mobile conversion optimization

When we stand up a website, perhaps the most valuable question we can ask about our visitors is, “What triggered them come to our website? What problem are they trying to solve?”
The question is different when someone comes on their smartphone.
The question is, “What triggered them to come to our website from where they are? What problem are they trying to solve right now?”
When you add the “where” and “right now” components, it is clear that your mobile site has to answer a very different question.
I was inspired to talk about this when I was looking for a Chinese Restaurant near my office.

How to define a Mobile User

How do you define a mobile user?
Is it the operating system they use (Android or iOS)?
Is it the size of their screen?
Is it the device they visit with?
I would argue that the best definition of a mobile user is if they need an answer where they are or right now.
When I was looking for a Chinese Restaurant near my office, I picked up my smartphone even though I had a full-powered PC right in front of me.
Why did I do this?
Because my phone is my “where” device. It can tell Google exactly where I am as a reference.
It is also my “right now” device. When someone asks a question that I don’t know the answer to, I Google it on my phone. Not my laptop.
Old habits die hard.
So, what did I get from my where and now search?

A mobile site that doesn’t quite get me

For the person who is searching for a Chinese Restaurant from their mobile device, there are a few predictable questions. Your business has a similar set of predictable questions as well.
Here are the key questions for desktop and mobile devices:

Desktop/Tablet Questions

Mobile Questions

Where are you? How far are you from where I am now?
What are your business hours? Are you open now?
Do you deliver? Do you deliver to where I am now?
What is on your menu? Does your menu meet the requirements of the people with me now?
Do you have a nice environment? Will I be embarrassed when we all show up?
What is your phone number? What do I do if I don’t find an answer to my above questions?

So, how does the Chinese Restaurant Shu Shu’s mobile website fare in meeting my needs?
Mobile Website First screen
Shu Shu’s wins with a nice big click to call button. I may not need this now, but this is the way to display a phone number for a device that is a phone. Dialing is so last decade.
The two other big buttons on the first screen are both helpful and baffling. The map icon shows a map of the store location. “Where” is a natural mobile question. But, “Where is your Google Plus profile” is not a natural first question. So why is that the second most important item on the top screen?
Mobile website for a restaurant
The value proposition, “Fresh Ingredients, Clean Environment, Healthy Eating!” is not a common mobile question. In fact, this value prop introduces the concept of a not-clean restaurant. If it wasn’t a problem, why bring up “clean?”
The menu button answers an important question and one of the early ones. But why send people off to Yelp!? It seems that this would encourage comparison shopping.

Optimizing a Mobile website

And then came the text. Do I need to know that “Shu Shu’s Asian Cuisine offers the mouth-watering tastes you’re craving at  our Chinese restaurant in Austin, TX?”
No, I don’t. This is SEO copy, and it has no place in a mobile experience. This is a downside of the responsive design.
Unfortunately, it just keeps going.
Optimizing a Mobile website
Finally, I get to something that speaks in the language of smartphones: images.
Well, one image.
Optimizing a mobile website maps and pictures
Let’s have some more pictures, please.
And we finally get to the map, with a link to “View on Google Maps.” This is how we can answer the question, “How far are you from where I am now?”
Responsive design changes image
Adding a coupon-like sweetener is smart. However, the responsive design changed the aspect ratio of the image, making the site look cheap.
Next are the facts about address and hours of operation, complete with a link to “Website.” I thought we were already there?
Mobile website has basic information.

Design for the Bottom Bounce

Finally, we hit bottom. Smartphone users have busy thumbs that generate lots of scrolling. Scroll tracking shows that many mobile visitors will “hit bottom.” This part of the page can be as critical as the first screen.
Put calls to action at the bottom of your mobile website.
Choose wisely what you put at the bottom. I wouldn’t recommend sending bouncers off to social media. In fact, I would repeat the click-to-call phone number, place a clickable address, and maybe a way to take action here. A “Place an Takeout Order” button or “Email this to Friends” button would be good considerations.
I would also consider placing ratings and reviews here if possible.
All in all, this mobile site eventually delivers answers to most of the mobile user’s questions. The effectiveness is hampered by the responsive design that


  • Inserts unnecessary elements.

  • Slows the load time significantly.

  • Mutilates some images.

In this case, a responsive design is probably not the right choice from a purely functional standpoint. However, it is easy to maintain, and restaurants don’t usually have the staff to manage multiple sites.

