Mobile First in 2015By Elizabeth Victor

Yes, you guessed it, the end of the year is near and along with it comes all of the “year-in-review” blog posts, and the “predictions-for-next-year” blog posts, too.

Before you get tired of seeing those, focus on what is really important.

Don’t wait until January. Start switching your digital and social media marketing efforts right now to a Mobile First priority.

For years you have been hearing about ensuring your website and digital marketing efforts are all mobile-friendly.

Now the focus is changing to mobile first.

What is Mobile First?

What does Mobile First mean?

Instead of redesigning your website so the design can be scaled down to appear on small smartphone and tablet devices, now your design should focus on the small screen first and the design should be able to scale up and be visible on any size large screen.

The prevalence and overabundance of mobile usage is now spinning the priority around.

There will soon be more mobile users than desktop users, so it only makes sense to switch your focus to mobile.

Who Should Adopt a Mobile First Strategy?

The answer here is everyone.

All companies need to start shifting focus from designing for desk top first to designing for smartphones first.

This applies to all businesses, small and large. Even offline businesses that do not sell anything online still need to have a mobile search presence.

How else will their customers find their shops when they are nearby and looking for a business that offers what they need?

We already know online shoppers and searchers are very finicky. They will switch directions and leave your website if they can’t immediately find what they need.

This new hyper-focused strategy on mobile design also means to move away from having a second mobile-friendly website for visitors who are only on smaller mobile devices.

The redesign should be mobile first, not “just in case.”

Usability and Variable Testing of Your Mobile Design

Because mobile web surfers are even more finicky and more likely to be in a bigger hurry than desktop searchers, your mobile design must be in tip-top shape.

The best way to achieve this is through usability testing.

Use test groups that fit a similar demographic to your consumer base and target customers and see how they react on your site on their own mobile devices.

This test should be wide enough to give you a good sampling of people as well as a variety of devices and the carriers they use.

All of these factors will affect their mobile experience on your website.

Give them tasks to complete on your website.

These tasks will vary depending on your business, but they can include completing an online sale, mapping directions, or finding the phone number.

Can they easily find what your customers would be looking for on your website?

This type of testing will give you some amazing insight into how your website design functions.

It is very difficult to see problems when you are so close to and familiar with the design, so it is imperative that you do not take this step for granted.

Once usability testing is completed, variable testing should be your next step.

In actuality, the most successful websites perform continuous variable testing to find the right combinations of elements that yield the highest conversion rates.

Variables that can be tested can include wording, colors, calls to action, and location of buttons.

You will never know if your website can perform better than it does right now, unless you test it out.

Conclusions and Takeaways for Your Business

Adopting a mobile first philosophy for your website and social media campaigns is one of the first steps you should be taking for the future success of your company’s website.

Even if you do not sell online, your customers are likely searching for details about your business on their mobile devices.

Customers may want to order from you online, but they also might want to find your website to call your location, map out directions, or review their experience with you.

Making your company easy to find and your website easy to navigate on smartphones and tablets will ensure your success in 2015 and beyond.

Elizabeth Victor

Elizabeth Victor is brand advisor for Isentia, Asia Pacific’s leading media intelligence company. She enjoys sharing tips on media monitoring and analysis.

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