Are Unicorn Conversions Really Possible in Today’s Mobile Era?

Posted by on 19 Nov

We’ve all done it.

Stumbled across an article or case study outlining one minor change that caused a huge leap in conversions. It’s exciting, right? Reading about those results makes us believe that Unicorn rates are possible.

Sure, some people claim to have seen them, but for most they’re nothing more than a myth.

Well, not according to Larry Kim…

After analyzing the success of hundreds of AdWords accounts, this is how his data breaks down.

Search Conversion Rate Distribution Graph by WordStream on UnDelay Blog

Of the hundreds of WordStream accounts in Kim’s test, 10% of companies were able to achieve an 11%+ conversion rate.

That’s 5 times higher than the average 2.35% for the study group.

Apparently, Unicorn rates really do exist.

But wait…

You have to wonder if these top-performing accounts used bid modifiers to exclude mobile traffic. With PPC traffic, it’s simple to just purchase desktop or tablet clicks.

If only it was that easy with all traffic sources. But unfortunately, it’s not.

Mobile traffic now represents a major percentage for most companies. In recent years, mobile usage has soared to never before seen levels. And in 2014, mobile users actually outnumbered desktop traffic.

Here’s the Problem

Mobile devices (particularly smartphones) have extremely low conversion rates.

These stats tell the story.

Mobile-conversion-rates-by-device-type-

Most companies use Responsive Design, which makes it even harder to improve mobile conversion rates.

There’s no doubt that Responsive is an easy way to adapt a desktop site to a mobile display. It’s definitely an improvement to achieve a “mobile-friendly” site.

However, a “mobile-friendly” site is very different from a “mobile-optimized” site.

Going Beyond Responsive

Several studies highlight the shortcomings of Responsive Web Design for conversion optimization.

CRO expert, Talia Wolf, has often described the problems with Responsive and they’re well documented in this Conversioner article.

Talia managed to increase the conversions of a mobile landing page from 0.79% to 4.62% after ditching Responsive Design for a mobile specific approach.

That’s a 6X revenue increase.

Tailoring Your Page To Your Audience’s Needs

Talia’s results shouldn’t come as a surprise to experienced marketers. Those involved in CRO are well aware of the need to create an experience specific to their audience’s needs.

This tailored approach is critical to improving the mobile experience. Criteos’ recent study on mobile conversions discovered that sites optimized specifically for mobile, receive more than double the conversions to non-optimized sites.

It’s no secret that the majority of studies conducted in the field of mobile conversions conclude that Responsive Design performs poorly.

Yet despite these findings, Responsive Design is still the leading mobile solution. So, the question is…why?

Could it be due to the lack of attractive alternatives?

Since many companies are heavily invested in their existing responsive site, let’s look at the options for these companies to radically improve their mobile conversions:

  1. Create an independent Mobile Specific Site

For most companies, it’s not an appealing solution.

It’s expensive building and managing a second website. There’s also the issue of dealing with two URL’s to promote and redirect. It’s interesting to note, however, that about 40% of the largest companies still rely on using a separate mobile site.

  1. Build an Adaptive Design site

With Adaptive Design, you create numerous templates, which are specific to different screen sizes. It’s an effective server-side solution for optimizing every device type.

Unlike the mobile-site approach, these designs only need one URL.  Adaptive Design uses sophisticated algorithms to choose and scale templates that best fit the device when a prospect lands on the URL.

The drawback to building an adaptive site is that it’s labor intensive and complicated. The initial work requires talented developers to build and it will continue to be expensive to maintain over time.

That being said, the extra effort and investment can pay huge dividends in the long run.

  1. Landing page platforms

Landing page cloud services have surged in popularity in recent years for several reasons.

Marketers can quickly build their lead generation pages and get set up fast without an IT team or any real coding knowledge.

They’re inexpensive and can efficiently increase desktop conversions.

But there’s still a problem optimizing for mobile conversions. That’s where these platforms fall short.

They rely on responsive design as their mobile solution and responsive design simply won’t allow for the creation and testing of device-specific contextual experiences.

Introducing Cloud-Based Adaptive Design
To solve this problem, we are launching UnDelay. It’s an Adaptive landing page platform that gives you the best of both worlds.

It provides the flexibility to offer device-specific pages and to optimize every detail of the user experience… and that’s key for higher conversions.

Contextual mobile experiences can be created quickly without building a separate mobile site or replacing your existing responsive site with an adaptive site.

Actionable insights can be attained in a fraction of the time and cost, making it affordable to optimize for “above-average” conversions. ­

Maybe even Unicorns.

Interested in learning more about our Cloud Based Adaptive Solution? Contact us for a demo.

 

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