13 Mobile Landing Page Best Practices to Boost Conversions in the Smartphone Era
When’s the last time you double checked what your homepage, blog posts and landing pages look like on mobile?
No worries...I’ll wait here while you go take a look. ;-)
If you’re like most people, you haven’t been giving your mobile landing pages the treatment they deserve.
Small touch screen devices create a much different browsing experience for your visitors than their desktop cousins. You must account for these differences on your mobile landing page designs or risk leaving money on the table in missed conversions.
Now that most people are browsing on mobile, it’s time to optimize your mobile experience for every page or post you publish.
Read on to learn (with examples) the key mobile landing page best practices you need to know if you want your website to impress visitors in the smartphone era.
Optimize Your Mobile Landing Page Designs
Some major differences exist between desktop and mobile design layouts and you need to be aware of them.
By implementing the following mobile design best practices, you’ll increase your conversions among the ever growing number of global smartphone users.
1. Make your Mobile Landing Pages Touch Friendly
Make sure that all of your call-to-action buttons are finger-width in size and sufficiently spaced out so your page is always easy to interact with.
If you don’t, visitors will miss important links, call-to-action buttons or be forced to zoom-in on their already small mobile screens to interact with your page.
Always ask yourself: “Are my landing pages finger friendly?”
Good Example: Do You Yoga
The Do You Yoga homepage is a good example of a “finger-friendly” mobile homepage. As you scroll down the page, notice how the interactive elements are at least finger-width in size and spaced out from each other.
In the case of interactive elements that are stacked on top of each other without much space (such as the blog grid), those elements are much larger than just finger-width making them easy targets to press.
Bad Example: Yoga With Kassandra
The Yoga with Kassandra homepage is not finger friendly for mobile devices.
The top menu text links are all small and hard to click while the different pink and dark-blue call-to-action buttons sprinkled across the homepage are smaller than finger width in size.
The multi-column layout below the fold and generally small text make the mobile version of this page hard to read.
2. Whitespace on Mobile is Your Friend
Effective use of whitespace on mobile landing pages is crucial to creating functional and more importantly, non-frustrating experiences for your users.
Not only does additional whitespace help make touchscreen interactions more foolproof (no accidental button or link clicks) for your visitors, it improves readability on smaller mobile devices while encouraging users to keep scrolling down.
Good Example: Bose
The Bose Audio homepage is good example of keeping mobile design minimal by prioritizing effective use of whitespace (also called negative space).
This mobile design strategy keeps the headlines, subheads, images and call-to-action buttons separated to minimize distraction—funneling visitors toward the most important info and actions on the page: your conversion goal.
Bad Example: Sparkitive
The Sparkitive mobile homepage is jammed full of text. Not only does that make the page hard to read, but a lack of negative space creates that “wall-of-text” feel which will make your readers want to bounce.
Text only landing pages can be well designed, but you’ll need to leverage whitespace throughout the page to pull it off.
3. Prioritize High Contrast Mobile Designs
What’s one of the big differences between the Mobile and Desktop landing page experience?
Hint: It’s all in the name - Mobile
Mobile landing pages can be accessed anywhere...inside, outside, on the porcelain throne, or shopping under the bright lights of a shopping mall.
To combat these different lighting environments, use high contrast landing page designs for your mobile landing pages.
Good Example: Macbook Pro
The Apple landing page for the Macbook Pro showcases a great example of high contrast design. Dark fonts and images on light background make all the important bits of the mobile page pop, no matter what light conditions a visitor is viewing them in.
Apple does a great job making effective use of whitespace too!
Bad Example: Lindsey Racing
The Lindsey Racing website fails the high contrast mobile design test. The background is dark, the call-to-action buttons are grey, and the important text ranges from black to dark red.
All these low contrast factors lead to a design that negatively impacts readability for visitors and lowers the online product sales for the business owner.
4. Always Use Single Column Layouts
Side-scrolling on mobile is a conversion killer.
To avoid this problem, make sure your visitors only see single column layouts when browsing on their mobile devices.
The single column layout is intuitive to scroll, keeps your images and text from spilling off the side of the page and ensures that visitors will continue to scroll down towards the end of your landing page.
Just remember... no side-scrolling on your mobile landing pages!
