Increasingly, as predicted, the world is going mobile. In October 2016, 51.3% of all users accessing the internet did so from mobile devices compared to 48.7% of those using desktops. This represents a significant, though not surprising, benchmark. For a number of years now, the user experience on mobile devices has become much better, making it a much more useful and convenient tool for everything from browsing the web to watching movies to chatting with family and friends. All reliable data today shows that mobile is the principal driver of digital growth, to the extent that the desktop is becoming a secondary touchpoint in the digital universe.
It’s also becoming obvious that if you’re a business owner today then everything you do must be “mobile first” to compete in the rapidly changing digital marketplace. The impacts of all this are significant as end users now expect the same level of 24/7 performance and availability on mobile devices as they formerly expected (and still do) on desktops. The art and science of keeping customers happy really starts with ensuring that your mobile apps are running smoothly and without any performance bottlenecks.
In this article, we explore 10 important “hacks” you can employ today to ensure your mobile website is optimized for peak performance at all times.
Remember the 3 S’s: Simple, Short, and Sweet!
Science tells us that people prefer the path of least resistance to their end-goal. Think of it in terms of the “economy of action” and the balance of benefits vs. costs. Consider carefully how much effort it’ll take your visitors to get to your website, get what they need, and get out?
One site sums it up best: “On mobile, perception is everything. And if you consistently make it easy for a user to seamlessly complete their tasks, your site will be perceived as fast and efficient – key mobile benchmarks. Successful mobile journeys need to be short and sweet.”
Keep Things Fast!
Let’s face it, everyone is in a hurry today and people who visit your site won’t wait around for heavy images to load. Research shows mobile pages that load 1 second faster can experience up to a 27% increase in conversion rates.
To really test how to optimize your mobile speed, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights. After entering your mobile web URL, PSI can run a diagnosis on your site to provide clear indications about what you need to fix.
Ensure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
Despite the prominence of mobile apps today, many people still prefer desktops. Whether or not you have a mobile app for your business, it’s important to ensure that your regular web application is Mobile First. Google reports that in the USA 94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones. Translated, this means that unless your website is mobile friendly, visitors will likely abandon it. Google offers a simple mobile friendly test that can show how visitors will interact with your website on a mobile device.
Adopt Mobile Analytics
This sounds like a well-worn cliché by now, but it needs to be emphasized more than ever – especially in the mobile era. If you’re not tracking the behavior of your mobile visitors with metrics then you’re leaving money on the table.
There has emerged a growing number of mobile analytics tools on the market today to help drive traffic to your application. The ability to track a single customer across your site and across multiple devices will increase your chances of keeping them as a customer for life.
Offer Simple Checkouts
Most of us have probably visited sites where purchasing a product was a big guessing game. Statistics report that nearly 70% of consumers abandon their carts before completing the sale. If consumers feel they are being led in a circle, they will give up.
Don’t bog down your mobile customers with a long checkout process. Allowing them to log in to make a purchase using cross platform log-ins through Facebook or LinkedIn is a great way to cut down on unnecessary steps.
Make Your CTAs Front and Center
The real estate on a smart phone is obviously much smaller so making the text and images are bigger and easier to click will go a long way towards ensuring your visitors have a positive experience. For example, something as simple as making your “call to action” big enough for a human finger to touch will only help to increase your sales.
Keep Your Landing Page Super Focused
The average session time on mobile devices is just 72 seconds, which is approximately half of the time that users stay on desktop sites. This means that it’s imperative that your mobile pages are as streamlined as possible.
Some recommendations for mobile landing pages are that they include a minimalistic design, brief heading, no navigation bar, a clear CTA, and an appealing image.
Employ Browser Caching
Caching is a mechanism for the temporary storage of web pages to reduce bandwidth and improve performance. When a visitor arrives at your website the cached version will be served up unless it has changed since the last cache. This saves server time and makes things altogether faster.
Mobile pages rely on a lot of redirects from one URL to another, which involves replacing “www” with the “m” domain. To avoid getting bogged down and speed up the page load time, browser caching will be your best friend.
Split-Test Your Mobile Site
A/B testing, or split-testing begins by setting up two versions of your website – a control version (A) and a variation version (B) which each have different features on the landing page. The site traffic is then divided up and channeled to each different site version to measure the different responses in real time to discover which site leads to greater sales conversions.
Split testing is an important way to test your mobile landing pages to see what works and what doesn’t for your unique audience.
Don’t Forget Mobile Application Performance
In recent years, more vendors have started to offer mAPM or mobile application performance monitoring tools to deal with the increasing complexity of managing your applications and the business-critical applications across multiple platforms and devices.
As with a desktop application, it’s critical that you monitor your mobile apps to ensure that things are always functioning optimally and that visitors are having a great user experience.