On April 22nd and 23rd, Google’s headquarters for Europe and EMEA in Dublin hosted the annual conference Conversions@Google. This year, the event focused on mobile and strategies to maximise the performance of mobile terminals. Overall, the session covered two subject areas: on the first day, these included the development of mobile in the context of online marketing, different attribution models to estimate the value of mobile campaigns, and ways to use Google Analytics in this regard. On day two, discussions revolved around the main aspects of designing user-friendly mobile websites and apps.
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Simon Andrews, founder of mobile specialist Addictive, introduced four important factors to help advertisers make the most of mobile’s potential: data, design, measuring and testing.
In fact, some of the world’s largest online companies – including Facebook, Uber, Alibaba, and Airbnb – exclusively trade in data across a range of different devices. Hence, it is not enough to analyse user behaviour by means of old-fashioned in-device metrics. Instead, we need to optimise online business across all devices and channels in line with the total number of conversions.
Previously, design used to be no more than the cherry on the cake that you tended to once all the other elements were in place. Nowadays, however, design is to be considered as a fundamental element or rather as one of the main components of websites, programs and apps. At the conference, speakers agreed: Responsive design is the key to mobile expansion. Other important elements involve input and users’ body posture. Only once all of these elements are adjusted, we can guarantee for full mobile user-friendliness.
Another key element of mobile’s success comprises the measurement of performance levels. Jos Meijerhof, Advanced Performance Specialist at Google, considers data measurement an important step in understanding both online and offline consumer behaviour. He directed our attention towards two challenges of measuring:
- Measuring conversions across multiple devices
- Measuring online to offline traffic
While there are already a number of different ways to determine these characteristics using Analytics, for instance, there is still room for manoeuvre when it comes to measuring the exact distribution of sales across different devices.
In order to gain new insights about ways to optimise user experience, you need to repeatedly test and analyse your data. Craig Sullivan, Optimiser in Chief at Optimal Visit, has already conducted a number of A/B tests for a range of renowned companies. In his opinion, A/B tests that are carried out proficiently and factor in sufficient amounts of data provide adequate information on ways to improve both your mobile visual appearance and performance.
Overall, the conference was a great success and we learned a lot about design, measuring and testing. However, some questions still remained unanswered: What will be the future development of mobile e-commerce? How to conduct the measurement of cross-device performance levels more proficiently? Will design requirements change along with transformations of the devices we are currently using? All of these are questions that we are looking forward to hear answers to in the future.
(By Veronica Gota and Rossana Pellizzari)