When developing Mobile landing pages, it seems logical and intuitive to think that the same customer experience principles for Paid Search would apply. However, we have seen that the behavior of these two groups in the way they react to different types of landing pages is significantly different. The optimized customer experience from your paid search landings pages simply doesn’t translate into mobile success.
It always starts with the Keyword
The keyword itself, of course, directs the choice of the page. A keyword for “colorblock shift dresses” should, of course, have at least some paneled or colorblock shift dresses, preferably many. But the page you choose to direct your buyers won’t be the same for both Mobile and Desktop experiences. There are differences in user intent, navigation behavior, and conversion paths that also need to be taken into consideration. Most important, however, is what this stresses about how a mobile site should be prepared.
Page format matters
We started by comparing the performance of different types of Mobile and Desktop landing pages for various keyword types. Our example set looked at the value of Filtered pages (e.g. Color, Category) as well as Head and Search-specific pages.) What we found was that the type of page on Desktop had a much smaller effect on conversion rate than the page type did in Mobile. Desktop saw a difference of 30% in conversion rate between page types, however, mobile differed by a margin of over 80%.
Looking at the above, we can see that Mobile pages, whilst consistently delivering lower conversion rates than Desktop, are much stronger for search pages and pages where both a color and category filter are in place. The common link between the two is that both reduce and specify the number of products shown on screen. Additionally, Head Pages, with the largest number of products, have the lowest conversion rate of all for Mobile.
This tells us that the person searching on Mobile is looking for a more curated and specific experience than the person on Desktop. Even though the Desktop searcher also wants to see the correct, exact product, is also willing to see additional options and is willing to continue to refine and expand their search to continue shopping, hence the higher conversions for pages where color and categories are filtered.
The Mobile searcher, on the other hand, is dealing with a smaller screen, longer loading times, and less ease with switching between pages or opening new tabs. A mobile searcher wants exactly what they searched for, and cares little about their options. Search pages and pages with multiple active filters, where sometimes just six products were shown, had by far the best performance. This person didn’t want to browse, as the browsing experience is obviously more challenging on a phone. They want the right product, even if that is the only product they see.
So, the example on the left, with 59 types of dresses, might be fine for a Desktop viewer,who is interested in the browsing experience – essentially moving between purchase funnel stages quite fluidly as they navigate the site. But for a mobile searcher, 59 options would mean scrolling through lots of products that aren’t relevant to their initial search. The mobile searcher is more “locked-in” to their purchase funnel stage – typically further down into transactional type activities. While the example on the right might only have 8 products all are specific to the original search term on Google.
What can we learn from this? While it’s tempting to provide customers with an equivalent experience on both Desktop and Mobile, it’s smarter to optimize the landing page based upon the channel. A smart Paid Search manager should try to make the Mobile’s searcher’s Landing Page as precise as possible, even if it means removing a breadth of additional related options.
For brands’ websites, the most important action you can take it to update your Mobile site to be succinct and transactional. Adding filters that searchers expect in Desktop websites such as category and color, will help with mobile performance, especially if you can make your campaign landing pages more specific. And as with anything related to Paid Search, you should be testing various user experiences to find the landing page environment that best matches the consumer’s buying journey. Just don’t expect it to be the same across Desktop and Mobile.