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If you’re not making mobile your top priority, you’re doing it wrong

A while back, I reached out to a trusted industry colleague to get his thoughts on the mobile search landscape. He, in turn, referred to me to the one person he trusts for mobile thought leadership, and I decided to pick her brain for a while. After engaging in a six-week consultation, I’ve come away even more convinced that what we currently consider to be “mobile marketing” will soon become just plain marketing.

Let me explain.

If you work for an enterprise brand of any sort, you’re likely very aware of the fact that:

a) a significant portion of your traffic and conversion originate from either a smart phone or a tablet, and that this portion is growing larger and larger with every passing day

b) many of these consumers are actually consuming your content and engaging with your brand via multiple mobile screens (e.g. both via tablets and via smart phones)

And if you keep up with current industry trends, you also know that nearly 1 out of every 5 people in the US do virtually all of their web browsing via mobile devices. Imagine what that number will be in 2013? 2015? 2020?

And yet amazingly, in talking with folks that manage businesses large and small, it’s quite apparent that many companies either put their mobile strategy on the back burner or ignore it all together. This is a major mistake in my opinion, because the repercussions of a poor or non-existent mobile presence extend to a variety of key marketing channels like search, social, and email as well as adversely impacting arguably the most important of all marketing facets; conversion optimization.

If you’re a marketer that’s guilty of putting mobile on the back burner, here are a few basic steps that you can take to correct your course:

1) Validate your site for mobile browsers

2) Learn about what Google has to say regarding responsive web design and other solutions for making your site mobile friendly

3) Focus on improving page-load speeds

No seriously, if you don’t do anything else, make a concerted effort to improve page-load speed for your website. The empirical evidence suggests that page-load speed is by far the number one factor determining how users perceive your site when viewing via a mobile browser. Moreover, improving page-load speed can also have a major impact on visitors that are using traditional desktop and laptop browsers.

Because guess what; all of your design, marketing, and advertising efforts – mobile or otherwise – won’t do a bit of good if your site takes forever to load.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://twitter.com/omfg_followme John Scott Cothill ☭

    Excellent article, but I don’t agree with the title, “top priority”. Firstly, depending on what industry you are in, is going to lend its hand to mobile visitor consumption.

    Secondly, from an ecommerce perspective, yes, you’d be an absolute fool not to take note and ensure your website is mobile enabled, but you’ve got to make sure all of your bases are covered for those top channels that convert the most and those that bring traffic and don’t convert.

    Alas, mobile is probably right up there, i.e., potentially lots of mobile traffic, but losing the conversion due to a site that handles mobile poorly – but a broad brush stroke statement of putting it as the top priority wouldnt sit well with me as an eCommerce Director.

    • http://twitter.com/khushbaht Khushbaht (Kush)

      Respectfully disagree, mobile should be a top priority (among other things). If you don’t develop it, naturally it will never have a chance to become a “top channel”.

      If an organization can’t focus on it right now, they should hire someone who can. To clear up any doubts, optimizing for mobile resulted in 40% increase in mobile user engagement and 100%+ increase in conversion.

  • http://www.equotemd.com/ Michael J. Kovis

    Have to agree with John on this subject. The title insinuates too much by saying mobile needs to be “top priority” for any project. This is not correct as projects must be based on individual needs and budgets.

    After reading the article entirely and not focusing on the title, its great advice. There is nothing wrong with focusing on mobile optimization from the start.

    The conclusion sums it up. “No seriously, if you don’t do anything else, make a concerted effort to improve page-load speed for your website.” That my friends is the best advice you can give and act upon. It is simple and does not require to vest a lot of time.

  • hugoguzman

    Thanks for the feedback guys! Time will be the ultimate judge on whether or not it’s right to make mobile your top priority right now.

  • Smallbiztrends

    Hugo, I really like this checklist for mobile. We are doing some redesigns of some of my sites, and this is an excellent checklist.

    – Anita

    • hugoguzman

      Hi Anita! Thanks for stopping by to chime in and I’m glad that you got some value out of my checklist. If you find it of use, then I know I must be doing something right : )

  • http://www.imoddigital.com/ Chris M

    I love nothing more than a short, but accurate article. Thank you very much Hugo, what you say is so very true – If I received a dollar for every marketer or business owner I bumped into that had carefully pushed mobile out of the way, I would be a very rich man.

    • hugoguzman

      Thanks Chris and I’m glad you found the post of value! It’s kind of comical to see companies large and small overlook mobile despite the rather exponential increase in the percentage of web surfers that prefer mobile devices to desktops and laptops.