Have you heard about the Mountain View Summit (MTV Summit) held yearly at Google? Every year Google awards a few agencies around world with the opportunity to get access to an AdWords Event in its headquarter and share industry best practices.
This year I had the honor to be selected for Italy, and I am happy to share some of most important learning points with SEJ readers. Most of the info I will be sharing has been the result of Google’s hard work to compile statistics via market researches and focus groups.
10. Mobile Sites Should Not Simply Be Responsive
Responsive sites are great but they do not guarantee a great user experience. The best practice while building a website for mobile devices is understanding how your ideal customer navigate your pages. Create a custom website based on the need of the mobile customer.
For instance, a cab company might be better off by having a call oriented mobile page and a more general page on desktop devices that allows to get online quotes. A responsive site would not allow customizing your website strategy by device.
9. Mobile Sites Should Have a Clear and Easily Accessible Call to Action
Google has conducted some internal studies on more than 100 sites for mobile devices and noticed that sites with clear descriptions and call to actions are liked much better by users. They help to figure out what a user is supposed to do to get the desired outcome.
People do not like to spend time on a website trying to figure out where to click to get what they came for. Make sure to make it crystal clear on your mobile websites.
8. Test Your mobile Sites for Vertical and Landscape View
This might sound obvious but there actually are a ton of businesses creating horrible designs in either one of the vertical or landscape view. Test the two views and make sure to have a perfect design for both.
7. Offer a Guest Checkout
Your website will lose a lot of potential business by not adding guest checkout. Sometimes people just want to get the product without the need to go through long and painful check out process.
You could still capture an email lead offering a free post checkout offer, such as shipping tracking. The guest checkout will dramatically increase your success rate.
6. Shorter Forms
Nobody likes to fill long forms. You need to keep them as short as possible in order to maximize the conversion rate. If there is no way to decrease the amount of information you need try to break the form in smaller ones and show the progress people will make by filling it.
Don’t forget to test your order forms to find a version with a low drop out rate.
5. Your Physical Location is Still a Great Advantage
People connect with brands they know. Whenever a brand gets a competitive advantage in a geographic area, people in that area generate a bond with that brand.
People tend to identify and buy a product they are familiar with, and the level of adoption of a product in a geographic area strictly depend on the local strategy of a brand.
Translating it into everyday market, you might consider creating custom offers for each geographic areas your company operates in.
4. Google Showcases are a Powerful Tool
Google allows you to start hangouts and stream them live online. This is a great opportunity for businesses to promote sales and special offers via live interaction with users. Google also allows sharing links to products that you are selling on the sidebar of your hangout, allowing viewers to buy right then and there.
This is done in a drag-and-drop environment and it can be customized with the help of a developer. A great strategy is to run ads while your hangout is live to drive targeted users and try to boost engagement and sales.
3. Have Relevant Results for On-Site Searches
The first thing Google mentioned at the summit is their study groups found on site search boxes are extremely useful to users – but occasionally frustrating when they lead to irrelevant results. Sites offering the possibility to further filter searches based on predetermined values were the ones that got the highest likeability level.
This part of the study also revealed that people would like to have the icon of a website lead to the home page also for mobile versions of a website.
2. Customers Perceive Value Differently Depending on Context
The same identical offer can sound much more appealing when compared to something that sounds bad. For instance, if you are selling the online version of a newspaper, you could price it at:
- Online version: $80
- Paper Version: $150
However, if your goal is to sell a higher dollar amount, you could insert a third offer:
- Online version: $80
- Paper + Online Version: $150
- Paper Version: $150
All of the sudden, the paper and online version becomes very attractive since you will be getting more value for a lower amount of money and you might end up buying the paper version also in case you might have not needed it!
This should tell us that no matter what you are trying to sell, the contextual and psychological part of an offer has a crucial value in the success of your plans.
1. Offering to Download an App Right Away is a No-No
Have you ever gone on a mobile website and immediately seen and offer to download an app (most of the time they won’t let you continue the navigation). Google found out this is an absolute turn off. People prefer to either decide to download an app or to be invited to do so after they have engaged on the site.
This means, for instance, we could offer to download an app only if users have spent a given amount of time on the site or if they have visited multiple pages.
Google is always researching the best practices to help advertisers succeed. However, Google is well aware that advertisers also know a lot about the real needs of accounts and were more than happy to listen to and implement our suggestions.
What are the best practices that you would suggest your peers? Please share them in the comments below.
In the meantime, here are some more pictures from Google!
All images taken by author for Search Engine Journal.