Mobile landing pages are a crucial part of every mobile marketing strategy, and the quality of the design of these pages can determine whether visitors stick around and buy, or leave immediately with a bad taste in their mouths.

According to a Google Mobile Ad Blog study, two-thirds of visitors are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site, and 61% of respondents said that they would quickly move onto another mobile site if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away. And 75% of respondents of a study performed by customer-experience management company Kentico say that the look and feel of a company’s mobile website plays into their purchase decision.

It’s clear that creating mobile landing pages that are simple and effective is critical to converting visitors into customers. Below are eleven ways to do so.

Keep It Simple, Smarty

“Keep it simple” is a core tenet of mobile landing page and application design and should be incorporated into every step of the design process. In short, everything about the mobile landing page – the layout, call to action, buttons, text, forms, and navigation – should be simple. Don’t over-think it!

Respond and Test

Mashable claims that 2013 will be the year of responsive web design. With the massive growth of smartphone and tablet use, businesses have to optimize for every screen size and resolution, or risk losing visitors.

Designing a landing page that 1) detects the device on which it’s being viewed, 2) recognizes if the device is in portrait or landscape mode, and 3) responds to the orientation, is imperative to optimizing conversions. It’s important to test the landing page on various operating systems, devices, and viewing formats to make sure all variations are covered.

Make Your Call To Action Clear

Mobile landing pages must have a crystal-clear call to action (CTA), or you risk confusing and losing the visitor. What do you want the visitor to do – download an app, fill out a form, click to call, or something else? The call to action should be determined well before you start building the landing page and needs to be very obvious to the visitor to be effective.

Furthermore, the CTA on the landing page should be closely related to the CTA to which the visitor responded to access the landing page. For example, if the visitor responded to a mobile display ad with the CTA of “Download Coupon Now”, the CTA on the landing page should be a similar to “Download Coupon Now”. Common sense, right? But it’s unreal how many times this is executed poorly.

Minimize Potential Actions

You don’t want to present too many options from which your visitor can choose. As mentioned above, the primary CTA should be blatantly obvious, and there should be no more than two or three other links (other than the navigation menu, if you have one) above the fold of your mobile landing page. Minimizing links will make the visitor’s experience more focused and efficient, which should increase conversion rates.

Nike Mobile Landing Page

Nike has a clear CTA and minimizes actions on its mobile landing page.

Prioritize Content

Crushing a lot of content on a small screen is a sure-fire way to lose a visitor. Make sure you only include the content that is of highest priority and supports the call to action of the landing page. You can always give the visitor an option to visit the full site or another mobile page or site if they seek more info.

Stay Concise

Segueing from the point above, copy on mobile landing pages needs to be concise and succinct. Make your point clearly and quickly, as mobile users are fickle and will bounce from your site in a moment’s notice.

Avoid Pinching, Zooming, and Scrolling

Pinching, zooming, and scrolling are standard smartphone user actions but should be avoided for mobile landing pages. Ensure the important information that you want to convey and the CTA fit neatly into a small screen, and place less important text and data below the fold or elsewhere.

Use Widely Accessible Technologies (Don’t Use Flash)

Adobe Flash doesn’t work at all on iPhones, and it’s no longer supported for Android, so don’t use it. HTML5 and Javascript/jQuery are technologies that are compatible with all smartphones and provide a high level of interactivity, so stick with those programming languages when building mobile landing pages.

Employ Large Buttons and Space Them Out

One of the most irritating things about bad mobile landing pages are buttons that are too small and too close to each other, leading to “fat fingering” (inadvertently hitting wrong buttons). The best practice is to use buttons that are at least 44×44 pixels, which is big enough to easily and accurately touch with the average thumb. And make sure to leave enough space in between buttons.

Make It Fast

According to a study by Keynote Systems, smartphone and tablet users have high expectations regarding mobile website load speeds; 82% of smartphone users expect mobile websites to load within five seconds and 60% of tablet users expect to wait less than three seconds. And 16% of these mobile users will not wait for or return to your mobile website if it takes too long to load.

So it’s really important to build mobile landing pages that are efficient and load as quickly as possible. Using HTML and CSS as much as possible in lieu of graphics, optimizing images when you do use them, employing browser caching, limiting the number of scripts, and leveraging a Content Delivery Network (CDN) such as Akamai or Amazon Cloudfront will help keep your landing pages swift.

Build Short, Simple Forms

Do you love typing long, drawn-out messages on your smartphone? Me neither. Then you probably hate filling out long mobile forms as much as I do.

Data capture is really important for mobile landing pages, and short forms will increase conversions. Forms should ask for the minimum amount of info, such as name, email address, and maybe a phone number. Anything more than that will be detrimental to conversion rates.

So, there are some guidelines you can use to ensure your mobile landing pages are in good shape. Do you have other tips to add? Feel free to input them in the comments.

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