Fiona O'Connor
Fiona O'Connor
Society Marketing, Wiley

Mobile optimization is increasingly essential to reaching your society’s audience online. 62% of US online adults now expect a mobile-friendly website. To learn more about mobile optimization we chatted with Wiley marketing expert Liane Shayer.

 

Q. What is mobile optimization?
A. Mobile optimization means that an email or a website will offer an experience that is designed for a specific device (tablet or smartphone or laptop). The font may change to be more readable. Buttons may become bigger as the device becomes smaller. Content and images may be reformatted in a way that makes them suitable for the device. This is a little different than a mobile-friendly experience in which a website, for example, displays accurately on any device though it may not reformat itself.

 

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Q. Many experts now say that having a mobile-friendly site is essential. Why is mobile optimization so important?

A. According to a Return Path report released in July 2017, 55% of email is now opened on mobile devices. Desktop email opens have now declined to only 16% according to the same report. Mobile optimization is increasingly important to make sure customers have a good online experience.

 

Q. What recommendations do you have for organizations just beginning to build their mobile strategy?
A. Focus on your members. It is important to understand who they are and what they do when online. Build the online experience around this information.

 

One way to do this is to see what devices and browsers they are using. Email on Acid and Litmus are great tools for this. If an organization learns that six out of ten email opens occur via Gmail, or that close to 80% of mobile email opens are on a device running iOS, developers know what tools to optimize for.

 

Test to make sure the experience is what you expected and is seamless throughout. Providing a poor experience may cost an organization members. 61% of users indicate they are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing (per Google).

 

Finally, don’t forget about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and engagement metrics. Use the insights from these metrics to make informed decisions on changes that might be needed to optimized strategy.

 

Q. Are there any simple ways that an organization can improve the mobile optimization of their website?
A. There are quite a few easy ways that an organization can enhance the mobile optimization of their website:

    • Provide only essential information. Remember, mobile screens are much smaller than desktop and laptop screens.
    • Keep copy short and sweet and make it catchy.
    • Use a consistent structure throughout the site.
    • Provide a clear path to the call-to-action.
    • Use a larger font size and make sure it is easy to read.
    • Use checkable boxes and scrolling menu bars.
    • Make sure the site scales so that it looks good on the over 500 screen sizes found across smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

 

Q. Optimizing email for mobile is also important to effectively communicate with your audience. What can an organization do to ensure they’re reaching members on all devices?
A. According to emailmonday, 8 in 10 users will likely access email exclusively from mobile devices in 2018, so email optimization is key. Learn what the key devices are that members are using. Use this information to create a simple template that works across these devices and stick with it for all email outreach.

 

Q. As we start the new year of 2018, are there any trends to be aware of that may have a big impact on mobile optimization this year?
A. Voice and visual search are already a widely used part of a user’s activity on a mobile device. Organizations will need to begin to think about how their site is optimized for voice search and work with developers to make necessary updates. Another trend to watch is automation and machine learning. We are still waiting to see the full implications of this. Big data and analytics have already had a huge impact, but should stay on your watch list.

 

Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, or buy something. How an organization reaches people at these micro-moments will become increasingly important.

 

Further Resources

There are a lot of good sources of information on mobile optimization, including:

 

https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/mobile-marketing-statistics

https://www.emailmonday.com/mobile-email-usage-statistics/

https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/304735/majority-of-emails-read-on-mobile-devices.html

https://blog.kissmetrics.com/8-mobile-ux-tips/

https://searchenginewatch.com/2017/10/13/seven-seo-trends-to-watch-in-2018/

 

Image credit: Jonnystorey Ltd/Getty Images