Define Mobile Website User Journeys to Help Build Customer Relationships

5 minute read
Rob McCarthy avatar

The growth of web-enabled mobile devices is well reported, and clearly there are significant opportunities for revenue growth and customer engagement using the mobile channel. Businesses who understand mobile website user journeys are able to gain an advantage to capitalize on these opportunities.

Developing a Mobile Strategy

Getting your content and services on mobile devices can be quick and cheap. Good websites will display on mobile devices by default, but this is not maximizing mobile engagement. Key areas to concentrate on when developing a mobile strategy include:

  1. Delivery -- apps, mobile style sheets or mobile sub-site.
  2. Channel -- mobile is one of many different communication channels, but one that is increasing in importance. It should be put much more centrally into the overall communications strategy.
  3. Context -- mobile users want specific information, a location or perhaps opening times. The geo-location function in mobiles can aid this.
  4. User experience -- top tasks that are easy to access and perform should be clearly displayed. The content offered needs to be carefully planned and researched. Navigation should be clean and simple.
  5. User journeys -- plan your user journeys. Once live, your analytics and user testing can give you guidance on the areas for improvements.
  6. Search -- your mobile sites need to be easy to find with good landing pages. Mobile Search Engine Optimization (MSEO) is of paramount importance; use of back links, fresh content and keywords will aid this. Pay per click (PPC) advertising is also a significant traffic driver, but simply replicating traditional web advertising is not necessarily the best option.
  7. Management -- good Web Content Management (WCM) systems will allow you to display a mobile version of your site as requested by the mobile device so that it displays correctly. Additionally, content and content libraries can be shared between the PC and mobile sites. WCM systems allow you to quickly edit content to keep the site fresh with little technical effort after the mobile site has been built.
  8. Metrics -- measure everything, including content, maps viewed, and if possible, calls made to a number specified for the mobile website. Then expect to change content, navigation or user journeys quickly.

Building Relationships with a Mobile Strategy

Mobile has the ability to build relationships with consumers like no other media and can facilitate two-way information flow. Brands can position themselves as “friends” to deliver tailored content to people’s intimate spaces. Added to this, more precise targeting can occur when tied to an individual mobile’s data, place and time. However, interpreting the data received from an individual’s browsing is more difficult, as the nature of mobile browsing is so quick. For example, establishing benchmarks for activity such as “time on site” is complex.

However, once you understand your users, you can engage with them more closely and define clear user journeys to increase loyalty, trust and conversions.

Defining User Journeys, Measuring and Refining Them

When users encounter website problems on a mobile device, they can be quickly lost and may never return. In order to avoid this, and to help your mobile website build trust, confidence and loyalty, define your optimum user journeys before you build your mobile website. This can be done with simple wire-frames and then tested at an early stage before you commit to development. This is just the start of improving usability.

Once your website is live, user testing can be conducted to observe how real users interact with your mobile website and realize their goals. This will assist in understanding how users experience your website presentation and navigate through your website and complete their goal (finding information, making a purchase or completing a task). By understanding user journeys and refining your navigation, content and service delivery, fewer customers are lost and more converted.

This is a continuous process that starts with monitoring and in-depth analysis to gain insight into what users are doing on your website. Typically, you should concentrate on areas of the site that bring the most revenue, cause the most complaints or where there are a large number of drop-outs.

Learning Opportunities

Tools like Google Analytics can be configured to give you the basic data needed to understand user journeys and funnels (how users move through a pre-defined process to complete a task). With this information, website managers can continually refine and hone their content presentation and service delivery to get the optimum conversions. Devices that can utilize JavaScript can be used for multivariate testing to further identify optimum layouts by dynamically presenting users with different versions of a page. The resultant behaviors are subjected to statistical analyses to determine which is the best version of the page to adopt. This is not a one-off process, but a continually evolving and iterative one where alternative variants are tested regularly.


By defining a clear mobile website strategy and understanding mobile user behavior, user journeys can be defined to maximize their engagement with your brand. This ongoing process will allow businesses to refine their mobile websites to continually increase conversion rates. Key to this is the use of analytics. Gaining insights from analytics is a skilled job, but one that will reveal user trends and activity that can be acted on to optimize user journeys, mobile content and mobile service delivery.

Editor's Note: You may also be interested in reading:


About the author

Rob McCarthy

Robert McCarthy has been at the helm of GOSS Interactive (www.gossinteractive.com) since its inception in 1999. GOSS is a digital agency that specialises in delivering online efficiency through website engagement and optimisation, hosting and with a leading Web Content Management system GOSS iCM.