Last week I was in northwest Arkansas with the Northwest Arkansas Association of Fundraising Professional members presenting to them. They are a great group and it was both an honor and a pleasure to be invited to speak. After the presentation and their fantastic Q&A, several members came up to me with their phones and showed me their current mobile sites.
I viewed them and they were more towards mobile-friendly rather than mobile-optimized, (read more here about mobile-friendly versus mobile-optimized) which we prefer and offer to our customers. I asked them to click on the links on their mobile home page and all seemed OK. The content was formatted to be legible on a phone with no pinching and swiping to view the page like you have to do with pages formatted for a PC.
But I was kind of holding back because I knew where the weak spot would be. What they were showing me was a mobile-friendly landing page with content “scraped” from their PC site and reformatted to fit a mobile phone screen. Content scraping has been around for a long time as a way to take existing content and repurpose it for another format. The problem with this approach is that content on a PC was designed and created to be long form content and on a mobile people prefer snack sized content.
Content scraping was not the weak spot however. It was their donation page.
In each example I saw from the NWA AFP members I spoke to the donation experience was still their PC donation experience.
This is not a best practice. Here’s why.
1) Google’s mobile bot that they use to judge your mobile experience will find this PC page and demote your search rank on this alone even though the rest of the content is formatted for a phone via the scraping process.
2) You still risk losing donations by relying on a PC form on a mobile phone. As I have remarked here in our blog before, third party research has reported that your lost donations by using a PC form on a mobile phone could be AS HIGH AS 50%!
Exacerbating this situation is the fact that most people go to your website to give versus “check you out” which means all that content scraped from your PC site is not likely of interest to the visitor to your website. So, they’re there to give and it’s a PC page where the first action is navigating instead of completing a mobile-optimized giving form.
Navigating a form is not making a gift to your nonprofit.
Mobile landing pages and content scraping are OK but that PC donation page (or YIKES-pages!) on a mobile phone for giving has to go ASAP. You’re missing donations and Google is still demoting your nonprofit’s search rank. Ouch on both fronts.
Dale Knoop is part of a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a great platform for any cause engaged in fundraising. Any cause can create an content-rich mobile presence, share it through text messages, social media, QR codes, advertising and more and best of all-quickly and securely process donations from motivated supporters. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting and negative QOS.