Yet another company has redesigned their mobile website to give it a more native app like feel – and this time it’s resulted in booming user interaction.
Answers.com added swipe navigation to its HTML5-based mobile website. The company reportedly decided to update its mobile website (before creating a native app) because the majority of its traffic comes from search engines. While many search engines have started incorporating apps into their search results, a mobile website that appears in traditional search results would get Answers.com more eyes and more drive-by traffic. Though they chose to focus on a mobile website, Answers.com still wanted to speak the language of their mobile users. From MediaPost:
The company wanted to add the swipe functionality in its mobile site to suit the way people are consuming content on devices. “That’s just a behavior that the market understands,” said [Peter Horan, president and COO of Answers Corp]. By swiping, users necessarily have to view an extra page on the mobile screen to see an answer. Swiping after the first answer page reveals more related questions and answers, driving more page views in turn.
Adding swipe navigation made it easier for users to navigate the site. It also added a casual, fun aspect to the website that made it easier for users to consumer more information, view more pages and ultimately spend more time on the site.
During testing over the last few months, that “app-like” feature has helped boost interaction on the mobile side. People are now viewing more than five times as many pages per visit and spending twice as much time engaging with content on the mobile site. Mobile overall now represents half of all Answers page views and a third of its unique users.
The change, and Answers.com’s focus on mobile, has paid off . The company is tapping into an important sub-set of web users (mobile-only users) and increasing overall user engagement.
“We’re among the publishers that are really happy with the shift to mobile. We’re seeing more content consumption, and it’s driving great business results,” he said.
With nearly 49 million unique visitors in January, Answers.com ranks as the 20th largest Web property, according to comScore. But Horan noted that growth is focused on the mobile side, where a third of its visitors are mobile-only. The site is seeing increased activity around big events and breaking news. The election of a new Pope last week, for instance, generated 250,000 visits in one day with questions related to the elevation of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
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Answers.com found success with its mobile web strategy because they spent the time figuring out what mobile users want and how they like to interact with their devices. Instead of making a miniature (hard to navigate) version of their traditional site or launching a native app that might see little direct use, the company combined the best of both worlds and found a solution that worked for them and their users.