Mobile users interact with websites differently than desktop users. That being the case, companies must introduce design features to their websites to maximize lead generation potential. Here are five of the most important changes to make.
1. Phone Number Visibility
Not surprisingly, mobile website visitors are more likely to call in an inquiry than fill out a form. Forms are clumsy to use on mobile devices (more about that later), and the convenience of making a phone call is obviously hard to resist.
A clickable phone icon should appear in a fixed position at the header of every website page in mobile view. Thus, the user need only click on that icon to initiate a phone call. With lead generation, easy is everything.
Additional clickable phone links can be inserted in body text throughout the website to further suggest the phone-in options. The ideal place to insert these links: following text describing a particularly important sales point.
2. Simple Inquiry Form
For various reasons, some mobile users will be reluctant to call in an inquiry. Perhaps they don’t want to be subjected to a sales pitch, or perhaps they are only at the information-gathering stage. To pull in inquiries from this type of user, an ultrasimple, super easy-to-use mobile contact form is essential.
Key design elements of a mobile-friendly form: few fields, large fields, as little text-entry as possible, and a huge SUBMIT button.
Companies are sometimes loath to simplify forms, in the hope they can gather useful marketing data by requiring website visitors to provide copious amounts of data. Even for desktop users, complex and invasive forms deter form submissions. People are very reluctant to provide information without getting something of value in return, and the sheer time element of a lengthy form is a strong deterrent. Remember, the true purpose of an inquiry form is to start a conversation, not make the sale.
3. White Space
In the desktop-only days of website design, the tendency was to cram as much information as possible into the top part of each page. Today, this is no longer considered a best practice for desktop design, and is even more detrimental to mobile page layouts.
Mobile users are accustomed to vertical scrolling, and as a result, desktop users (the same people, essentially) are also quite content to do so. That being the case, designers can build in ample white space to every page layout.
White space has a number of benefits: First, it conveys to the user an impression of organization, clear thinking, efficiency and competence — all qualities a prospect is looking for in a service or product provider. Second, white space makes it easier for users to scan and read content, helping them get the persuasive message you are trying to convey. Third, white space allows designers to draw user attention to the most important messages.
4. Visual Content
Mobile users often prefer visual content to text, since reading on a small screen is tedious. To capitalize on this user preference, add short video, customized graphics, slide presentations and custom photography to your website at every opportunity.
Video need not be elaborately produced; simply conveying a key selling point in two minutes or less is effective in getting the point across and stimulating a phone call or form inquiry.
Visual content also enhances sharing of website content on social media and email. If users see a video that really stands out, they are much more likely to alert their social communities. Social sharing increases brand awareness and the prospect pool.
Especially when companies treat mobile design as an afterthought — and sometimes even when they don’t — they fail to test mobile functionality, resulting in disaster for their mobile website visitors.
In particular, companies should make sure pages are displaying properly in various mobile browsers, that pages are displaying in reality as intended, that clickable phone links are indeed clickable, and that all inquiry forms are working properly.
Testing, and the other four points, all sound so simple … because they really are. The lead generation effectiveness of websites tends to get muddled up because companies make their sites too complex and designed to serve too many masters.
The key to great mobile website design is to think like a mobile website user. This in itself should be easy, because virtually everyone in the world is one these days!
Brad Shorr has more than 30 years of marketing experience. Currently, he is the Director of Content Strategy for the Chicago-based Internet marketing firm Straight North, a full service agency providing PPC, SEO and Web design services to businesses nationwide. Brad’s marketing articles have been featured on leading online publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur and the American Marketing Association.