Thursday September 24th || by Aaron Taube

Mobile Awesome

It’s no secret that mobile is taking over the world. If you’ve attended a marketing conference at any point in the past few years, you’re probably already familiar with the particulars: Americans spend more internet time on their phones than on their computers, there are more people in the world who own mobile devices than toothbrushes, and brands are going to pay big, big bucks to reach those users in the years to come.

But when marketers think about converting this growing pool of mobile users into paying customers, they often skip one crucial first step along the path to purchase: engagement. Indeed, there’s no way your content recommendations are going to accomplish much of anything if you haven’t first created a mobile landing page that adds value to the user without wasting his or her time.

When it comes to mobile engagement, there are no hacks, tips, or tricks you can use to cut corners, and your sole focus should be on providing users with a seamless experience they actively want to participate in. Only then will you be able to optimize your content for conversions.

With that in mind, here are four tips for creating an awesome, engaging mobile landing page:

1. Create a separate mobile page tailored to your smartphone and tablet visitors.

Mobile is very quickly becoming the first screen people turn to for content — ahead of laptops, desktops, and even television. What this means is that it is no longer feasible to subject smartphone and tablet users to a landing page you created with desktop visitors in mind. Rather, the mobile audience must be treated as its own separate entity, with a user experience created from scratch to cater to their unique circumstances.

Think about this from the perspective of your customer: if you’ve ever had to pinch and zoom to read something on your smartphone, you’re well aware of how unpleasant it can be for mobile users to consume content created for the desktop.

Instead, you should employ a mobile-responsive design that ensures your content fits the full width of the screen — regardless of whether visitors are holding their devices vertically or horizontally. You’ll also also want to ditch Flash elements, which don’t render properly on mobile, in favor of those designed using HTML5.

By thinking mobile-first, you guarantee your users an easy reading experience, where all they have to worry about is whether to scroll up or down.

2. Test different copy and content lengths to see what your users like best.

For some time, the conventional wisdom in mobile marketing has been that you should keep your copy as short as possible because people are most likely to use their mobile devices when they are a) in a hurry and b) away from their desktop computers.

But now that people have become comfortable using smartphones and tablets as their primary devices for surfing the web or reading their favorite blogs, it just isn’t the case that shorter always equals better. In fact, Taboola regularly runs studies comparing article length with conversion rates, and in some instances, it has found that a 400-word article converts better than a 150-word piece.

The lesson? The only way to really know how long your content should be is to test different landing pages with your customers and see how they respond.

3. Remember to dot your i’s and cross your t’s.

You’d be surprised how many people seem to forget that their mobile visitors are operating a touchscreen instead of a mouse and keyboard.

In order to avoid frustrating your readers, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to execute any of the actions available on your landing page. This means using big share buttons and an easy navigation layout to avoid fat finger mistakes, autofilling information to reduce the time people have to spend filling out forms, and employing clean interfaces for all of your lead capture processes.

Another thing to keep in mind is that that mobile connection speeds tend to be slower than desktop connections, and as a result, it’s extremely important for your mobile sites to load quickly. You can speed things up by eliminating unnecessary photos and design elements, and you can get more specific pointers by analyzing your pages with Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
While these last steps may sound simple, you can certainly cost yourself a good deal of business by failing to take them.

Final thoughts

Despite the incredible proliferation of smartphones, the web remains full of frustrating mobile sites. By using these tips, you can put your content at the top of the heap and ensure your customers associate your brand with a fast, easy, and pleasant mobile viewing experience.

If you’re not sure what’s working, you can always a/b test different landing pages to see which elements are doing the best job of driving engagement. Once you start seeing your mobile engagement rates approaching the success you’ve enjoyed on desktop, you can bet you’re doing something right.

Check out the Taboola resources page for more tips for content marketing success, along with data sheets, webinars, videos, ebooks and more.

Want to learn more about how Taboola can help boost your content marketing efforts? Contact us today!

Aaron Taube

Aaron Taube is a freelance writer and reporter based in New York City. Prior to striking out on his own, he worked as an advertising reporter at Business Insider and a researcher at the legal news service Law360. He is an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and its student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel.