3 Ways to Optimize Your Site for Mobile Traffic

By Aubrey Berkowitz
August 23, 2019

Remember the days when you had to choose between being on your phone and on the internet? How long ago does that feel now? June 29th, 2007 changed everything – the day when Apple first released the original iPhone and changed the way we use the internet forever. I was reminded of this today when reviewing page analytics for one of our clients with our Digital Marketing Director, Teylor Schiefelbein. 

By running digital ad campaigns, 98% of this particular client’s traffic stems from mobile devices. After launch, we determined that ads for mobile viewers resulted in much higher conversion goals. Without the ad traffic, mobile traffic still accounts for more than 70% of all traffic to this site and pushes the website design and development team to prioritize design that maximizes conversion elements on mobile. 

Mobile traffic now accounts for over half of all internet traffic. E-Commerce statistics are even more skewed towards mobile traffic. 2018 was a landmark year, where mobile e-commerce surpassed over $5 billion dollars. Imagine in 2006 that twelve years later, over half of your online traffic would be coming from a mobile phone. It’s mind-blowing. 

What does this mean for business owners? Here are three points when considering how your site should be optimized for mobile usage: 

1. Your user flow needs to be concise and intentional. 

You have 2 seconds on average before a user decides to take action or bounce to another page. On mobile, the ability to create clear “Calls to Action” is imperative as users are far from “scroll adverse” and often expect to see a series of Calls to Action as they scroll down the page. 

Be intentional by thinking of your homepage, or any other page for that matter, much like real estate. The higher up a Call to Action is on your page, the more attention that Call to Action receives. This is especially true on mobile. 

Take a look at your site on your smartphone. Is the most valuable Call to Action the first element that a user sees? Does that Call to Action drive business for your brand? Does it drive ROI? 

Too often, we engage with clients who have their primary call to action leading to the “About” page. That’s great. Most businesses claim that they are better than their competitors or that they are unique in some way. But that’s extremely difficult to quantify for a user. Instead, that Call to Action should be a mechanized part of your customer acquisition. It should be a means for you to add new “leads to the pipeline,” and more importantly — the right leads. 

2. Mobile-friendly sites perform better in search.

Similar to June 29th above, April 21st, 2015 was a massively important day for the future of the internet as well. On that date, Google released a new update to their algorithm that prioritized mobile-friendly sites on search. Often called “Mobilegeddon” – or my personal favorite, “Mopocalypse” – many sites that were not mobile-friendly were pushed down in the search results. Some stopped ranking on mobile at all. 

The solution was to make websites CSS responsive, meaning that the website adjusts to the various screen sizes of our phones. But now, CSS is even more important with the prevalence of wider monitors for desktop. Currently, our design team designs websites specifically for 1280 width, 1920 width, as well as mobile screen sizes. When I first started at Alter Endeavors in 2014, mocking up a website for various screen sizes was entirely unnecessary. Now, it’s negligent to ignore screen size varieties when building a website. 

So, check your site. Is it mobile friendly? Have you ever looked into your mobile rankings on search engines? I highly recommend you do so. 

3. Optimize your site functionally for mobile traffic.

The way we use the internet on our phone is drastically different than on desktop. For starters, we are used to quick and immediate results on a mobile phone. 

Here are some functionalities to consider: 

  • Does your site have features for mobile such as “one-tap calling” where users can call instantly
  • Is your site visual? For mobile sites, infographics and images are far more effective than lengthy text.
  • Are you incorporating movement? Video is especially effective on mobile, where we’ve become accustomed to functionalities such as streaming
  • Make sure your contact forms are easy to use on mobile. Get the relevant information you need and then move on. Follow up with them either online or offline, but be respectful of their time on mobile. They’re often on the go or in the middle of something. 

I assume there will soon be a day when mobile usage dominates online traffic. Over 200 million Americans own a smartphone, and we’ve all seen younger children use a mobile device far more effectively than our generation. Even more staggering, over 100 million Americans own a tablet, and most treat their tablet as a second desktop.

I recently saw a statistic that 75% of users make a decision about the legitimacy of a brand based on the design and functionality of the website. We’re in a new era of consumerism, and the brands that have effective platforms optimized for both mobile and desktop will be the new champions. Is your website ready to greet mobile users?