The BLD Blog

A collection of building materials marketing trends and insights focused on helping building product manufacturers BLD their brand.

Make It Mobile

Make It Mobile

Article Date: October 26, 2022

Making the Most of Mobile Optimization for Your Website

Think about how many online searches you make and how much time you spend surfing websites on your handheld mobile device.

News. Sports scores. Recipes. Shopping.

The list goes on and on.

This type of online behavior has been adopted by professionals, too, particularly in today’s work-from-home environment. In fact, in the construction industry, architects, builders, and contractors are utilizing mobile devices in the field during their workday for a variety of reasons, which is why optimizing your website for mobile devices is essential.

What Your Online Customers Want

How many times have you exited out of a website on your mobile device because the site was not optimized for mobile use, or what you were searching for was simply too difficult to find?

According to a recent article on Tech Jury, 74% of visitors are likely to come back to your site if it has good mobile UX.

In short, the experience a user has on your mobile site matters.

When first creating or redeveloping your website, ensuring that it is optimized for smartphones (as well as tablets) is critical to its user-friendliness. In the B2B space, it is important to make sure that all of the content, product information, and other important digital assets are responsive on mobile and easily shareable as well.

As a building product manufacturer, it is vital that any pertinent product literature, such as brochures and data sheets, are easy to find, downloadable, and load properly when opened on a mobile device.

In addition, make sure that case studies showcasing your products in action are front and center. Case studies serve as proof points and powerful testimonials for potential customers. Don’t let them go unnoticed in the background. Ensure your prospects can reference these and other valuable content assets quickly and easily from their mobile device.

First Things First: Design

There are three primary methods of mobile site design – responsive, mobile-friendly, and mobile optimized – and they are three unique approaches.

Responsive designed sites are built to work on all screen sizes. The various items on the page – text, images, video, etc. – can be reordered to fit the view on mobile, and some items may scale larger or smaller for better viewing. Functionality typically changes as well. For example, the typical navigation bar may become a “hamburger menu,” or the three horizontally stacked lines designed to communicate to users that the button contains a list of items. Of course, these types of sites are designed to respond to even larger devices as well, such as iPads or other tablets.

Sites that are designed to be mobile-friendly essentially meet the minimum requirement for mobile design, at least as defined by Google's algorithm. Having a mobile-friendly website is something that Google deems an important factor when it comes to search rankings. According to an article by Evolve Systems, “Mobile-friendly essentially shrinks the desktop version to the smaller screen but does not uphold the same level of functionality, user experience, or design appearance.” In short, mobile-friendly sites do “just enough” to get by.

The final form of design is called mobile optimization, which means a developer designs the site specifically for mobile use. According to HubSpot, this type of site leverages the mobile platform separately from the desktop site, “because mobile users behave differently and have different needs depending on their device.” Mobile-optimized sites also take into account other device functionality such as touch and gestures (pinch to zoom), GPS, camera, and microphone and voice.

In sum, responsive sites ensure your page responds and functions appropriately on any mobile device, while mobile-optimized sites are specifically designed to work one way on a mobile device. Mobile-friendly design, on the other hand, takes your desktop version and ensures it works on mobile, but with less functionality. The option you choose will depend on preference and how your customers interact with your brand online. Regardless, optimizing for mobile is now a necessity for any brand – B2C and B2B – and that includes building materials manufacturers.

What's the Key for B2B?

The B2B space is catching up to B2C in terms of the prevalence of overall mobile device usage amongst purchasers. According to a recent Business 2 Community article, more than 59% of decision makers purchasing in the B2B space use their smartphones to gather information on what they are buying. In this day and age, major B2B purchases are being made via mobile device, so it is imperative that you provide a seamless site journey for your customers that dodges an unwanted, clunky user experience.

Content is a key consideration.

According to HubSpot: “When users browse your content via their phone, they're looking for the information they need, in a simpler format that they can digest on the go. To optimize for mobile, evaluate and prioritize your content based on what your users need. Make sure your content is clear, concise, and accessible through a mobile device.”

There are certain things that mobile site designers need to take into consideration when building these sites, including device size, different network speeds (3G, 4G, 5G vs. Wi-Fi), touch with a finger or thumb as opposed to mouse use, and screen aspect ratio. In addition, viewing space is more limited on mobile, so ensuring the most essential content is the focal point and served up first can pay dividends. HubSpot explains that it is not about making less content available but rather organizing it in a way that shows users what they want first while making the rest of your content still discoverable in just a few short clicks.

In the construction arena, architects, contractors, and builders may need to access your website when they are away from the office or on a job site. In these situations, asset size (photos and video) plays a significant role in loading speed. Fast load speeds are beneficial for mobile sites, and accounting for overall site weight can help you identify ways to increase page speed. Your customers will thank you for being able to get them what they need when they need it.

Finally, consider the usability of a site. HubSpot encourages organizations to follow the rule of “thumb.” This means that the thumb should be the focal point of design: “This includes all spacing, button widths, and navigation considerations. Just like with apps, users should be able to navigate the majority of your site using their thumb.”

The Answer: Optimization

Prioritizing your mobile strategy and ensuring your site is optimized for all types of devices is becoming more critical to the success of your business. The world is becoming increasingly reliant on remote digital access, and the adoption of mobile devices continues to rise.

Optimizing your site for mobile could be the difference in whether or not you keep a prospect on your site long enough to convert them into a sale. According to HubSpot, by the end of 2021, mobile devices generated nearly 55% of global website traffic. It is safe to say that online mobile use is here to stay. Don’t let a cumbersome user experience prevent your organization from moving a hot lead through the funnel and earning a loyal, repeat customer.

BLD Marketing is a results-based, digitally-focused, full-service strategic marketing firm exclusively serving the commercial and residential building materials category.