5 Ways to Set Up a Mobile-First Strategy for Success

It’s time for companies to look and challenge their website strategy. Why? Legendary internet stock analyst Mary Meeker recently published that Internet usage is up 4% versus last year with 3+ of those hours being spend on mobile devices. Couple the solid growth trend with the announcement of Google splitting its search index into separate mobile and desktop versions and we can’t bucket mobile and desktop experiences together anymore. The first wave of mobile reform was responsive design. The second wave towards a better smartphone experience was mobile first. We think the third wave will be API first, but this post offers up helpful activities on a mobile first website strategy.

“Mobile first is the paradigm where application vendors consider their mobile users as the number one priority in their development roadmap” – Forbes.

Here are 5 ways to support your mobile-first initiative:

1. Gain a better understanding of the consumer’s needs

Streamlining the content you offer is a key component of mobile first. This serves as an opportunity to reassess buyer personas and present users with only the basics that they need. As they move from a mobile device to a desktop screen you can increase the amount of information you provide them.

2. Create a focus around a better user experience

Thinking mobile first while and building a mobile website will help guide you into structuring a better mobile experience. Thoughtful design and user research gives you a great user experience. Bring the user to their goal quickly and easily by integrating the correct visuals, interactions, functionality that will ultimately leave an impression on the user.

3. Create mobile specific call to actions

Mobile touch targets must be designed to fit a variety of fingers and easy to locate on the screen. Providing a phone number as simple text and not a clickable button will divert the user from their goal. Integrating call features, maps or, where it makes sense, other apps are mobile specific items that will bring the user towards their goal quicker.

4. Challenge the need for an App

We’re not saying that apps are irrelevant, but with 75% of app downloads opened once by a consumer and never opened again. , make sure it makes sense for your brand before investing in one. If there are budgetary restrictions or lack of reasoning behind creating an app, mobile first is an economically friendly way to have an ‘app like’ experience.

5. Build off of responsive design

Simply having a responsive site is not enough. But you can use data from the mobile users to see what items they are interacting with and what content can live on a desktop experience. Using this information will help create a better user experience.

Do you think it makes sense for Google to separate search indexes based on device? How important is the user experience to you when you are searching on a mobile device compared to a desktop?