8 Ways To Increase Conversions From Mobile Searchers
More than ever, searchers are coming across your listing on a mobile device. Columnist Bryson Meunier explains how to convert those searchers into buyers.
A recent study from Kenshoo on Enhanced Campaigns might explain why paid and organic search marketers still aren’t spending the resources they need to on mobile SEO and paid search, in spite of this being the year that mobile search eclipses desktop search in Google and Bing.
According to the study, it’s not performing the way marketers need it to, and nowhere near what desktop search does. In fact, the study found 64% of marketers said mobile search either performs worse, or much worse, than desktop search.
This isn’t just a problem with mobile search. In fact, smartphone conversion is generally low, with Monetate reporting in its Q1 2014 E-commerce Report that the average conversion rate for smartphone traffic come in at 1.14%, and desktop traffic converts at 3.15% on average — a significant advantage for desktop.
Why aren’t mobile searchers converting on your site? Only testing will tell. However, conversion expert Tim Ash shared some great tips on converting mobile users recently on Marketing Land. In addition to his list, follow these best practices to convert more mobile searchers specifically:
1. Skip The Redirect
If you have a dedicated mobile site rather than a responsive site that works relatively well on all devices, add a little code to the page to ensure Google displays it instead of the traditional URL in mobile search results.
It may increase CTR from searchers looking to visit a site that works on their phone, and it will load the mobile URL directly without a redirect, shaving valuable seconds off the page load time that could help you retain a conversion.
2. Speed It Up
If you’ve been using the internet long enough to remember this…
… you should really know better than to give mobile searchers an experience that takes longer than a second to load.
The problems that used to be caused by dial-up are now caused by things like redirects, as well as by responsive designs without responsive images.
Google recommends optimizing pages to load in less than a second, but don’t just do it because Google recommends it. Do it because of why they recommend it: because mobile searchers won’t stick around longer than a second to see your pretty mobile web site and will probably leave if they don’t find what they’re looking for immediately.
A Google study from 2012 found that
- 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
And last year, we learned from Google that speed and convenience is the number one reason why consumers choose to search on their smartphone. Why would you interfere with this by slowing things down?
It’s not easy to make sites load quickly for every device. But taking the time to do so, using tools like Google’s free page speed insights tool, can help you retain business.
3. Don’t Make Them Pinch And Zoom
Tim Ash mentioned this, but it’s worth reiterating.
Mobile searchers are no longer the minority. Don’t treat them like second class citizens by giving them a site that’s not formatted for their device. Whatever mobile configuration strategy you go with is better than none at all.
More than half of people said that even if they like a business, they will use it less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly, according to Google. If you can afford to upset half of your user base, ignore that warning. Otherwise, make it mobile friendly.
4. Account For Offline & Multiscreen Conversions
When you’re thinking about conversion rate, consider all touch points and assign the proper value to each channel. That mobile searcher may never convert on their mobile device, but it doesn’t mean they’re not converting somewhere.
Google tells us that mobile users convert primarily in-store or from a desktop or tablet, while only 17% purchase directly on their mobile phone.
So don’t try to change consumer behavior. Track it with the tools you have at your disposal. Mobile coupons are one such tool that can help you track more of those mobile searchers through to an offline purchase.
Never used a mobile coupon? Fair enough, but more and more people are. eMarketer estimates that 59.2 million adult smartphone users in the US will use their phones to redeem a mobile coupon for either online or offline shopping this year. That’s a year-over-year rise of 37.5%, representing 40.0% of the 18-and-older smartphone audience in the country.
Don’t forget that these mobile consumers are also just consumers, and they will convert on the device (or off the device) that feels most comfortable to them. Make your site experience better for mobile searchers and make it easier for them to be comfortable purchasing on their phones, but if they decide to convert another way be sure you’re properly attributing mobile’s importance to the conversion.
5. Ensure The Message Is Relevant To The Context
Don’t do this:
If content isn’t adaptive, don’t show it to searchers who have no use for it, but redirect them to relevant content instead.
When it comes to downloads, printable things, or other functionality that is inherently different on a PC than a mobile device, don’t give mobile searchers information they can’t use on their device.
6. Don’t Ask Mobile Searchers For Things You Already Know
That is, don’t ever ask a mobile searcher to waste five keystrokes entering a ZIP code when they can press a button to have their GPS find their location.
Also, save information across devices so that they can convert easily on another device. Just because they’re on a different device doesn’t mean they’re a different person.
7. Include Your Phone Number On Site In Text
Unlike computers, mobile devices are also phones, and people like to use them to contact businesses directly. Don’t make it more difficult for them by forcing them to open their phone app and enter in your phone number directly.
If your phone number is in text, Android and iOS enable click to call, making it easy for mobile searchers to convert. If it’s in an image, however, they may be calling your competitors instead.
8. Don’t Do Anything Stupid
There are a number of other things you can do to retain mobile searchers, but most of them fall into this category of the unnecessary and preventable.
For example, don’t redirect smartphone users to your home page, or expect them to watch Flash videos that don’t work on their phones. A fairly exhaustive list of common mistakes that frustrate mobile searchers can be found here.