Your Basic Responsive Theme Might Be Killing Your Conversion

Your Basic Responsive Theme Might Be Killing Your Conversion

More websites have gotten on board with going mobile than ever in the last 2 years, which is a big step forward for the web. While having a responsive design is imperative to being taken seriously on the web these days, there's more to having a successful website than a responsive template. And that responsive design? It might just be tanking your conversions.

As we've talked a bit about before, there's a difference between a mobile design and a mobile-optimized design. 

Moz says that there's as much as a 270% difference in conversions between desktop view and basic mobile designs.

A basic responsive theme will readjust the content for smaller screens, but that doesn't guarantee that the rearranged content will look right on the smaller screen. A good example to start with is images. Particularly if it's a wide image that can take advantage of that big HD monitor, its width will be very constrained on a portrait-oriented phone screen. It will have to scale to that width, and depending on what's in the image it may not even be legible.

If the image had text or small visual elements, not being legible is a jarring experience for the user.

Sometimes the answer is not to include that item. Or perhaps to replace it with something else more suitable for the screen view. You might have a big image or a slider that looks great in PC view, but a different object to convey the same idea tailored for phone view. With the right optimization in place, the browser will know which to use depending on viewing conditions.

That sort of mobile view isn't simply mobile-friendly, but it's specifically optimized for that experience. It comes down to changing the way we think of the mobile view. Often we think of it as a re-purposed full view rather than its own look. But as the percentage of web users becomes increasingly mobile, more focus should happen there at the design level.

But those are simple examples.

Ask Yourself What The User Visits the Site For On Mobile

Often users on PC are more likely to read and flip through a bunch of pages, whereas generally speaking mobile users visit business sites looking to take a more direct action.

You might simplify your navigation to make getting to product pages, the contact page, etc. faster. If your site has a large number of pages (20+), you may want to simplify the presentation to mobile users. It's not too difficult to look through sub-menus of various items on PC, but it can be tedious on a smartphone or tablet.

This is another reason you might remove sliders. Aside the fact that it may not work visually, it may also simply be too much information for a phone user.

Because of the mobile user's likelihood of an action mind set, clear visible click-to-call numbers and fast access to service information are important.

Be Conscious of Overlays or Popups

You should already be judicious about using popups on desktop view, but they're even more of a consideration for mobile. Same with overlays, such as sharing buttons.

They work on a big desktop screen where space is plentiful, but tend to block text or be in the way on smaller screens. In those cases it's not so much how to use them for mobile, but whether to use them. In this case, you probably shouldn't.

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Do you have a feeling your mobile design is killing your conversions?

Reach out to us to find out — we'll help you create a design that sells.

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Brian Watkins

Brian Watkins

Web strategist, tech geek, and music lover. I've been in the marketing and web development industry for since 2007, combining technical and coding skills with creative writing to improve businesses' websites and better communicate their brands to their target customers. Having worked at both ends of this spectrum — the back end coding and the front end presentation, as well as business operations and strategizing with sales teams — I've gained some valuable insights in making all these pieces mesh.
design|One|web

design|One|web