When websites don't load quickly on and are difficult to navigate on mobile devices, it's time to rethink the online user experience.

One of the most important factors influencing how people interact with the internet is the rise of mobile devices. As Brafton reported, contextual clues are impacting search and social media more often, to the point where abstract data is playing a role in the queries users make.

This isn’t a fringe phenomenon limited to users who want to remember which actress starred in the movie they just watched. According to research from Telmetrics, 46 percent of queries that customers make to research products and services take place on mobile devices. Naturally, brands have to adjust their web marketing strategies to match this type of behavior if they’re going to capture customers’ attention.

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UX needs to be responsive and fast

User experience, or UX, becomes more important every day. The worse a site looks or functions, the less likely people are to continue reading, let alone click through to other articles or forms. In fact, a recent study by Trilibis indicated 69 percent of responsive mobile websites took over four seconds to load. Most users consider four seconds to be the threshold for load times, meaning that a lot of them are likely to browse back to SERPs or go to other companies’ websites that offer faster service.

How can brands combat this problem? There are a few options to consider:

Web redesign: Sites built with hackneyed content marketing needs in mind may simply be too cumbersome for the current web landscape. If performance is a problem, there’s a good chance design, usability and other UX factors need updating as well.

Social strategy: No business should eschew organic traffic altogether, but one benefit of social marketing is that it doesn’t require businesses to design a page from the ground up. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have done the work of building web infrastructure, so it’s brands’ jobs just to populate their pages with content and information.

Alternate media: It might make sense to post dozens of marketing videos, but remember that the more advanced media you have on your pages, the longer load times will lag. For example, complicated B2B products may need video demonstrations, while straightforward consumer products may be better served by less bandwidth-intensive pictures.

Ultimately, companies need to understand how customers use their sites. If a brand’s online resources are media-rich and require a high degree of functionality (e.g. ecommerce), responsive design needs to be a priority. However, if a business simply wants to build brand awareness, a simpler overall UX for content distribution could suffice for now. 

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.