If you’ve been putting off getting a mobile version of your site, or making your site mobile-friendly, you may want to consider, just for starters, these statistics I recently saw from Visual.ly:
- Mobile search has grown five times in the past two years alone
- 52% of all local searches are done on a mobile phone, and
- 9 out of 10 mobile searches end in a purchase
With this in mind, you really cannot ignore your mobile website. In fact, for most small businesses, it needs to become a priority.
We live in a world where mobile is taking over (or has taken over.) More and more, people are using smartphones and tablets as their main access point for the Web, and that means that sites that are not optimized for mobile devices have a problem. If your site is a disorganized mess when someone tries to pull it up on their phone, chances are you are going to lose a potential customer pretty quickly.
Luckily, there a few basic rules that you can follow to make sure that your site is ready for mobile. If you are web-savvy, you can implement these rules on your own site, and if not, be sure to discuss them with your webmaster or whomever it is who is in charge of your site.
Rule No. 1: If it doesn’t fit, they will omit (you): This is basic, but vital. One of the worst problems you can have on a mobile site is having information that sits off-screen where nobody can see it. Your mobile site should present the user with everything they need without forcing them to scroll to find what they’re looking for.
This is especially true with calls to action. If folks cannot see your call to action, chances are they will leave without doing anything at all.
Rule No 2. Keep it simple: You may want to load your mobile site with gobs of information for your visitor, but don’t. On mobile websites, less is more.
Distill your message to its core points, and then highlight those. Utilize white space to make sure your page doesn’t seem like a cluttered mess.
Rule No. 3: Consider spacing: In keeping with the previous tip, you also need to consider the fact that most smartphones are touchscreens, and then plan your interface accordingly. Half a dozen dropdown menus may look good on your real site, but on mobile they are just going to frustrate visitors.
In the same vein, if you place buttons too close together, physically navigating your mobile site will be difficult.
Rule No. 4. Be sure it scales: There are a plethora of devices on the market with variety of different screen sizes, and your mobile site needs to scale to fit them all. If you set up your design to only fit one screen size, other users are going to be left either squinting to see your tiny site or confused by the fact that your site is going off the edge of the page.
Rule No. 5. Optimize for speed: Speed can often be an issue when it comes to phones and tablets, and that same Visual.ly survey indicates that five seconds is all you got – if your site doesn’t load by then, people surf on.
Given that mobile users already have to deal with speed issues from bad cell zones, and that wi-fi is not readily available in many places, you do want your site to be part of the problem. So work to identify those parts of your site that can be optimized to reduce load times and help ensure that your mobile site is loading as fast as possible.
Given that mobile phones are now how most of us get our digital fix, it would really behoove you to make your business site as mobile friendly as possible.