Where would we be without our smartphones? These tiny bastions of information, connectivity, and social networking are now an essential part of our wardrobe. We are lost when we leave them at home, the office, or on the train.
We use mobile devices for up to 60% of our online searches. It follows that mobile-friendly websites are imperative for search rank success, increased traffic, and customer conversions.
By mobile-friendly, we mean websites that a smartphone user can navigate with the same ease as a laptop user.
Below, we’ll detail how to ensure your website reads effortlessly when local and remote users need a good Thai restaurant, a granite countertop, an auto parts store, a dentist, a new washing machine, or a luxury hotel right now.
If you have questions about how your website works for mobile device use, contact our friends at Romain Berg. As a full-service digital marketing agency, they’ll conduct a full mobile-friendly audit and help you optimize your website for superior mobile device performance.
It’s all about the loading speed
When using a mobile device for a search, many users want accurate, dependable information at blazing speeds. This situation applies especially to local searches. If your website can’t deliver that result, most users are liable to pass you by for the site that will meet their needs faster.
Also, Google favors sites that load quickly and will reward you in search rank for your page’s loading efficiency. It pays both search rank and user experience dividends to optimize their mobile device interaction with your site.
To decrease page load times and potentially increase conversions: try the following:
- Size your photos and other images for the best loading speeds. Shrink the file sizes of your images by resizing them first on your computer before uploading them to your website. Software like Photoshop allows you to resize images without compromising their quality.
- Reduce page redirects. The less your website has to “converse” back and forth through the HTTP response cycle, the better.
Format for a smaller screen
Many DIY website platforms now have built-in mobile optimization editors. You can create your website as it would appear on a desktop or laptop, and then toggle to a mobile screen view and see how your design translates.
With these platforms, you can change alignments, text boxes, headings, images, menus, and other web features to look like you formatted them intentionally for a smaller screen. If you’re building your own site, be sure to choose a platform with this capability.
For example, your font size on a mobile device should be large enough to see clearly. And, it’s important to be sure your text boxes and imagery aren’t competing for space on a smaller screen.
Watch out for overlapping elements, or header and footer errors when you toggle between mobile and desktop views.
If you go through a web design firm, spend time discussing how the web builder will format your site for mobile users and full screens, and review both formats before your site goes live. Using a viewport meta tag in the HTML of each page will automatically scale your full-size pages to a smaller screen.
Mobile website function should equal full-screen function
There should be a seamless branding “flow” to both sites with your logos and content. However, some companies skimp on the functionality and features of their mobile sites. Don’t do this.
Since we live on our phones these days, we want to access all the same features on mobile devices as we can on our laptops. In fact, some apps, like Instagram, now do the reverse and limit their desktop website functions, while expanding their mobile device functions.
If you have an interactive website, your users are perhaps even more likely to demand full interaction on their mobile devices. You should prioritize that interaction in your design. Spend the time to make it work well.
Make your essential information concise and visible
Again with the short attention spans. Mobile searchers want information fast. Place only crucial messaging on your home page. Your content should be clear and concise.
Think about the questions people ask most frequently about your product. Answer those questions clearly on the home page, or your landing page from a social media or other marketing campaigns.
Stop using tiny buttons
It’s fine to link to another page with a button for more information. But, for the love of all that is holy, please make your buttons large enough to read and press with a fingertip.
Use a person with the biggest hands you can find to test your buttons. If he or she smiles when they’re poking at their phone, you win.
Put “update my mobile view” on your website checklist
Websites can and should be living entities. As your company, products, and brand evolve, so should your content, images, and interactivity. It’s easy to update your desktop view and then forget about your mobile view.
With each new content audit and product launch, remember to see how everything looks, loads, and behaves on your mobile site. You’ll likely catch a few small bugs or significant fixes that would compromise your company image if left unchecked.
Outsource your mobile device website optimization
Now that you know everything about mobile-friendly websites, we encourage you to outsource this element of your business as soon as you can.
Unless you naturally nerd out on web design and have a vast expanse of time for design and testing, consider enlisting expert help with this crucial business task.
Our friends at Romain Berg can provide you with a full website audit, or complete build from the ground up. They’ve been flexing in SEO best practices for decades, and they live to increase your conversions on mobile sites and everywhere else.
Fill out their contact form today and check your mobile-friendly website concerns at the door. They focus on results, not hype.