For almost two years now, the global number of mobile users has been (soaring) ahead of the number of desktop users- and the numbers continue to rise.
This has huge implications on your corporate strategy and the approach you take to marketing your business through your website. More consumers than ever are using their mobiles to search for the products and services that your SME offers, but are you ready for them? Does your website offer an optimised mobile experience when accessed via a smartphone or tablet?
Making your site mobile user friendly doesn’t have to be a hassle, or even break the bank. There are plenty of ways to improve and adapt the content of your current website to keep up with the increasingly mobile demographic.
One option for creating a mobile-friendly site is to recreate a version of your existing one which is optimised for mobile devices. (This approach ensures that all of your content and site features will load correctly on mobile devices while offering the exact user experience consumers get from your traditional website.)
However, an arguably better option would be to create something called a ‘responsive website’; a single site that will render correctly on both computers and mobile devices. This way, all development and ongoing maintenance can be invested into one single site, which saves both time and money.
Another benefit to responsive websites is that you’d avoid Google’s penalisations for duplicated content. This will improve your overall search ranking.
Depending on the services consumers are looking to get from your site, it could even be worth creating a task-orientated mobile app.
For example, restaurant customers might be looking to make reservations or view the menu and check opening times. A mobile app that is strictly used for scheduling, viewing files and giving alerts would be extremely useful to these consumers
There are many online tools you can use to create a simple but effective App, at little cost. Alternatively, you can hire a mobile app developer to create a fully-customised app at a higher cost. However don’t get an app unless you need one (link), as it could be an expensive and unnecessary drain on your time and resources.
Font and button sizes
When it comes to font size, you don’t want to make your users zoom in to read every bit of your content. Make it easy for them by adjusting your font size for maximum legibility; this should be at least 14px, or a minimum of 12px.
As for buttons, you need to make these as large and as visible as possible, reducing the risk that your visitor will miss it or accidentally reach the wrong page. For example, Apple’s design guidelines recommend button sizes to be at least 44px by 44px. Having clear direction and legible information on your site will increase conversions, especially for e-commerce sites.
Make it easy for customers
This leads us on to our next step- make it EASY for your customers to complete their objectives.
Design your site to help make it easier for your customer to complete their most common tasks: from task conception, to visiting your site, to task completion. Ask yourself, what do they want? They may be looking to be entertained, informed or reassured. Whatever they’re looking for, make sure you provide it.
An easy way to do this would be to outline the basic steps of your average customer’s journey. For example:
- Customer clicks on site when searching for beds to buy
- Customer browses through a selection of beds
- Purchases the desired bed
The stages don’t have to be complicated, in fact it’s better if they’re not. Try to streamline the experience and reduce the number of user interactions.
Never stop testing
Once you have your mobile site up and running, don’t forget to test it. Not once, not from just one device, but regularly across a variety of devices. Check every page and every call to action, really put yourself in the position of the user, or ask a complete novice to test it for you. It’s far better that you find an error before a potential customer does.
Make sure that your users can easily complete the most common tasks, and prioritise making these as accessible as possible. Being able to support these tasks is critical to your SMEs growth, and this is why the measure of your mobile site is how well customers can complete their objectives.
However you approach the task of making your website mobile-friendly, you need to make sure it aligns with your strategic goals.
Your business goals, consumers’ needs, and your budget are the most important things to consider. (Match the mobile audience’s needs with the right content and the right ways to get that content, and you’ll create a mobile solution that adds to your ROI rather than just draining your marketing budget.)
MAKE IT EASY FOR THE USER
Integrate mobile into your core business strategy and build a site that is useful for your mobile customers.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT SPEED
Users don’t like to wait for content to load. Use PageSpeed Insights to review and improve the speed of your site.
TEST YOUR SITE
Take the Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your site is mobile-friendly. If you have issues with the tool, ensure Google is crawling your site correctly.