Study: What Users Want from Mobile Sites

10 best practices mobile websites

A recent survey leads to 10 Best Practices for Ad Agency New Business.

A mobile-friendly site can help your agency connect with customers and increase new business opportunities but a bad mobile experience can drive your prospects to your competition.

Mobile users actively seek out and prefer to engage with mobile-friendly sites. It is now a critical component of building a strong agency brand, nurturing lasting prospective client relationships, and making mobile work for new business.

User expectations for mobile continue to increase, but companies are still not meeting mobile users’ needs for fast and reliable experiences,” – Steve Tack, CTO of Compuware APM

A recent survey, “What Users Want from Mobile Sites Today”, gauged users’ expectations and reactions towards their site experiences on mobile. This research was conducted for Google by Sterling Research and SmithGeiger, independent market research firms. Here are some of the highlights from this survey:

  • When they visited a mobile-friendly site, 74% of people say they’re more likely to return to that site in the future
  • 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service.
  • 61% of users said that if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site, they’d quickly move on to another site.
  • 79% of people who don’t like what they find on one site will go back and search for another site.
  • 50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly.
  • 48% of users say they feel frustrated and annoyed when they get to a site that’s not mobile-friendly.
  • 36% said they felt like they’ve wasted their time by visiting those sites.
  • 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company.
  • 48% said that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business.

The bottom line:

Users attitudes about your agency can be shaped by mobile site experiences.  Mobile users want: clearer, simpler, faster sites. They expect their mobile experience to be just as good as their desktop experience. Without a mobile-friendly site you’ll be driving users to your competition. 

Google’s GOMO outlines these 10 Mobile Best Practices to turn your agency’s website into a pleasant mobile experience for prospects:

  1. Keep it Quick
    • Prioritize the content and features that mobile users need most. Use your desktop site analytics to see what mobile users are doing.
    • Reduce large blocks of text and use bullet points for easy reading.
    • Compress images to keep them small for faster site loading.
  2. Make it Easy to Convert (make it easy to contact you)
    • Focus on information that will aid conversion (i.e., service/product details).
    • Reduce the number of steps needed to complete a transaction.
    • Keep forms short and use the fewest number of fields possible.
    • Use check boxes, lists and scroll menus to make data entry easier.
    • Use click-to-call functionality for all phone numbers.
    • Implement conversion tracking to monitor how users are converting on the site.
  3. Simplify Navigation
    • Minimise scrolling and keep it vertical only.
    • Use a clear hierarchy in menus and avoid rollovers.
    • Help users navigate between levels with clear back and home buttons.
    • Use seven links or fewer per page of navigation.
    • Have a search box prominently available on complex sites.
  4. Be Thumb Friendly
    • Use large, centred buttons and give them breathing room to reduce accidental clicks.
    • Pad smaller buttons to increase the clickable area.
    • Pad check boxes by making the text clickable.
  5. Make It Seamless
    • Maintain key features of your site across all channels as much as possible.
    • Display the same information for services.
  6. Design for Visibility
    • Create contrast between background and text.
    • Make sure content fits on-screen and can be read without pinching and zooming.
    • Use plenty of negative space.
    • Use size and colour to indicate link/button priority.
    • Use 3D effects and shadowing for buttons.
  7. Make it Local (functionality that helps people to find you)
    • Have your address or store locator on the landing page.
    • Include maps and directions. Use GPS to personalize when possible.
  8. Use Mobile Redirects
    • Give users a choice to go back to the desktop site, but make it easy to return to the mobile site.
    • Let users choose which version they prefer to see for later visits.
    • Include key information, such as your address or a store locator, on the redirect page.
  9. Make it Accessible
    • Find alternatives to Flash – it does not work on some devices.
    • Use HTML5 for interactivity and animation.
    • Adapt your site for both vertical and horizontal orientations.
    • Keep users in the same place when they change orientation.
  10. Listen, Learn and Iterate 
    • Use analytics and conversion tracking to understand how prospects use your site.
    • If possible, especially for complex sites, do user testing before implementation and collect user feedback after launch.
    • Iterate often and continuously improve your site based on your research.

To help you see what your prospective client’s see when they view your agency’s website on mobile use the GoMoMeter to test your site and get a customized report. You will also find some additional resources by downloading  Google’s GOMO Agency Guide.

Additional articles that may be of interest:

Fuel Lines is now available in the iTunes App Store.

photo credit: Jesus Belzunce via photopin cc

About Michael Gass

Michael Gass is a Business Development Consultant to Advertising, Digital, Media and PR Agencies | Speaker | Author of Fuel Lines. Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.