Conversion Optimization in a Multi-Device World

I’d like to share a summary of a talk I gave recently at SES and SMX. It also made it to the front page of Slideshare in the “Hot” topics section and I thought you’d like to see it too.

I co-presented at SMX with Jeff Allen of Hanapin Marketing who gave a detailed (if slightly depressing for some who aren’t prepared) presentation about how to deal with Google’s changes to mobile PPC with Enhanced Campaigns. Jeff’s a smart guy and has figured out how to manage the upcoming changes. In short: PPC is going to get *much* more complex and marketers’ websites need to be ready to serve all types of devices—by June, 2013!

How are you going to deal with Google’s Enhanced Campaigns and the rise of mobile?

You have 5 options to facilitate mobile marketing:

  1. Don’t customize for mobile
  2. Build a mobile app
  3. Build mobile landing pages
  4. Build responsive landing pages
  5. …or, don’t decide

If you choose option 1 or 5, don’t hold off for too long. The rate of 4G LTE adoption is bringing an entirely new type of mobile customer. There are reports of some people with 4G phone getting faster internet speeds than on their home cable!

Mobile 4G Adoption chart

The beginning of true high speed mobile

4G Mobile speeds bring new user expectations

4G download speeds are *much* faster than 3G

4G isn’t just a little bit faster than 3G. It’s enormously faster.

The implication for you: these 4G users expect the responsiveness, product selection and experience of the full website, in a fraction of the screen size. They’ll become even more accustomed to doing everything they need to from anywhere. If you don’t deliver, they’ll move on to someone who will.

Option 2, building mobile apps, requires a unique mobile strategy and it’s not for everyone. Amazon has done well here to empower showrooming with their Price Check app. (And, I know all my retailer friends will hate me for linking to that, but it’s not going away.) But, few can pull this off. Also, the mobile app option is not effective for search marketing, and still requires companies like Amazon to create another mobile site.

Most companies that have built a mobile presence have used option 3, building mobile landing pages or a mobile version of the website. This has made the most sense for many, until perhaps now.

eMarketer went this route, but experienced one of the major down-sides: their mobile version of their site was being indexed in Google organic search instead of their desktop version.

The result was a terrible desktop landing page experience for some organic searches and none of their normal calls-to-action being shown.

eMarketer downside of mobile only site

eMarketer’s mobile site being shown for a desktop user – yikes!

Building mobile-specific sites and landing pages comes with drawbacks:

  • (Potentially) confusing listing in SERPs – as we saw with eMarketer
  • Higher maintenance costs with multiple code-bases – and think about sustaining separate sites for all different devices (!)
  • Inconsistent user experience across devices – like, where are my opportunities to respond to CTAs on the eMarketer mobile version (!)
  • Not future-proof – e.g what screen size are internet fridges?

The fourth option is to build with Responsive Web Design (RWD). In previous articles, I covered the fact that Google recommends RWD and how conversion optimization works for RWD.

There are up-sides to a mobile-specific solution in the short-term. It may be a quicker, low-cost solution to get something—anything—up for mobile visitors.

But, it’s still a short-term band-aid. Eventually, building a new version of your website for the many screen sizes will become impractical and RWD will be the best long-term solution.

Good news: The LIFT Model works for RWD too!

One major benefit of the LIFT Model™ is that it takes a customer-centric, experiential perspective, making it applicable to virtually any environment. At WiderFunnel, we’ve used our CRO system with LIFT to optimize mobile, desktop, apps, and even TV game experiences.

In preparing for the presentation, I wanted to give an example of how to apply LIFT to mobile. In my arbitrary product searches, I came across so many poor mobile experiences that I had a hard time choosing just one as an example. Mobile conversion optimization is clearly a ripe field for many to leapfrog their competitors.

I settled on showing a summary of a LIFT analysis for an InvisibleShield landing page because it had some common problems that were immediately apparent.

Mobile landing page LIFT Analysis

Mobile landing page LIFT Analysis

But, those weren’t the biggest problems. Below the fold had all kinds of Distraction with too many product options and a huge, scrolling page.

mobile landing page optimization LIFT Analysis

Too many product options!

If we were to get our hands on this landing page, we’d turn those weaknesses into strengths and test some new pages! Their sales would get an immediate boost with a few key improvements.

Mobile is not easy to do well. The constraints are greater, but the opportunities are growing. It’s no longer an optional channel and those who learn to do it well will be rewarded.

So, what’s the best way to learn what works? Say it with me: “You Should Test That!”

On that note, stay tuned for WiderFunnel’s launch and optimization of our newly RWD-converted site, coming soon.

What do you think?

How do you handle your mobile visitors? Are you ready for the mandatory switch to Google’s Enhanced Campaigns? Do you have tips for switching a website over to RWD?

Posted in: Mobile

5 Comments

  1. Chad March 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Chris,

    I attended you presentation and thought it was great and I know others did too.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Chad

  2. yassin March 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    great article and lots of useful insights.

    But i'm wondering, why isn't your website's design responsive ?

    ,make your day great
    yassin

    • @chrisgoward March 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      Good question!

      It's because:
      1. We've only have single-digit mobile traffic to our website so it hasn't yet been a priority until now
      2. We're already in a redesign now to be RWD and it will launch soon (unless we keep getting distracted with new clients!)
      3. Do as I say, not as I do ;-)
      (jk)

    • chrisgoward November 24, 2013 at 9:58 am - Reply

      By the way, our site was converted to responsive a couple months ago now. What do you think?

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