Mobile Browsing is So Popular You Can’t Afford to Ignore Your Mobile Visitors
The statistics don't lie – mobile browsing has quickly become more common than desktop browsing, and mobile visitors tend to show higher rates of engagement than desktop users. However, the window of engagement time is also shorter for mobile users, which means they stay on your site for less time and come back less frequently. While someone browsing a site on their laptop or desktop might leave a few tabs open and go idle, only to return later on to continue reading, this type of tabbed behavior is not as common amongst mobile visitors.
The average small business website gets about 20% of its traffic from mobile devices, but that number is continually growing and for some sites it is much higher. Thus, the best way to make optimal use of a huge portion of your site's traffic is to push mobile engagement during the initial visit. Here are a few reasons to focus on engaging mobile users:
- Engagement encourages media contributions from visitors – mobile visitors are more likely to post media than desktop users. This is likely due to the fact that the camera and gallery are built into mobile devices and the concept of sharing media has become embedded into social networking and the mobile experience as a whole. If you can effectively engage mobile users you'll eventually see an influx of traffic from mobile apps and sites like Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Vine, Twitter, etc.
- Adding to Existing Content – Mobile users love to comment. After all, it's about as convenient as sending a text message. Many blogs integrate Google and Facebook logins, making it easy for visitors to quickly add a comment and get their friends involved in the discussion. Comments from mobile users can greatly enrich the existing content and in many cases the SEO value of the page as well.
- Promoting Social Shares and Likes – When mobile users are truly engaged and interested it is fairly common for them to want to share their experience with friends. By engaging mobile users you'll be ensuring that your site's pages are frequently linked to in status updates, tweets, texts, chats and other popular forms of mobile correspondence.
Now that you know what heightened engagement can do for the quality of your site and promotional efforts, let's look at five actionable ways you can make your website and its pages more mobile-friendly and more likely to engage mobile users during their initial session:
1. Make the Comments Section More Accessible
Many mobile sites have comment sections that are too far “below the fold.” This means that the user needs to scroll down significantly before seeing the comments section. This is a common mistake that causes many mobile visitors to completely overlook the opportunity to engage. Instead of hiding the comments section below ads and links to other pages, put it directly below the content and use a call to action to encourage visitors to leave comments.
2. Give Visitors a Useful App to Download and Use Push Notifications
Perhaps the best way to get mobile users to perform a desired action is to intrigue them with a useful mobile app that effectively complements your brand. Once they've installed the app, you can then follow up through push notifications that will be sent directly to the notification bar at the top of their screen. This provides an excellent opportunity to retarget and reach out to your mobile audience on an ongoing basis.
3. Take Advantage of Higher Email Open Rates on Mobile Devices
Marketing analysis research has also shown that people are more likely to open an email on their mobile device than on their desktop. This is probably due to the fact that incoming emails popup as notifications as soon as they hit the mobile user's inbox. A great way to take advantage of that stat is to use popup windows and opt-in forms to convince mobile visitors to leave their email address in exchange for accessing specific content.
4. Stay Active on all the Popular Social Sites and Apps
Again, mobile activity is heavily infused with social networking activity, and the majority of your mobile visitors will in fact have active social networking accounts. Use like and share buttons to integrate your blog with all of the major social networks and bookmarking sites. Keep your social profiles active with new status updates, post shareworthy content frequently, and continually focus on adding more friends and followers to your network. Holding promotions, sweepstakes, raffles, and giveaways on social networks are other great ways to attract mobile engagement quickly.
5. Build a Mobile-Friendly Site with Responsive Design
Last, but certainly not least, make sure every page on your site can be displayed in a mobile-friendly manner across a broad range of display sizes and browser setups. Responsive design elements will keep your pages looking great on any mobile device and will ensure a more enjoyable, engaging experience for mobile visitors. At the same time, be sure to provide the option for mobile visitors to view the full site, as some do prefer the old desktop versions, especially tablet and phablet users.
Engaging Content Engages Best
As a word in closing, we should emphasize the fact that even the most engaging design will be of little use if the site isn't equipped with engaging content. Appearance and convenience can only go so far, so be sure to give visitors something to come back for in the form of information and/or entertainment and you'll begin to build the type of visitor loyalty that facilitates an expansive stream of engagement.