Responsive versions of company websites are simply not converting as well as desktop versions. We look at some ideas to make your responsive sites more user friendly and more tempting to buy from.
Don’t you just love numbers?
There are so many of them around these days. One rather impressive one I saw recently was that there are more Ph.D. students in China than undergrads in the rest of the world. Now, I am not sure what to do with this stat, but I am sure that there is a business opportunity there somewhere. I shall leave this for someone better suited than me to exploit.
Another set of stats that is closer to home is the phenomenal rate of growth in the use of smartphones for online browsing and online shopping. We see impressive numbers, such as annual increases of 125% in the number of responsive websites just a few years ago – and I can probably find stats for the last year that will dwarf that.
However, what is interesting to note is that these responsive versions of company websites are simply not converting as well as desktop versions. What is the number? Well, somewhere I read that mobile sites convert at a rate about one third that of desktops.
To help us all make more money from our responsive websites, I thought I’d discuss some of the ways that we can help improve mobile conversion rates.
KISS: Keep it Simple Stupid
Or, to paraphrase: the simpler, the better.
It might sound really obvious, but try to remember that when it comes to presenting your product to users who are using a smartphone, the screen is really small.
So, the less content and the fewer distractions, the better. Keep your content to-the-point and your messages short, and keep only the very best content for above the fold. Let users click through if they want more information.
Keep it Light and Fast
We all too often forget that, despite the promises of the mobile giants, mobile reception is still irritatingly slow and painful. Try downloading a good Ted talk on your mobile while on a train and you will probably get to your destination before you complete watching even a short 10-minute video.
As responsive sites require so much simplifying, the most important questions should be what do users value most and what do you need to say or show as a priority to get their attention.
For example, if you are selling something that requires a visual, such as hotel rooms or clothes, you will want to add light-weight responsive images.
If your product salesmanship does not hinge on visual stimuli, then try to keep your images to a minimum and focus more on clean, fresh font layouts to attract and convert your readers.
Also, keep your texts and sales copy nice and short and snappy, instead of giving people books to read. Remember, you can always let people click to read more but keep the initial messaging in headline format as much as possible.
Either way, keep it light, keep things moving fast and try to find the right balance between images and texts.
Keep your Calls to Action Quick and Clear
Again, to keep things moving really fast on mobile platforms, try to think of your copy concepts as two basic steps, with a quick headline incorporating a USP followed by a small and clear crisp call to action.
Click to Call
I am always amazed at how many responsive websites give me no alternative to writing down their telephone number and then typing it into my phone in order to call them. Some of the better ones are really nice and I am able to copy and paste the number but, either way, it is either a triple or a double effort to call them.
It is so easy to set up all your telephone numbers and email addresses so that your readers only need to click to action. And letting your readers click to call, or click to email, is so much easier, so much simpler, and improves conversion rates massively.
Google Ad Extensions
To take the concept of Click to Call one step further, for those of you who are running Google Adwords campaigns, there are several ad extensions available for free that can help boost the effectiveness of your click budgets and the profitability of your ad campaigns, but the one that I wish to talk about in this case is the simple “Click to Call” extension.
As an integral part of mobile marketing, it makes perfect sense to use this extension to enable mobile users to simply click to call you instead of coming to your website first. For those with call center capabilities and for those who find phone calls a better way to do business and to upsell, this is the perfect way of just getting “face-to-face”, so to speak, as soon as possible in the sales funnel.
Keep your Search & Shopping Basket Simple
Once again, when it comes to search, we all know how frustrating it can be to have to type lots of data into a search form on our mobiles, especially when you are carrying lots of things on the move or have a screaming baby.
To keep things mobile-friendly and to help improve conversion rates even further, I always suggest reducing the number of fields and reducing the amount of information that you require for a customer to carry out a search on your responsive site.
On H&M’s mobile site, for instance, they have a predictive element, similar to a Google search. So, for example, if your type in “dress”, it will offer a list of variations to click on without having to type it all out.
If you can’t be as saintly as you know you should be and you need to overdo it a little, then how about helping your readers out and making their lives simpler? To give an example of how you can help, Entrevo enables its readers to click on numbers instead of typing them in. It’s much quicker and it’s much easier.
Another great example of making life simple for your customers can be seen with Booking.com. Here, you can see they too have very few fields to make a search, and, using GPS, they automatically set the default of their search to “location near you” to make it quicker and easier for the user to search.
Keep your Checkout Process Simple
One of the big stumbling blocks with e-commerce (and this is not exclusive to mobile) is shopping basket dropout rates.
This is due to a number of reasons, primarily the fact that there are usually too many steps and that too much information is required to make a purchase. Basically, our customers are being asked to work too hard to give us their business.
I have found that it is usually quite a revelation to discover how little information you really need from a customer to process a sale online, and with a bit of discipline and focus, I challenge you to be more “economical” with what you require of your customers and see how far you can go.
To register with Etsy via mobile, for example, you only have to fill in your email address and choose a password and a username. Those who have a Google+ account only have to click a button!
Another way of helping to reduce the conversion barrier is to use payment gateways such as Paypal. Most people have a Paypal or Google Pay account and this saves them a huge amount of time as they do not need to input all their details again… they simply log in and pay.