Mobile is gathering momentum in the online marketing industry. Marketers who have not yet raised their digital communications to the mobile bar yet are missing a large chunk of their targeted audience who are searching for content on their mobile devices. In addition to the users’ growing dependence on mobile devices for browsing, marketers must focus on mobile optimization as mobile-ready websites are surpassing desktop versions on Google’s search engine result pages. Moreover, survey and research findings have repeatedly backed up the significance of creating a mobile-friendly website or making an existing site mobile ready –
- Conversion rate of websites after site visits on mobile devices has been marked 60% higher compared to 23% for sites without a mobile version.
- 52% of Americans use smartphones compared to only 165 million users with compact personal computers they can carry around for web browsing.
- Around 57% site visitors accessing sites using mobile devices abandon sites when the loading time is more than three seconds.
- 48% of visitors who abandon websites when they are not mobile-friendly visit their competitors’ sites and 98% of those visitors do not return.
Is your site mobile ready – how to know?
One of the easiest ways to determine mobile readiness and usability of your website is by using Google’s mobile compatibility testing site , found here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
The tool allows site owners check how their site looks, feels and functions on mobile-based browsers and search engines. The following features and functionalities of a website are what make a site mobile ready –
- Site design and layout including navigation must fit to the smaller real-estate of the mobile screens.
- The buttons must be placed with adequate space in between to enable users to click at the desired buttons without the risks of clicking other unintended tabs or buttons.
- Users must be able to reach or make transactions with a minimum number of clicks.
- Buttons that are intended for lead generation or sales conversion such as, ‘Call now’, ‘Sign up’, ‘Register now’, ‘Join us’, ‘Buy’, ‘Download’ etc., must be prominent and big enough to easily find.
- Images must be compressed without losing quality in order to lessen the loading time of the site.
- The web pages must be touchscreen-friendly to function and respond well to users’ interactions such as, swiping, pinching, double-tap, scrolling etc.
How do you get a website mobile ready?
There are three ways site owners can transform a site to mobile ready –
Mobile-friendly design requires implementing a layout design which lets the site load perfectly on mobile devices with smaller screens as well as on larger screens such as desktops, notebooks and netbook devices. A mobile-friendly website functions well on all types of devices used for browsing irrespective of the screen-size. To create a site or turn an existing site into a mobile-friendly one –
- The key company contact information such as, phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses or geographical addresses must be textural and hyperlinked – not embedded within an image, which cannot be copied on the mobile screen for instant access to contact.
- Mobile-based browsers are not Flash supported – hence, image slides or streams must not be created with Flash – when visitors cannot view those images or information embedded in images, they are more likely to abandon the site!
- Test image sizing which determines the loading time of the website – make sure the image loads even over slow mobile data connectivity or Wi-Fi connectivity.
Mobile optimized design
The idea of creating a mobile optimized site is a bit more sophisticated than a mobile-friendly website design. Mobile optimization techniques make the site more fluid and responsive when accessed on any handheld device, whether it is a smartphone or tablet. The design usually dictates planting visibly bigger navigation buttons than those on desktop versions, image properties are optimized to mobile screen space, and content to be reformatted for the ease of reading on mobile screens (such as, single column content rather than multiple ones on desktop-ready sites).
Most of the prospects and buyers enter the site or landing page through email, newsletter, social media ads or other sources on their mobile devices. Thus, with a mobile optimized website, you can increase the odds of getting higher rates of unique visits, engagement, lead generation or conversion.
The following features are the must-have elements of a good mobile optimized design:
- Navigation button and hyperlinks are simplified for thumbs and fingers to click on the desired options or contact details.
- Reformatting textual and visual content of the site to the mobile screen length and width to making it easier for users to take the desired actions such as, sign up, join, download or arrive at the buying decisions faster.
- Reducing the size of visuals and graphic elements to prevent them from overlapping on important information, such as, lists of products.
- Keep a desktop version of the website ready to enable visitors to easily access as well.
- Make users type less and click more – typing on the site will require the keypad to popup on the screen hiding the important texts on the site.
Responsive web design (RWD)
The responsive web design has been introduced to refine the mobile website experience. This method of design is to create a fully fluid and flexible website that fits in all screens, irrespective of the size and the type of device. The layout of responsive design does not get molded into any particular type of browser or device in use; rather it changes the orientation of the site by combining re-optimization and re-formatting techniques. The following are the features and elements of a good responsive web design that makes a site extremely mobile ready:
- Webmasters or site owners can update or add content to the website without worrying about the different versions browsers and screen real estate.
- The mobile segment option in the RWD layout enables site owners to track the traffic received on the website coming from the mobile users, giving them more opportunities to optimize the site making it more engaging for mobile users.
- The one URL optimization of responsive website layouts makes the site more search engine friendly along with making it more mobile ready. This feature makes a single URL structure for sites irrespective mobile or desktop versions, thus, increasing the performance and popularity of sites on various search engine result pages.
- The responsive design perfectly readies sites for mobile versions and increases the opportunity for sales by optimizing the site to users’ preferences and enhancing the users’ engagement on the site.
- A responsive design resizes all types of content including the text, images, and videos per the sizing of the device before loading.