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January 4, 2017

Google Mobile First, Landing Page Case Study

Does your website look great and perform well on desktop, tablet and mobile? Read why it's more important than ever.

What do you know about mobile first indexing? Depending on your level of interest in the online/eCommerce world, you may or may not have heard about Google’s November 2016 announcement. Their search algorithms have begun prioritising mobile-friendly webpages over desktop versions. According to Search Engine Land:

“this means Google will create and rank its search listings based on the mobile version of content, even for listings that are shown to desktop users.”

This follows their previous April 2015 announcement which was designed to give mobile-friendly pages a boost in search results. This continued focus indicates that Google has taken note as the number of searches performed on mobile continues¬†to rise year-on-year. They see a great user experience as a major priority in returning quality search results, and you need to do the same to ensure your website’s search ranking doesn’t suffer.

mobile_search

As things stand now, in the long term, there’s simply no way around it. You need a fully-responsive website which can be managed through one system, and looks just as great on mobile and tablet as it does on desktop. However, everyone is well aware of the costs involved in a project like this.

Even when you know an investment will benefit you in the future, it can be tough to pull the funds together in the short term.

Even in 2016, there are still many desktop-only websites, forcing unfortunate mobile visitors to pinch and zoom a few times before giving up and leaving. Well, I do anyway. On a slightly better footing are those with old-style separate mobile and desktop versions of their site.

I have worked with clients who, upon the rise of mobile web browsing a few years ago, added a m. version of their website and have continued to operate two versions. This essentially doubles the work it takes to maintain your website and creates more opportunities for out-of-date and incorrect information about your business to be viewed by potential customers. While this system is awkward, it wouldn’t have actively harmed your ranking in search results until now. However, things have moved on and a fully responsive website is the only way forward.

The thing about social media is- most people participate on their mobile phones.

At this stage, this shouldn’t really be news to you. However, if you’re going to spend your advertising budget to convince people to click on your ad, then you had better give them a nice experience once they get to your site. Not only does it have to look great, your website needs to invite the users’ trust and make them confident enough to part with their personal details and (hopefully!) cash. Moreover, the experience they have on your website should make them want to return again and again.

mobile-purchase

To this end, I’d like to share a tip for a quick-fix method I used with a client to improve online revenue.

This client wanted to increase their social media advertising spend in their busiest sales period of the year- Christmas. The client in question had a full desktop site and a less-developed m. mobile site. Their eCommerce product listing mechanism was contained within the desktop version. The team were aware that social media was a great place to go after potential customers for their product, but were not in the financial position to fund a new, responsive website.

Ensuring consistent branding and an elegant design which reflected the main website, I created a stand-alone landing page. This page contained great product descriptions, images which would load quickly and tied seamlessly with the company’s brand and identity. The URL to this page was shared and tracked via social media advertisements and it served as a short, informative and beautiful stop on the way to their more generic-looking ‘add to basket’ page.

Launched on December 8th, this strategy saw an immediate overnight increase in the eCommerce conversion rate when compared to the figures from the previous year:

responsive-landing-wordpress

Built with WordPress, this website was fully responsive so looked great on desktop, tablets and mobiles. Landing on this web page ensured a better user experience for potential customers arriving from social media, and who were therefore more likely to use a mobile device.

As a short-term fix which boosted their busiest period, this strategy worked fantastically. Seeing the immediate improvement in eCommerce conversion rates also served to convince the client’s management team that an investment in a whole new website was necessary.

Even though this is a temporary solution, it’s also important to ensure your SEO and Analytics are right on track- the data you collect will be valuable when it comes time to fully redesign your website.

While your business will need to invest in a responsive website- and there’s probably no way around that- this method can help tide you over until you are in a position to make that spend.

If you would like advice on improving your website’s mobile-friendly functionality, an analysis of your existing site or a quote for a whole new responsive site- please get in touch!

Email me: laura@partikular.net.

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