Why a change in speed, culture and mindset are the key to more mobile conversions

November 2018

Conversions@Google is an annual event held for Google advertisers at our EMEA HQ in Dublin. The aim of the day is to help customers get more online conversions in an increasingly complex and multi-device world. If you couldn’t make the event, fear not, we have you covered. Here are three key takeouts you need to know.

People will give up a lot before letting go of their smartphones

A fascinating, and eye-opening, study by The Boston Consulting Group reveals many people would sooner forgo a vacation or even seeing friends in person, before giving up their smartphone.

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Here's the thing though: while mobile usage is 4X higher than desktop, its weaker user experience means it only converts half as often. For brands, that’s a seriously big missed opportunity.

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So why do mobile conversions lag behind? According to Lina Hansson, a Mobile Conversions Specialist at Google, part of the problem lies with speed, or rather lack of it. In a recent survey, 46% of users cited slow load times as the thing they disliked most about mobile1.

Lina argues you can achieve much faster load times by working with your analytics team, developers and creatives. For example, ask analytics to make speed a KPI. Start by testing your current mobile site speed, then use this Mobile Speed Guide to see how to improve.

To learn more, watch Lina’s six ways to improve your mobile conversion rates over on the official Conversions@Youtube channel.

Start at home, with the company culture

Second thing we learned is that to keep up with today’s speed of change, your whole company culture might need to change first

Consumers aren’t loyal to brands. They’re loyal to things that make their life easier or more productive. According to a recent Google study, nearly two-thirds of consumers say they’d switch from a poorly-designed mobile site to one that makes purchasing stuff easier2.

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The new key to success is agility, a buzzword you’ve probably heard before. But what does it mean? And why are so many companies making it a top priority? To find out more, watch this talk by author and co-founder, Jorgen Hesselberg, on his 7 principles for improving business agility.

Great mobile experiences of the future

Lastly, what do great mobile experiences now look like? And how can your business win the race to mobile excellence? 

Users globally spend an average of 112 minutes a day on mobile[1], so you’d be forgiven for thinking apps are the way to go.

Yet as Google Product Director, Luke Wroblewski, explained, most people only use around three apps – and trying to break into that repertoire is tough going.

The problem with apps is they rely on people hearing about them, finding them on the app store, downloading them, and then actually opening and using them. Lasting success relies on many hurdles.

That’s why Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are becoming popular. This new technology gives mobile users smooth, frictionless, app-like experiences – all via their browsers.

Rather than relying on users finding, downloading and remembering your app, they can get the same fluid experience on your mobile site instead.

PWAs can even be installed on a homescreen, receive notifications, and be used offline. Just like apps, they deliver radically improved user experiences by focusing on what users really want and like.

To succeed, PWAs need to be FIRE (fast, installable, reliable, and engaging). To learn more about what that means, watch this talk by Google UX Lead, Jenny Gove.

There’s tons to think about when it comes to improving conversion rates, so take things one step at a time. Testing your site speed is a useful place to start, as the results will give you a clear direction to follow. Then you’ll feel inspired to take your site to the next level with new technology, and more agile ways of working and thinking.

Good luck, and maybe see you in Dublin next time.