Good Example: ClickMinded
The ClickMinded website does a great job on mobile of converting its 3-column desktop layout into single-columns when viewed on mobile.
This keeps the visitor from side-scrolling at any point on the sales page and swiping down towards the conversion goal instead.
Bad Example: AirBnB
Even though AirBnB is a massive website with an incredible amount of web design resources at their disposal, they use side-scrolling and multi-column layouts on their mobile pages.
Although this may work for their platform, it’s not recommended for solopreneurs like yourself as the text and images get smashed into hard to read sizes with content that streams off the side of the screen.
Do your conversion rates a favor by keeping your mobile pages single column with text and image sizes that pass the Mobile Readability Arm’s Length Rule discussed next.
5. Apply the Arm's Length Rule
How do you test your mobile landing page’s readability before making it live? Very simple...
Apply the Arm’s Length Rule:
- Load up your landing page on a mobile device.
- Hold the mobile phone at arm’s length.
- Read through the entire landing page and modify anything that looks hard to read.
- Bonus: Repeat this process with other people (bonus points for finding beta testers with below average eyesight!).
Good Example: Thrive Themes
Not to toot our own horn or anything, but the Thrive Themes website offers a good example of a site that passes the Arm’s Length rule. If you load up our site on your smartphone and hold it at arm’s length, the site remains readable.
As a rule of thumb, keep your font sizes greater than 16 pixels on mobile while keeping your font and background contrast high.
Bad Example: Ido Portal
Although the one arm handstand is super impressive, the readability of Ido Portal’s Movement Culture mobile homepage is not.
The site navigation text is way too small to read, especially when held at arm’s length. Also, the ill-advised slider-style background often places dark image elements behind the text. That makes that small text even harder to read!
Modify Your Mobile Landing Page Call-To-Actions
Calls to action are important on any landing page, no matter the device they’re being viewed on.
In fact, you can learn all about standard call-to-action strategies in a separate Thrive Themes blog post here.
However, if you want to optimize your call-to-action buttons specifically for mobile (I know you do!), pay attention to the following 4 mobile landing page best practices:
6. Place Your Call-To-Action at the Top of Your Mobile Landing Page
Now that mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop and will grow sevenfold between 2016 and 2021, the “above the fold” area has become dynamic digital real estate because what a visitor sees changes depending on the device they’re using.
To combat the smorgasbord of different sized devices your visitors will be using, it’s a good idea to elevate your first call-to-action button to the very top of any mobile landing page so all readers will see it.
Good Example: Transferwise
Although Transferwise uses multiple call-to-action buttons on their mobile homepage (“Sign up”, “Download on the App Store” and “Continue to Transferwise.com”), each option is strategically placed at the top of the page.
Transferwise’s mobile homepage not only uses finger-friendly buttons, a benefit driven headline and negative space to focus visitors towards the actions they want, but it’s all done at the very top of the page so no potential customer can miss it.
Bad Example: HubSpot
One of HubSpot’s mobile landing pages really misses the mark when it comes to front loaded calls-to-action as the above example shows.
First, they place an easy to miss click-to-call button at the top of the page asking potential clients to contact their sales department.
Next they use their entire mobile above-the-fold area to show a wall-of-text headline that many visitors are likely to bounce from. If that happens, a potential client will never scroll down to see their contact form offering a “Free Marketing Measurement Assessment” to those who submit it.
By simply transforming the sub-headline into a call-to-action button that takes people to the contact form at the bottom of the page would likely increase the HubSpot sales department’s lead generation rate from this mobile landing page.
7. Test Using Click-To-Call Buttons
Because most mobile devices are smartphones with the capacity to call phone lines, test using click-to-call CTA elements on your mobile landing pages to see if 1-on-1 sales calls are a more profitable conversion channel for your business.
Obviously this feature won’t apply to every online business, but if you run a local brick-and-mortar business or require more personal contact to make sales, the mobile landing page click-to-call button could be a conversion game changer for your business.
For example, Esurance tripled their customer acquisition in a single year just by adding a click-to-call buttons to their mobile ads and web pages.
Good Example: Vivint
The Vivint homepage offers a good click-to-call button example as they use it twice above their mobile fold: first as a phone icon in the header and second as a call-to-action button beneath their headline.
