Most of us will be aware of the importance of mobile as part of our digital strategy. We know that mobile consumption of online content crept above 50% for the first time this year for many publishers, however we are still seeing so many sites, especially here in New Zealand, who have simply not yet made the jump to mobile, either via a responsive site, a subdomain or a mobile app which leaves us wondering, what is everyone doing?
Embracing mobile is the key to long term success
For those who have embraced the mobile revolution here in New Zealand, the results are clear for all to see. Improved rankings across both mobile and desktop, a more engaged audience and most importantly, happy customers. There is nothing quite as frustrating to a customer or potential customer as stumbling upon a site that answers their questions, but having a terrible experience on mobile. Whether they are looking for a product, information, contact details – if they get to your site on mobile and they have to pinch and zoom, or rotate their screen, it’s an immediate turn off and a pretty sure fire way of sending someone to the back button.
Although many of us have been talking about the need to ‘go mobile’ for years, it seems like the message has still not sunk in. Even for those sites that have gone responsive, or created an app or an m. subdomain, we still see so many examples of sites that are simply not catering for the mobile user. It’s not enough just to set up a responsive site, you have got to create content that specifically caters to mobile users, not just content that people can access on a mobile device – there are two different things.
Optimising for mobile
One thing we see a lot of is responsive sites that have simply not considered the mobile user. This is especially true with things like large images and infographics. Although they may be resized as part of the responsive design, are they still functional to interact and engage with on a mobile device? Quite often we still find the answer to be no. Infographics get re-sized so small on a mobile device that users still need to pinch and zoom. This is especially true when these graphics are shared on social media platforms.
In a recent blog post from the Content Marketing Institute, they presented this example from Visually which simply did not work on mobile:
Instead of presenting this infographic to their social media users in the full format, it would have been much better to take individual elements from the infographic, optimise them for Facebook (using the correct dimensions for a Facebook post) and post them up as a series of individual posts or just one post with a link to the full infographic in a place where it could be viewed in its full glory.
Data visualisation is tricky on mobile
There is no getting away from the fact that data visualisation is tricky on a mobile device. We are often taking large images and graphics with complex information that simply don’t lend themselves to a smaller screen. This doesn’t however mean we should just stop doing it. It simply means we need to invest more time and effort into thinking about how the same piece of information could be adapted for a mobile device to give the optimum experience for the end user. Data visualisation and graphics are an important part of the digital marketer’s armoury – we just need to make sure we are using them in a way that makes what we are doing worthwhile and hits our target audience on the devices they are using.