Today, there is no question about it; every business not only needs a website, but they also need a “mobile-friendly” website that is completely accessible by their mobile audience. Traditional websites were built to perform on desktop computers; not small mobile devices with far less processing power.
How many people do you know who surf the web these days on their mobile devices? You probably answered “a lot.” What happens when they come across your site and it takes forever to load? They leave.
With billions of mobile subscribers across the world, every business needs to ensure that your mobile customers don’t have any problems what-so-ever pulling up and finding what they need on your website.
As a business owner, you may be wondering exactly how to create a mobile-friendly version of your website. How do they work? What content should be added? What content should be left off? What’s the best way to go about the actual design?
There are a lot of questions that need to be answered if you want to have a reliable, fully-functioning mobile website that will help you reach a wider target audience.
Below, you will find 10 mobile website tips that can help ensure that your website will always be accessible to your mobile customers and potential customers:
1. Only Give Them the Content They Need – When creating a mobile website, the first thing you should do is determine what content you will include. So you have to ask yourself “what type of information will mobile users be looking for when visiting my website?” Usually, when people visit local business websites while on the go, they’re looking for basic information such as your address, phone number, hours of operation, menu, and things like that. Don’t overcrowd your mobile site with a lot of unnecessary content and images. Make sure mobile visitors can find the information they need quickly and easily; otherwise, they will leave never to return.
2. Carefully Plan Your Layout – Mobile webpages generally take longer to load than traditional desktop webpages. Therefore, limit the number of pages you have on your mobile site to avoid “slow loading.” When planning your site layout, also be sure to avoid any clutter and confusion; simply design a layout that is easy for visitors to navigate and find the information they need.
3. White Space is Your Friend – Your mobile webpages should have plenty of white space; it is not necessary to cram a bunch of information on your pages. Instead, keep it clean by allowing a little white space, which makes it easier to read as well as easy to “tap” as users navigate to different pages.
4. Landing Pages Should be Simple – There is nothing worse than waiting for a webpage to load and this is especially true on mobile devices. Keep your landing pages short and sweet. Avoid using extra programs that slow down your site such as Flash and Java. Also, while using a few images if OK, avoid using too many images as they can also slow down your loading time.
5. Design for Multiple Browser & Device Compatibility – This is key when building a mobile website. In order to give the user the best possible experience, you will need to make sure that the mobile version of your website is compatible with all internet browsers. Not only that, be sure that your mobile website is viewable on all mobile handsets. Implement a device testing strategy to help you determine whether or not your mobile site is fully compatible across the board.
6. Always Include Social Media Icons – A great way to increase your online presence, as well as increase your ROI, is to have your social media icons linked on your mobile website. This will let a user quickly jump over to your social media profiles right from your mobile site. Many times, people today are in a hurry when surfing the web. So by giving them easy access, you make it simple for them to “Like” you on Facebook or “Follow” you on Twitter so they can stay in the loop with your business.
7. Use Mobile Redirects – Once your mobile website is finished, be sure to use a redirect script on your main website. A redirect script will determine when a website visitor is using a mobile device and then direct them to the mobile version of your site instead of your original site.
8. Provide a Link to Full Site – Sometimes, your mobile website visitors may be looking for info that is not included on the mobile version of your website. Therefore, it is a good idea to always provide a link to the “Full Version” of your website for those who want more.
9. Usability Should be Top Priority – Make sure that your mobile site does not have any usability issues. For instance, the size of the links and the buttons. Are these links and buttons large enough for visitors to click on them without an issue on a mobile device? Also, be conservative with the amount of text that you have on your mobile site. Will users be able to find the information they need without sifting through a whole bunch of extra text?
10. Keep Branding Unified on All Platforms – It is very important to keep the look and feel of your mobile site consistent with your main website and other marketing efforts. While it is advised that you create a smaller, more mobile-friendly version of your site, do not completely change your design and color scheme. Branding builds trust and makes your company and products easily identifiable. If you do a complete overhaul of one site, change them all.
Mobile phone usage is growing at astonishing rates and is not expected to die down anytime soon. As a business owner, you probably see a lot of your customers using their mobile devices to surf the web on a daily basis.
One way to stay in front of these local customers, as well as potential new customers, is by mobilizing your company. Creating a mobile-friendly website may seem like a daunting task, but when done correctly, it’s the best move you can make for your local business.