As an online visitor looking to add security measures to my home, it’s hard to miss what I should do next...give Vivint a phone call.
Bad Example: Space City Float
At first glance, the Space City Float Center homepage looks like it’s click-to-call game is strong… but here’s why it’s not:
First, the phone number listed in the sticky ribbon at the top of the mobile page isn’t click-to-call, just inert text visitors must either remember or copy/paste if they actually want to call.
Second, the click-to-call icon in the floating ribbon at the bottom of the screen is hard to see and disappears as soon as visitors start scrolling down.
A better strategy would be to place a click-to-call, call-to-action button at the top of the page with a phone icon.
8. Reduce Your Form Fields to the Bare Minimum
Inputting data on any mobile device is a pain in the butt.
That’s why every input field on your mobile landing page forms must pay its rent in terms of digital space.
Make sure all input fields you include on your forms are absolutely necessary.
For example, only ask for a first name if you actually personalize your emails when broadcasting to your list. Every additional field will harm your conversion rates so make sure each one is actually needed to accomplish your goals.
Good Example: Learn Jazz Standards
The Learn Jazz Standards opt-in form is an example of good mobile opt-in form asking for more than just an email address.
Asking for a first name allows for personalized emails and the “Select Instrument” drop down menu allows the website owner to send customized jazz education content to new subscribers based on their primary instrument abilities.
Bad Example: LikeableLocal
Is filling out all the detailed form fields above really necessary for a visitor aiming to download a free eBook?
Buy me a coffee first...jeez!
It may prove better to ask for the email first and then let your eBook free download soft sell services to leads as they’ll be more acquainted with you and your business at that point.
9. Minimize Distractions with 1 Conversion Goal Per Landing Page
Even though ALL landing pages should contain a single conversion goal, it’s even more important when it comes to mobile landing pages.
Small screen sizes and touch-screen interfaces make it easy for visitors to either get distracted or frustrated with the experience. Make their life simple by allowing only a single conversion goal per page!
Good Example: Bar Muscle Up Mastery
The entire focus of the Bar Muscle Up Mastery mobile sales page is to sell the course...nothing else. There’s no other offers or distractions that would whisk a viewer away from that conversion goal.
When it comes to your mobile landing pages, boost your conversion rates by doing the same – one conversion goal per page.
Bad Example: GymnasticBodies
The mobile landing page shown above is a special offer for Tim Ferriss Show podcast listeners by GymnasticBodies.com founder Christopher Sommer.
Coach Sommer was a guest on Tim’s podcast and offered a special discount to Tim’s listeners if they purchased the GB Foundations Course through the landing page.
Although the landing page is optimized for mobile in many ways, it actually fails to maintain a strong focus on selling the Foundations Course as it goes on to offer multiple advanced programs on the same landing page.
Although the advanced courses provide an awesome opportunity to upsell new customers, it would be better to do it after the initial purchase of the Foundations Course deeper in this landing page sales funnel. Instead, the multiple offers likely distract potential customers from making any purchase.
Optimize Your Mobile Landing Page Load Times
As a general rule, mobile phones have slower internet connections and smaller bandwidth limits compared to their desktop counterparts.
That means your mobile landing page needs to be optimized when it comes to data size and paired with fast hosting to support its delivery.
If you’re still using bargain-bin hosting, Step 1 in your mobile load time optimization is to upgrade your hosting.
Step 2 is to minimize the size your landing page in terms of data size. Read the following two image and video best practices to make your mobile pages load as fast as possible to prevent your visitors from bouncing prematurely:
10. Remove Any Unnecessary Videos and Images
Use only conversion critical images or videos on your mobile landing pages. This means that for every image or video you think about posting, ask yourself: “Is this really necessary to achieve this page’s conversion goal?”
Just think how frustrating it can be for a new visitor when they arrive to your mobile site only to wait way too long for images to load, line-by-line-by-line. I mean, how long do you hang around on slow loading pages before bouncing to find a faster loading alternative?
For this reason, you must be extra picky about what images or videos get added to your mobile landing pages. Because of data, network and cost limitations, it’s even more important to ensure your mobile pages load fast by minimizing their total data size.
Good Example: Evernote
The Evernote mobile landing page takes data minimalism to the extreme. The above-the-fold area of the page uses a simple white background, headline, subhead and call-to-action button.
