Do You Have a Mobile-First Search Strategy?

Implementing a mobile-first strategy will provide for a positive user experience.

People are spending more time than ever on their smartphones and mobile devices. They are using them to search online, interact on social media, and buy goods and services. This is a trend that isn’t expected to slow down, so as you rethink your website and digital strategy, it’s important to make the user’s mobile experience a priority.

Many companies have developed a mobile-first strategy in response to the increased use of mobile devices. This is when a company’s website is designed for mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.) first, and desktop second. This is to provide for a positive user experience on the mobile device by optimizing the space available and creating an efficient way to navigate and view the pages. The mobile design is then taken and expanded upon on the desktop version.

If you’re still developing your site primarily for desktop but hoping that having a responsive design will cover the secondary mobile experience, you may way to consider that in 2015 64% of Americans owned a smartphone, and 10% of them were smartphone-dependent, meaning that their only access to the Internet was via their phone. If you have a strong SEO strategy, remember that Google says more searches happen on mobile devices than on desktop computers. And, if e-commerce is a part of your business strategy, mobile commerce during the 2015 holiday shopping season was 59% higher than in 2014.

If you deliver content that makes it easy for users to read, share and buy on their smartphones, you will be positioned to grow your business. Meet customers where they are – on mobile.

Test your content on mobile

Too many businesses create content on a desktop without considering that the content also is being consumed on mobile devices. Before you publish a web page, blog post, or email newsletter — test it on your mobile device. Be sure to test it on Android, Windows and iOS smartphones. Test it on various tablets. Is the content easy to read? Does it load quickly? Is it easy to find what you need? How do the images look?

There are a number of online tools you can use to test the appearance of your site on various devices, including quirktools.com/screenfly/ and mobiletest.me.

Prioritize SEO for mobile

If your web traffic comes from organic search, there’s a good chance customers are finding your site on a mobile device. Google rewards websites that are mobile-friendly with higher rankings, so it’s important to have your site’s pages optimized for any device. Make sure that each page, not just the homepage, delivers a good mobile experience. This may be a potential customer’s first interaction with your brand, and you’ll want to make a good first impression.

Update your website copy

Optimizing your website’s copy for mobile devices doesn’t mean making it shorter. Users have become comfortable reading long-form content on mobile devices. It does have to be easy to scan, and the type should be easy to read. Make headlines larger and keep paragraphs short. Choose fonts that are simple and easy to read on a mobile device.

Use buttons and forms wisely

Whether you are selling a product, or gathering newsletter sign-ups, make sure the process is easy on a smartphone or tablet. Long forms are easy to complete on a desktop, but almost impossible on a mobile screen. Remove unnecessary fields, and clear the clutter of links, colorful page elements, and navigation bars away from the forms or buttons. Make the conversion process as simple and clear as possible.

Make sharing easy

One of the greatest benefits to a mobile-centric culture is the ability to easily share content in real-time. A customer who has a good experience with your customer service department can easily share that information on Twitter as it’s happening. A user that has purchased your product can easily share the purchase with friends. Brands that optimize their websites for shareability will see the network effect grow their business. Incorporate share buttons and directions after a purchase, a sales call or any customer interaction.

When your company prioritizes mobile-optimized content and makes it easy for customers and fans to search, purchase and share your products and services, your business will rise to the top of the industry.  Building a mobile-first strategy is not simple, but considering the trends towards a more mobile world, it will be beneficial.

If you’re interested in how your business can optimize its website and social platforms for the mobile experience, contact our media experts for more information.

 Galen KashtockBy Galen Kashtock

I lead sales support strategy and execution. Our team is hands-on from start to finish with the sales process, ensuring that we build and execute wildly successful media strategies for our clients.