You don’t have to run a restaurant

The questions are the same, even if you don’t run a restaurant. However, there are differences for sites that have “considered” purchases, such as high-ticket products or business services.
What can you teach the mobile designer right now, where they are? Are they in a meeting being asked about solutions like the ones you provide?
We think that cross-device calls to action can be a big help. Consider the DesktopThis button. It lets mobile visitors come back to your site when they are at their desktop.

DesktopThis button 160x42
Send this to your desktop for when you’re at your computer.

This is a guest post by Jason Wells of Convirza (formerly LogMyCalls), who has some interesting data on the power of phone calls – and good reasons to measure your web-influenced call traffic.
One of the byproducts of the mobile marketing explosion is an increase in the number of phone calls businesses receive. BIA/Kelsey, in a report released in mid-June, says that the number of phone calls most businesses receive will double by the end of 2013. You read that correctly. Most businesses will receive twice as many phone calls in 18 months.
It sounds staggering, but it makes sense.
Google says that 61% of mobile searches result in a phone call. xAd says that 52% of all mobile ads result in a phone call. Add those numbers to burgeoning smartphone penetration and it all equals more phone calls.
What Does this Mean For Conversions?
I can hear you, expert online marketer, panicking a bit here. Won’t this mess up your conversion rates for landing pages? Won’t it make things ‘messier’ to track if people start calling you more? Maybe. But it will also make your conversion rates go up.
Convirza tracks conversions resulting from phone calls, and here’s what our research shows us.
Inbound phone calls are 10-15 times more likely to convert than inbound web leads. In other words, someone that downloads a White Paper or attends a webinar is significantly less likely to receive a Demo of your product or buy from you than someone that calls your business.
Not surprisingly, the same BIA/Kelsey report notes that 61% of businesses rate their inbound phone calls as ‘excellent leads.’ Only 52% rate web leads as ‘excellent leads.’
Recently we ran 3 different email campaigns with 3 different advertisers. Each campaign advertised the same White Paper. Because we’re obsessed with marketing analytics, we tracked these campaigns fastidiously. We tracked how many people downloaded the White Paper and we tracked how many phone calls each landing page produced.
Here’s what we learned.

LogMyCalls Landing Page

This landing page saw a 47% click conversion rate and a 50% call conversion rate.

Campaign 1 – The landing page converted at 42.1%; a respectable, 11.7% of those leads wanted a demo of our product. We also placed a phone number prominently on the landing page. That phone number produced sixteen phone calls, ten of which resulted in demos. That means 62% of the phone calls resulted in a demo. That’s higher than 11.7% :-)
Campaign 2 – The landing page converted at 40.1%. And a reasonable 13.2% of the people that downloaded the White Paper ended up receiving a demo of our product. Again, this landing page also generated phone calls. Around 50% of those phone calls resulted in demos.
Campaign 3 – The landing page converted at 47.4%. And a very, very poor 3.6% of those leads wanted a demo (this campaign was conducted very recently so we expect that number to rise). Again, over 50% of the people who called via the landing page requested a demo.
Phone conversion rates are higher. It is just that simple.
Mobile Marketing Produces Calls, Conversions
Google says that pay-per-call mobile Adwords campaigns have 6% to 8% higher conversion rates than pay-per-click mobile Adwords campaigns. They also say that including phrases like ‘Call Now’ or Call us Today’ in the mobile ad copy improves conversion rates.
Calls are king.
The reason for these higher conversion rates for mobile is simple: it is natural for mobile searchers to call. After all, they are searching on a phone. Mobile callers also enter the sales funnel at a much lower point. Mobile searchers rarely do extensive research on their mobile device. Rather, mobile users search when they are looking for something they need immediately. This means action is more likely and a phone call is more likely.
What Does All This Mean?
The first thing it means is that a landing page conversion rate is simply not as ‘clean’ as it used to be. You have to factor calls into the equation. To ignore them is to ignore the highest performing element of the landing page. And that would be silly.
Second, it means that businesses need to be staffed and prepared to answer phone calls and answer them effectively. Because, just like a landing page, small tweaks to phone pitch can make a close rate go up or down.
Third, it means that you shouldn’t measure mobile conversions in the same way you’ve measured online conversions for the last 10 years. Mobile is not about pageviews and abandon rate.
Finally, we should point out that some businesses will be impacted by mobile more than others. We recognize this. But, keep this in mind: if you have a lead type (inbound phone call) that is converting 30%, 40% or 50% of the time, why wouldn’t you want to generate more leads of that type?
Watch Conversion Sciences free webinar to learn more about the importance of of mobile websites.

