Designing for the Mobile Market

Are You Leveraging the Mobile Market?

Mobile devices have dramatically changed how people access and use content. So much so that any web manager not creating a strategy for a truly mobile site is doing their company a disservice.

Getting Started

As obvious as it is, mobile devices are … mobile!  They are used differently than desktops and have a different layout, have geo-targeting capability and are used more often and are with their owner throughout the day.  Leverage these key differences to your company’s advantage.

Different Usage

Even though mobile devices and desktops perform the same key operations we are interested in (browse and deliver search results),   a key difference is that mobile devices are with their owner throughout the day. Because of this, browse/search are called upon in to answer questions in unique ways.  Mobile browsing/searching is focused on immediate, local needs and  happen at a much higher frequency than desktop usage. Traffic volume trends for mobile devices is also different. Mobile traffic tends to increase throughout the day and usually peaks on Sunday.

Consider the Small Screen

When designing your mobile site take time to really consider the screen real estate, but this doesn’t mean you have to comprise on the user experience.

A short check list of tips for creating a mobile-optimized page:

  • Consider vertical rather than horizontal scrolling (many people navigate with one hand!)
  • Design larger call-to-action buttons (make it easier to purchase or make a request)
  • Keep your navigation concise and focused (consider the highest value items for your visitors)
  • Keep any “action path” (like making a purchase) short and sweet! (make it easy!)
  • Concise forms (remember, only critical fields, large easy to use buttons)

Consider Mobile Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Just as people interact with the small screen differently than a full size screen, they also search differently. The key difference?  Fewer words (not surprising!)

Consider creating separate ad groups for your search campaigns targeted at the mobile market. I think you’ll find they have a much different performance than what you’ve experienced on your other campaigns.

Think Mobile … Geo-targeting!

It should be common sense, but many web managers forget to include location information in their mobile search engine result pages. Even though smartphones have location-knowledge, it’s a good practice to show you are considerate of your market and include this, especially for any local campaigns.

Think Timing

Since mobile devices are … well … mobile, searches will happen at different rates and times than for those conducted at a desktop. And remember … keep the call to action quick and simple.

  • Create specific mobile ready landing pages for campaign ads – concise, easily readable, actionable
  • Monitor your mobile campaigns to find the best time to plan your budget
  • Remember mobile search result pages are shorter than desktop search result pages! The coveted top slots will be even more important and there will be fewer paid ad slots

Treat Tablet SEM Separately

There is a growing body of evidence that shows that tablet usage tends to peak on evenings and weekends. So adjust your campaigns accordingly. Tablets are still the “new toy on the block” so make sure any landing page plays on the trendiness by being an eye catching experience (of course the call-to-action should still be instantly recognizable!).

Mobile Importance – Google Report

A tidbit from the report:

  • Percentage of mobile users who have mad a purchase on a smartphone
    • US : 34%
    • UK : 30%
    • Germany : 27%
    • Japan : 40%

Enjoy the New Opportunities!

Mobile devices have greatly expanded the ability to reach customers. Use the above insights to help design to and leverage this new frontier.

Good luck!


One comment

  1. shakunharris · · Reply

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    bread and butter knowledge must have …

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