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5 Ways To Optimize Your Mobile Site

This year, comScore reported that, for the first time, mobile Internet usage surpassed desktop. eMarketer also predicts there will be more than 5 billion people with smartphones by 2017.

Providing a premium mobile experience in this increasing mobile word is essential. For your users, this means thoroughly testing your mobile site with improvements in order to optimize conversions. While experts may turn to responsive design as a quick fix, if you really want to deliver a great mobile experience, start developing a site designed and tested for the mobile space, not a one-size-fits-all.

Here are 5 easy elements to consider when optimizing your site:

Use Visitors’ Location To Provide a Personal Experience

One of your top considerations should be user location. Let’s say you’re running an A/B test for messaging on a landing page. Including information like store location and city info not only delivers a personalized experience, it can also relieve anxiety the user may have about making a trip farther than they’d usually like to drive. Highlighting location information helps improve the experience and allows you to test elements crucial to a mobile format that do not necessarily apply to a desktop experience.

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Wal-Mart, does a great job on its mobile site, making it easy to find your nearest store and even where to find specific store features.

Optimize For Slow Connections

This may be the most overlooked element when optimizing your mobile site. Having users connected to Wi-Fi vs. 3G significantly influences their perception of your site. Amazon optimizers claim every 100ms of loading time decreases revenue by 1%. When testing mobile devices it is crucial to make sure that all testers are using the same connection for consistent results. It is also helpful to try multiple Internet connections on to get an idea of what users may be experiencing. If your site only loads quickly on a 4G connection, you may want to consider redesigning the page to reduce load times. Here are a few tips on how.

  • Optimize (don’t scale down) images; done by reducing file size
  • Avoid Flash and heavy plug-ins
  • Minimize advertisements
  • Remove useless code (empty tags, block quotes, spaces)
  • Host on a high-end server and utilize a CDN when possible   

In 2010 Coca-Cola was rated one of the top 10 slowest-loading sites. Four years later, they haven’t improved much.

Cross Device Compatibility

While Apple (prior to the 5C and the iPhone 6 plus) made it a little easier to optimize for different phones, the thousands of Android and Windows Phone devices may make you pull your hair out when testing. With multiple devices also come other variables, like processor speed, screen size and different mobile browsers. Focusing on the most popular devices (iPhone, Galaxy) in this situation is the easiest way to make sure most of your bases are covered, but more importantly, be exhaustive in testing devices that your customers are using.

Remove Unnecessary Form Fields

Nothing is more annoying than having to fill out 15 fields on a 3.5” screen. Despite this, many companies insist on adding the the same form fields from desktop experiences to mobile without blinking an eye, and chances are you will run into this issue when testing mobile sites. Keeping fields on your mobile site simple and to a minimum can appease users and save a lot of testing time.

Don’t Reinvent The Wheel

While mobile testing may have unique factors to consider, it’s important not to neglect the fundamental principles. Understanding what your users’ needs and thinking your test through are the paramount factors to consider when developing a solid test to optimize your site. If you remember these testing principles and keep in mind the elements unique to mobile, such as location, device and form fields, this will help you take your mobile testing to the next level.

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