Mobile app or mobile site?These are the stories that caught the eye of The Conversion Scientist last few weeks. If you are a curious marketer looking to learn more about conversion, please subscribe my weekly recommended reading list, For Further Study.
The new book is being announced at Conversion Conference Chicago. For more, sign up to get a copy of my up-coming book: Your Customer Creation Equation: Unexpected Website Formulas of the Conversion Scientist.

22 Amazing Mobile Email Marketing Statistics-Mass Transmit

Jun 11, 2012 06:06 pm
In my upcoming book, I make the case that email is preferable to social media for storing market attention. You might think that, in the era of mobile devices, my preference for email may seem quaint.
Think again.
Clearly, mobile devices and email go together like milk and Cap’n Crunch cereal. Only healthier. Enjoy these stats and keep that email coming!

Mobile Site or Mobile App: Which Should You Build First? [INFOGRAPHIC]

I only touch on the issue of Mobile Apps in my new book Your Customer Creation Equation. So I’m happy to share this very helpful infographic on Mobile websites vs. Mobile apps.
Is it just me, or is it clear that mobile websites are the way to go (except in extreme situations)?

Buddy Media CEO Makes Unforgettable ‘We Got Bought’ Video

Jun 05, 2012 08:06 am
How is this touching video different from your corporate press release? In every way. “The Human Voice is Unmistakeable.” In Your Customer Creation Equation (coming in June) I make the point that your business should be using the content it naturally makes to feed your audience.
Clearly Michael Lazerow is good with an iPad and Keynote.
What are you good with?

How to Build and Operate a Content Marketing Machine | SEOmoz

May 29, 2012 03:24 pm
It is a great sign that @SEOMoz included Conversion in their grand plan for Content Marketing. This infograph considers conversion a key component of content marketing, but in my upcoming book on conversion I make content a key part of conversion marketing. Different approaches, same result.
Enjoy the Infograph.

What makes a 30 second movie go viral? | Webreep Blog

May 14, 2012 07:26 pm
This is a very geeky look at what makes video go viral. Very geeky. That’s why I love it. Dr. Brent Coker introduces us to the Branded Viral Movie Predictor (BVMP). Yes, it even has an acronym. If you’ve considered doing a video in the hopes that it might “go viral,” read this first and be sure you have the appropriate doses of congruency, emotive strength, network involvement and paird meme synergy. Don’t you love science?

Elements of Successful Business Web Sites and the reactions they create for your business.

Can something as complex as online sales conversion be boiled down to some like a chemical reaction? The answer is yes, and these basic marketing reactions make it easy to create interesting new combinations.

Do you recognize this chemical equation?

Marketing Chemical Reaction: The Components of a Landing Page

Basic formula for developing a landing page.

It is the basic formula for developing a Landing Page:

  • Some Content, preferably persuasive in nature
  • An Offer
  • A Form to entice the visitor to action, which can be a simple button or even a link.

This shouldn’t be a revelation to any regular reader of The Conversion Scientist. However, you will see many pages that lack content, an explicit offer or both.

Of course, a landing page will not generate any leads or sales without something more.

Here’s the formula for a lead generation landing page:

Marketing Chemical Reaction: Converting Traffic to Leads

Converting Traffic to Leads

This formula is important in that it highlights the fact that your landing page must generate equal parts Leads and Permission in order to continue the conversation with prospects.

Why? Because, we need Permission to satisfy this little equation:

Components for generating effective email

The Email Conversion Reaction.

Combining Content with Leads for which you have Permission to communicate provides the components for generating effective Email.

Given an amount of Email, what reaction would you create to turn your email into Web Traffic? Find out in my post The Chemistry of Content at The Content Marketing Institute.

Hint: Consider what mixing an Offer with your Email would do.

Stay tuned to The Conversion Scientist as we explore the Elements of Successful Business Web Sites and the reactions they create for your business.

Here’s a preview:

Youranium: Elements of Successful Business Web Sites

Youranium: Elements of Successful Business Web Sites

Youranium is a powerful radioactive element derived form your knowledge of your visitors.

Sales: The Elements of Successful Business Web Sites

Sales: The Elements of Successful Business Web Sites

Sales is gold to a business.

You should subscribe to the The Conversion Scientist by email to find the reactions that create gold for your business.

Brian Massey is a veteran online marketing strategist, writer and national speaker. His practice, Conversion Sciences is conducting experiments to determine how business Web sites can turn visitors into leads and sales. Follow our blog and put some science into your online marketing.