In case you haven’t heard (or experienced it yourself), mobile browsing is kind of a big deal these days. More people today browse the Internet from a mobile phone or tablet than a desktop computer, and that trend isn’t reversing any time soon. That means any company wanting to attract customers should have a robust mobile web browsing experience—not simply a mobile site. Today it means focusing on the user experience and providing good, accurate and fast information that is available virtually everywhere.
When your consumer has only a 5.5 or 6.5-inch screen, they don’t want to try and read fine-print-size text to get information. Having plenty of images, and optimizing those images so search crawlers like Google can identify and use them in search results, will help provider browsers with a “visual answer” to their questions about what you offer. Add appropriate file names, alt text, title text, and captions that are descriptive enough without being too wordy. Avoid filenames like “IMG_40382.jpg”, instead opting for a filename that actually describes what is in the picture. Since people will be browsing on data networks and Wi-Fi, it’s also important to minimize your images so they don’t slow down page load times.
If your search results are showing up at or near the top of Google searches for mobile browsers that’s a step in the right direction, but if they see your dismal reviews, most customers will move along to your competitors. Survey after survey has shown that customers trust online reviews—even from complete strangers—just as much as they would a recommendation from a friend or family member. For that reason it’s critical to manage your reputation online and try to increase the number of positive reviews.
There’s an important caveat here: you do NOT want to simply remove or delete bad reviews and keep only your 5-star reviews. Customers can see right through this, and it will likely harm you more in the long run than taking your lumps with a few bad reviews and trying to encourage satisfied customers to go and leave good ones. It’s also important to note that there are a lot of ‘online reputation management’ companies out there who say they will remove bad reviews, but the only person who can delete or alter a bad review is the person who posted it, so be cautious about believing the promises that some companies make.
Browsing on a small screen means there isn’t much room for error—or clutter. What works on desktops won’t work on mobile phones, so focus on what you want your customers to do, such as purchase a product or sign up for a mailing list. Keep your mobile site uncluttered and easy to navigate and stay on message with the shortest possible text.
It’s also important to optimize your content for local searches, since many consumers use search queries like “best ________ near me”, or “best _______ in Salt Lake City”. Just last year, “near me” searches multiplied by almost 35 times. To optimize for local searches, make sure you name, address, and phone number are prominently displayed on your site, update your Google My Business listing, and include an embedded Google map.
Potential customers are already browsing on mobile devices, so creating an optimal user experience is essential to get them to browse your site—and take the desired action to become your customers.