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By now you may have heard the claims that internet traffic from smartphones and tablets will outpace traffic coming from desktop computers any day now, but yet a large amount of the internet isn’t optimized for mobile devices in any viable way. If you’ve ever wondered why, it is because many businesses don’t see the value of investing in mobile traffic, due to lack of information and misunderstandings of their audience and the market.

The question most businesses need answered isn’t “how much traffic is coming from mobile devices?” If we spent all the time that has been used answering that question every few months on instead answering “how valuable is all that mobile traffic” most businesses of every size would already have perfectly usable mobile websites.

It is true that the mobile market is constantly growng, but the most interesting data is how mobile internet users are doing online. Compared to desktop traffic, mobile users are exponentially more likely to take action. People tend to do in-depth research and general browsing on desktop systems, so each visitor you receive is as likely to politely look around and leave as they are to convert. In fact, they are statistically much more likely to not take action.

However, each study on the consumption behavior of smartphone users only shows that people are using their phones more and more to purchase or take action every day. The latest study from comScore.com and Search Engine Watch says 80% of local searches coming from mobile phones lead to conversions.

There are a few industries that benefit the most from these conversions, as mobile searches for localized results tend to favor restaurant, auto service, and arts queries. You can read the whole breakdown of the report at Search Engine Watch, but if you are a local business owner who has been telling yourself that mobile websites only benefit major businesses you are likely selling yourself short.

The team from Neustar also created an infographic highlighting the results of the study, which can be seen below:

cross-device-infographic-neustar-15miles

Anyone reading this should know they should be testing their websites and landing pages, but if you aren’t well studied in optimization, how are you supposed to know what you should be testing? Oli Gardner has some suggestions to get you started testing your site.

1) Test the Headline – Your headline is the first things viewers will see when they land on your page, and to be most successful it should match what your viewer expected when deciding to visit your page. For example, you can test how positive or negative language performs in your headline, such as “Save Time by Downloading Now”  vs. “Stop Wasting Time, Download Now”.

Headlines are also used by your audience to quickly identify if the site they came to has what they want. Make sure your headline lets visitors know what you have to offer immediately. A great way to quickly test this is to just show the headline to someone unfamiliar with your brand for 5 seconds and ask them what the page was about. If they don’t know, you have a problem with your headline.

2) Test Your Forms – Most landing pages will have some sort of form trying to gain information from visitors. Its important to remember however that you should be offering something to your visitors in exchange for this information. What you offer is up to you, but examples could be an e-book, webinar registration or whitepaper.

The question remains though, how do you test to see if your forms are effective? One test would be seeing which forms people fill out the most, if all fields were made optional. The goal is to make sure you’re offering something equal to the amount of data you need. Try to be efficient and only have forms with relevant information and test different arrangements to see what visitors respond to the most.

3) Test Your Call To Action (CTA) – A call to action is your conversion. It is how you get people to do what you want them to do, and if that isn’t happening, you may need to work on your CTA. Make it descriptive, so that your visitors will know exactly what will happen if they follow the CTA,

A way to test your CTA is by changing just one word and seeing how customers respond. Unbounce found that changing the description “order information” to “get information” led to a 38.26% increase un conversions.

While these examples will get you going, if you want a more thorough guide, you’ll also want to look into Oli’s “Ultimate Guide to A/B Testing”.

 

It seems like the focus for a lot of internet marketers is finding that top trafficked keyword.  However, this can be a mistake by not focusing on the true marketing involved.  In some cases, the top traffic keyword is not one that will bring conversions.

Putting focus purely on the traffic numbers for keyword research is the reason many internet marketers are not able to pull the profit numbers many others do.  Making sure you focus on the consumer and their intent more than the pure traffic size is key.

This can be done more quickly using PPC, but at a price.  And in SEO, solid keyword research must be done to target proper keywords – a mistake here will cost a lot of time and money.

Evan LaPointe goes into a bit more detail about all of these factors at Search Engine Land.  At any rate, it’s good to remember that the focus should be on the human experience, not just the analytics numbers.