contain mobile. For Millennials, that number jumps to 57 percent. Mobile is essential because that’s where a sale could take place or where someone could discover your brand and possibly later convert on another device.

This sounds obvious, but according to the 2016 edition of venture capitalist Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report, advertisers still don’t spend enough on mobile and “businesses that nail mobile ads now could get a big head start before everyone else shifts spend there.” But before you can nail mobile ads, you need to nail a mobile optimized website because that’s where traffic will be directed.

For a mobile optimized website, a key thing to remember is that just because your site looks good on desktop doesn’t mean it will look good on mobile. You have less real estate on mobile, as well as less time and attention span from consumers if they’re searching for a product of your kind on the go.

For example, if your homepage is your landing page, the are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Use less copy. In one to two succinct sentences clearly explain what your product/service and value proposition are so the consumer understands right away what your business is and why they should stay on your site. Don’t use overly abstract or fancy wording because when you confuse your consumer, you’re just encouraging them to leave. If you want to use additional copy to highlight your product features, break them down into easily digestible (short) bullet points and avoid paragraphs. Of course, don’t forget to balance out the text with visuals.
  2. Consider an intro video, especially if you have a value proposition that’s hard to explain in words. The video should be 30 seconds or less and capture the essence of your business–be specific and don’t waste time.
  3. Show your product in the header image and make sure the product is in-focus and in the foreground–you’d be surprised at how many businesses forget this. Again, get to the point.
  4.  UX, UX, UX. Even if your business is not in a saturated marketplace or you have a highly competitive product, that’s not always enough–user experience is important. For instance, having a great product can mean nothing if you provide a poor shopping experience, or having a crappy user interface can negate the fact that you offer amazing features. In other words, having a killer user experience can be your icing on the cake and separate you from the rest. In this case, allow the consumer to accomplish more by doing less; make it easy for them to understand the essence of your business through simple and enjoyable user interactions on your mobile site, whether it’s having to read or scroll less or watching an awesome video ad. If you want to provide additional explanatory copy or videos, just redirect users to those on different pages, but your landing page should be clean and easy to understand and navigate.

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