Posted on 11 Jul 12 by neilson
In the last issue, we featured an article on Going Mobile Now by Jeff Neilson, president of ProgramBuiness.com. As Jeff discussed, it’s predicted that mobile usage will overtake desktop usage by 2014, which why it’s essential to establish a mobile presence if you haven’t already.
In establishing a mobile site, you need to adapt your strategy, and look at how to make your landing page work in a mobile format. This means you need to consider the landing page content and layout for various devices and screens of all sizes.
Here are some tips to help you go mobile:
Make sure your content is available and visible for mobile devices. Flash, frames, PNG-24 images, and numerous plug-ins are not accessible for mobile. Update your site with mobile-friendly alternatives like HTML5, jQuery, and JPG or GIF image formats.
Your mobile pages should be lightweight (less than 20 KB total) and minimally load in under 5 seconds. The factors that typically slow down mobile pages include: the number of requests (loaded images, scripts, etc.) followed by the number of bytes (page size). In addition,
consolidate or eliminate scripts, resize and save mobile-optimized images, leverage image sprites to enable caching one image versus many, and use CSS in place of images.
Have an Order in Mind
For smartphones, it’s recommended to implement a single-column layout with the priority content at the top. Mobile users are goal-oriented versus the more benefit-oriented desktop users, so always feature call-to-action task completion content (e.g., click-to-call, find a store) "above the fold" or within the top 100 pixels for smartphones.
If your call-to-action (CTA) is potentially lower on the screen, be sure to present a teaser like "scroll down for offer" to retain engagement.
Get to the Point
You most likely need to cut copy in half from what you have on your desktop site for mobile optimization. Screen size varies, so reduction may be about 65 percent for tablets and 35 percent for smartphones. Cut six-word headings to three or four, and edit five bullets to two or three. It’s still important to sell the content. Leverage creative copywriting and consider visualizing benefits as icons to replace or reduce the copy.
Users should be able to read the page without having to zoom in. The minimum font-size should ideally be about 16 pixels, the 100% default for browsers. A simple color palette, strong contrast between text and backgrounds, and adequate negative space between elements also play a large part in legibility.
Let them Know to Call You
The top mobile user action for both SEO and PPC is making a phone call, so be sure your phone number is visible at the top of the page. Include a phone icon for quick visual association; also include a call-to-action in the link text, such as Call Now, Contact Support, Tap to Call, etc.; and display office hours.
Small, compact content is challenging to click for mobile. All actionable targets should be clickable without zooming. Design your clickable targets (links, buttons, icons, form fields, etc.) to be touch-friendly – fully and easily operable by fingers and thumbs.
Have Simple Forms
Mobile landing page forms should be extremely short. Target seven or less fields (one to three is ideal) anticipating each additional field to potentially reduce conversion by 50 percent. Never include non-required fields.
Have Compelling Action
The purpose of the page should be obvious, compelling and readily visible as an action.
To optimize landing page conversion, limit the number of "actions" to three or less for mobile. An "action" constitutes any task the user could do on the page – a link, a like, a share, a video view, a form submission, a menu expand, or any other tap/click/swipe gesture.
Source: Search Engine Watch