Ensuring you are optimizing your website for mobile users is not a new concept. 

So why am I going to talk about the importance of having a mobile-friendly website now? 

Because it is still important and, as a full-time conversion optimization strategist, I still run into websites that don’t provide an optimal experience for their mobile users. 

This not only will affect the potential conversion of the user at that moment, on their mobile device, but it could also leave them with an overall negative impression of the brand and prevent them from returning altogether. 

There are multiple ways to address mobile users specifically, so I’m not suggesting that you need to run out and create a completely separate mobile website (unless that’s what makes sense for your brand and product). You can still see great results just by running mobile-specific tests. 

So how do you find gaps in your site’s mobile experience? 

Turn to the data of course! 

Compare Mobile Engagement with Mobile Conversions

Google Analytics is the first place I look. If you are new to the platform, check out my Hero Academy video Using Google Analytics to Identify Friction on Your Website. In Google Analytics, look under the Mobile tab of the Audience reports. This is a quick way to see what percentage of your traffic is mobile, and how the performance is compared to other devices. 

While we shouldn’t expect to see mobile users engaging at the same rate as desktop users, in this example, we see there is significantly less engagement (see the Behavior metrics) and the conversion rate is much lower. On the other hand, looking at the actual amount of revenue, mobile is not lagging that far behind. This discrepancy between engagement and sales is a clear indication of the value of mobile users and the need to focus on mobile optimizations.

mobile behavior versus mobile conversions in google analytics

Run A User Feedback Analysis For Mobile and Compare It To Desktop

Another way to look for areas to improve your mobile experience is to perform a user feedback analysis. Use third-party platforms like Usertesting or TryMyUI to set up mobile-specific tasks. Have testers walk through the purchasing process, or have them look for specific items or information. Tester’s screens are recorded and they are asked to audibly narrate their journey so you will be able to pinpoint larger areas of friction. If you want to determine if there is a need to create a completely separate mobile experience, run tests for both mobile and desktop users and see how differently they respond. This can help decide what your strategy should be when it comes to mobile. 

run a user feedback analysis for the mobile experience

Both of these analyses are helpful when it comes to identifying gaps in the existing mobile experience, but what exactly are your setup options for mobile experiences?

Consider The Site Setup: Dedicated Mobile Pages Vs. Responsive Pages

When you are trying to decide what type of mobile strategy to use, consider the amount of content, type of content, and conversion goals. I’ve already mentioned separate mobile-specific pages, which work well if you know your mobile audience values are significantly different than other devices. 

Responsive landing pages are a good starting place if you haven’t done much mobile optimizing and just want to ensure your users don’t need to zoom in to see on mobile or have a difficult time clicking and navigating the site. The downside to responsive design is you will likely have less control over the layout of the elements than if you were to create an entirely unique mobile-specific landing page. 

Dedicated Vs. Responsive Pages + CRO Testing

Once you decide if you’re going to use dedicated mobile landing pages or responsive landing pages, it is important to keep testing in mind. Think about your capabilities (or your client’s capabilities) when you are creating your testing plan. Are you able to test and implement different changes for different devices? For example, I have often seen tests win for desktop and lose for mobile and the reverse. This is where having separate landing pages will come in handy. If you have the ability to run specific tests for mobile devices then it is a good idea to consider them separately in your analysis as well. If this is not something you can do, don’t think you will be able to ignore mobile altogether. When creating tests, it will still be important to see how they look on mobile and at the very least, ensure the changes do not break the mobile experience. 

Mobile devices are slowly taking over and changing our online behavior, this is not news. Even so, ensuring we are continuing to optimize the mobile landscape is something that should be at the forefront of our minds.