“Your mobile visitor is both impatient and brutal.”

That’s what Michael Ahearn, Vice President of Customer Development and Marketing at iLoop Mobile, had to say during Monetate’s recent webinar, Create Conversion-Friendly Mobile Landing Pages.

So how do we know the mobile visitor so impatient and so brutal?

Ahearn pointed to research from Compuware’s 2011 “What Users Want From Mobile” study, which found 71% of smartphone users expected a mobile site to load as fast as it does on a desktop, and said they wouldn’t come back to a mobile site if it didn’t work properly the first two times they tried it.

During the webinar, Ahearn joined a panel of experts that included Jon Stookey, Senior Strategist at Design Kitchen, and Bruce Ernst, Vice President of Product Management at Monetate, to tackle the issue of maximizing the mobile experience.

Here are some of the valuable strategies the panel served up:

1. Create a brand template for mobile. Smartphone users want a mobile experience that reflects your brand and their location in a beautiful way. So offer them that experience. Example: Lexus built a standardized brand template that can be customized for local dealerships. So while the messaging and branding are the same, the mobile site is localized by zip code and offers information specific to the closest dealership. Ahearn’s take: Don’t skimp on the design of your mobile site. It’s worth the investment to have it reflect your brand.

2. Don’t use a mobile URL. Create a unified URL so when smartphone users visit your brand on their mobile device, they get your mobile site automatically. Using the same URL for both desktop and mobile sites is a sign of brand sophistication, according to Ahearn, because it shows visitors you are anticipating their needs and meeting them right away. Also, once you’ve optimized your mobile site, be sure to promote it.

3. Think geographically and locally. Since you can tell more about the location of a mobile visitor than you can about a visitor via an IP address, use that information. Where are your mobile users accessing your site from? What are they looking for? Are they near your store? When you have that information, you can leverage it to close a sale. Ernst recommends offering mobile visitors a special deal if they’re near your store, giving them a chance to buy from you before they turn somewhere else. And there’s good reason to do just that: 95% of smartphone users have searched for local information, 61% have called a store after searching, and 59% have visited the store location, according to a Google and Ipsos study (PDF).

4. Make sure the copy is compelling. Mobile shoppers are distracted shoppers, and you might only have 10 seconds to get and keep their attention. So it’s critical to make sure the mobile landing page copy that greets them is compelling. Ernst recommends taking the time to make mobile landing page copy short, sweet and attention-grabbing. Use strong headlines that convey urgency and emotion to make sure they keep visitors engaged.

5. Create a gorgeous mobile catalog. Ensure product photos translate properly to the mobile device and catalog shopping functions so they present as well as they do on your desktop site. If you have a large catalog, use groups and categories to make mobile browsing easier. Then, go a step further. Steve Madden developed a full mCommerce environment for shoe lovers that echoed the desktop site’s design and interface. Then, the company gave mobile browsers the option to Facebook “like” shoes from their smartphones (screen shot at right, courtesy of Mobile Marketer). Now, more than 10% of all of Steve Madden’s traffic is coming from mobile users, according to Mobile Marketer. We’d say that enhanced mobile site with key features and functionalities is paying off for this brand.

6. Give them click-ability. Two of the most important features on any mobile site: Click-to-call and click-to-buy. Since the majority of smartphone users are looking for locations or deals nearby, giving them the option to simply click a button to call the nearest location is one of the most important functionalities you can offer on your mobile site. One-click buying is just as crucial. An easy, simple mobile checkout experience will stop users from abandoning their carts. Another key point: Make sure all of the links on your mobile site lead to mobile-friendly web pages. If a visitor clicks off of a product page that’s optimized for their phone and ends up at a checkout page that isn’t optimized, they’re more likely to jump ship instead of completing the sale.

Want to learn more about how to create conversion-friendly landing pages for your mobile visitors? Check out the recording of our webinar.