Less than twenty years ago, there were no smartphones and hence no mobile sites. This was also the time when Optimum cable didn’t have enough coverage and Starbucks wasn’t a thing. Much has changed since then with the advent of technology, especially smartphones. These days, most corporations have a mobile-responsive version of their site for people who access their site through mobile devices. The biggest challenge, therefore, is to have a responsive, fast and well-designed mobile version of your website. This blog explores some of the quickest ways to optimize your website for mobile users.
The first step towards creating a mobile-optimized site is deciding what content should be included. Remember, the needs of a mobile user are much different from a desktop user. A mobile user tends to require certain key information areas like store location, timings, and contact information. A simplified mobile version of your site should ideally contain only the information and content relevant to a mobile user. So should you have a store locator? Definitely. Detailed page-long biographies of your staff? Not so much. Also, from a conversions viewpoint, it is better to keep the steps from entry to purchase as simple as possible. There are many ways to do this, from simplified searches to QR codes. Just make sure the process is as simple and easy to understand as possible.
✅ Smart Site Layout
It is a known fact that mobile pages load more slowly than web pages, so you need to keep your mobile site’s pages at a minimum. Additionally, most mobile users do not have the patience to go three or four pages deep into your website. So it is better to have a simplified and streamlined layout for mobile site users to retain them. Go for an uncluttered site, providing limited but efficient navigation. The response to this minimalist approach is a clear sign of improved customer experience.
✅ Uniform Branding Elements
Your mobile site should include branding elements from your website, regardless of how streamlined you want to make it. The importance of this lies in two reasons. Firstly, your mobile site is the first point of information for your audience, and should, therefore, be a reflection of your business values. This includes any branding specifications you have been using on your website. Secondly, existing web users need a degree of comfort when using your mobile site. A similar design will give them the feeling of familiarity, which is invaluable when it comes to retaining loyal customers.
✅ Efficient use of White Space
When designing a site, you must resist the urge to cram in as much information as possible. White space gives a cleaner, crispier and more sophisticated look to your website. But that is not the only concern. White space ensures your users have the space they need to click on a specific button. Your mobile site should have enough ‘padding’ around text to ensure a user is able to accurately select the content. Aesthetics aside, too little white space makes your site cluttered and will spoil the overall user experience.
✅ Reduce Text Entry
Smartphones and tablets can be really annoying when it comes to filling out fields and requirements. Recognizing this, it is important to reduce the amount of text entry required on your website. You can do this by using drop-down menus, pre-populated fields, and checklists wherever possible. This helps to reduce the hassle, visitors on your website go through when entering information. The idea is to cut down on the amount of text a user must enter to reach a certain goal. The less this information, the less trouble your mobile users will go through.
✅ Use Mobile Redirects
A business cannot get the desired results without redirects to its mobile sites for users on a mobile device. These redirects detect if a visitor is on a tablet or smartphone and redirect such users to the mobile-optimized version of your website. Any person who searches for your website or enters your web address will be redirected to your mobile site. This helps you present information in a way that is suited to the device being used to access your site.
✅ Avoid Java or Flash
One good reason for avoiding Flash on your mobile site is that Apple does not support it and has no intention of doing so. Apple users constitute almost 30% of mobile users. No business can afford to alienate such a significant chunk of their audience by sticking to Flash. Similarly, many contemporary phones do not support Java. Additionally, Java can cause increased load-time, which is bad for mobile-optimized sites anyway. Avoid both when building a mobile-optimized site.
Mobile sites are an entirely new landscape for marketing. Designing and building a mobile site can be a challenging task, to say the least. However, mobile devices offer businesses a unique opportunity to showcase their brand and reach a larger audience. This is because, like me, most people now rely on their Optimum internet only instead of the entire phone/internet/TV bundles. As a result, dependency on smartphones is at an all-time high. The time is ripe for you and your business to develop a mobile-optimized site, taking full advantage of mobile interaction.