Below the fold, there’s a limited number of visuals used to educate visitors about the product and focus them towards the conversion goal of signing up for a free account. Effective whitespace usage is on full display here giving the mobile homepage a modern feel.
Bad Example: Amrit Yoga
The Amrit Yoga homepage is nothing but images. That’s not only data intensive for mobile devices, but bad design strategy to help new visitors understand what the different cornerstones of the yoga website are all about.
The images are vague with small text at the bottom of each picture stating what each section is about (i.e. “Meditation in Motion”, “Transformational Sleep”, etc.).
Don’t cram your mobile landing pages with vague visuals. Make sure each image pulls its weight to help get visitors to take your desired call-to-action.
11. Optimize Every Image and Video for Mobile
For the images and videos that you decide are absolutely necessary to include on your mobile landing pages, it’s crucial that each is optimized to maximize their quality while minimizing their data size.
Making your images mobile friendly is pretty simple if you this 3-step checklist:
Make Your Copy Mobile Friendly
Copy is always a critical factor when it comes to achieving the results you want online. However, smartphone screen size limitations make the words you choose to use even more important.
Read through the following 3 best practices to see how you can pack a bigger copy punch in smaller mobile screen packages...
12. Clear and Concise is Better Than Clever
Digital real estate is precious on mobile so getting to the point sooner will help boost your conversion rates.
As a rule of thumb, focus more on clear and concise copy rather than clever, curiosity generating storytelling. You can always A/B test your landing page copy to prove me wrong though!
Good Example: Ramit Sethi's I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Ramit Sethi eliminates the visual extras and cuts right to benefit driven copy on his I Will Teach You To Be Rich mobile homepage.
Short, punchy headlines, subheads and supporting text tell visitors exactly what they’re getting upfront when deciding whether or not to take Ramit’s earnings potential quiz.
Because mobile size requirements limit the digital space you have to be clever, focus on being clear, concise and benefit focused instead.
Bad Example: Learn Jazz Standards
Although the homepage for Learn Jazz Standards has a great headline, the subhead copy looks and reads like a wall-of-text. From the visual perspective alone, it’s tough to get into the above the fold copy so many readers aren’t getting persuaded to sign up.
On top of that, ask yourself “What’s in it for the visitor?”
Will readers actually get anything cool if they click-through and sign up?
This example could be improved instantly with a shorter, benefit driven subheading as well as a better call-to-action button to boost signups.
13. Use Short and Punchy Headlines
Not only should your body copy be more concise on mobile landing pages, but your headlines should be more condensed and punchy too.
Keep your headlines as short as possible so they visually pop while remaining readable on mobile. This will also help your visitors know straight away that they’ve found the website they’re looking for.
Good Example: Double Your Sales
3 big words that offer a benefit every business owner wants to achieve: DOUBLE YOUR SALES!
Now that’s a short and punchy headline that’ll get a new visitor’s attention every time (of course you’ll have to deliver on it though!).
If you can keep your mobile headlines short and powerful, it will not only counter the design constraints of mobile, but also push readers to keep reading downscreen.
Bad Example: Traffic and Funnels
The headline in the Traffic and Funnels mobile landing page example above may look like a short headline at first glance, but in reality, they broke one extra-long headline up visually.
Check it out:
“Smartest Guys in Marketing Presents: How We Generate High Ticket Clients Using Paid Traffic and a Simple 2-Step Funnel!”
They used the majority of their above the fold mobile real estate for a single headline pushing their call-to-action button down the page and ruining their ability to add supporting copy.
Write Better Copy
And even if you're not a Thrive Themes Member yet, you can also sign up for a free Thrive University account to get instant access to one of our many free online courses like our Headline Swipefile: The Shortcut to Writing Attention Grabbing Titles.
Note that you must first create a free Thrive University account and login to access the above courses. Only Thrive Themes Members will be able to access the Members Only e-courses.
Now It's Your Turn
Are you ready to start boosting your sales and growing your email list faster just by optimizing your mobile landing pages with the above 13 best practices?
I know you are so it’s time to take action and rapidly implement what you’ve learned here on your own website.
If you have any questions about conversion optimizing your landing pages specifically for mobile, leave them in the comments section below!