For years now, content marketers have known that a mobile-first web would be the way of the future. But recent trends suggest the future is already here.
As a percentage of all traffic, mobile continues to increase. They’ve seen this at JAKK Media: Across all of their brands, mobile accounted for more than 60 percent of all traffic last year. At JAKK Media and across the web, the majority of readers are likely to interact with your brand on a mobile device.
This means mobile-first thinking is essential for today’s brands. Optimizing your brand for mobile will ensure your readers have the best experience possible, and that means they’ll be more likely to interact with your site and feel favorably toward your brand.
Not only do mobile-first strategies ensure better engagement from mobile users, but they’ve also been proven to lead to more time on page, higher conversions and sales, and higher rankings in Google. In fact, Google is now ranking primarily on the mobile experience.
Ready to help your brand thrive in the mobile-first era? JAKK Media’s Kenny Kline shared five strategies to make it happen.
How to Prep Your Brand for the Mobile-First Web
Prioritize mobile site speed.
Today’s digital readers don’t have patience for slow loading times. Data consistently finds that slow page times drive up page abandonment, thereby costing you readers and conversions.
To avoid the death knell of slow load times, make sure to prioritize mobile site speed. Test load times on various devices and both with and without an internet connection to ensure mobile users will consistently enjoy fast load times.
Design with mobile in mind.
This topic deserves a post of its own, but here’s a quick overview of some sound mobile-first design practices:
·Compress images. This will speed up page load times, which (as noted above) is an essential component of mobile-first design.
·Design with touch in mind. Mobile users need to be able to navigate your site with their fingers. Whether they’re scrolling through content, selecting page navigation tabs or shopping cart items, or filling in forms, all of this needs to be done easily with the touch of a finger. If readers get frustrated, they might abandon pages or carts—so make sure you test this carefully.
·Cool it on the pop-ups. Pops-ups can annoy any reader, but especially those on mobile—and especially if you haven’t designed for fingers (making it hard to close pop-ups). What’s more, Google penalizes pop-ups that interfere with site navigation. While you might be able to justify the rare pop-up, for the most part it’s best to keep mobile pages as uncluttered as possible in order to ensure a happier user experience.
Consider formats that are designed for mobile.
Platforms such as Google and Facebook have rolled out formats for web pages, ads, and the like that are designed specifically to enhance the mobile experience—by, for example, ensuring near-instant load times. We’ve had good luck with Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) markup and Facebook Instant formats, both of which make it easy to offer readers a stellar mobile experience.
Test the mobile experience personally.
If you want to know what your readers are experiencing, then it’s important to put yourself in their shoes. Spend time poking around on your site on mobile devices to get a feel for load times, aesthetics, ease of use (especially when it comes to buttons and site navigation), and so on, and make adjustments accordingly.
Take advantage of mobile testing tools.
In addition to testing your site personally, it’s also a good idea to use tools that give you more insights into mobile users’ experiences. I’m personally fond of Google’s mobile testing tool, which lets you test the ease with which visitors can access any given site page from a mobile device. Just enter a URL, and the tool will share whether the page is mobile-friendly and alert you to page loading issues.
Mobile is no longer the way of the future; it’s dominating web traffic and usage patterns right now. No matter whether you’re just starting to think about mobile or you’ve been crafting a mobile content plan for a while now, these five strategies will help equip your site for a mobile-first web.