If you’ve never considered the question, it’s a good time to look at how your website renders when viewed on a mobile device. Many businesses don’t realize it, but often images appear as broken links, and it’s difficult to navigate a website, simply due to the fact that the screen is so much smaller than a computer screen.
Not sure how yours looks on a smartphone or tablet? Use Google’s free GoMo site to see how your website appears. You’ll be asked several questions, including the purpose of your website (to make online sales? generate leads?) that will provide you with insight into where you can improve and optimize your site specifically for mobile viewing.
What Makes a Good Mobile Website
Again, the smaller size of a mobile device provides limitations to the user experience, so it’s important to simplify what a site visitor sees and make it easier to do the main functions a typical visitor performs. For example, if a large percentage of your website traffic clicks the Store Locator, you can bet they’ll do that even more on your mobile website. Or if there’s a specific product many people buy, this is something you can simplify on your site’s mobile version.
Consider what you can leave for the full version. The news feed, rotating banner ads and Testimonials page may be unnecessary on the mobile version, and may in fact use programming like Flash that doesn’t always render well across multiple mobile platforms. Keep in mind: 61% of mobile searchers will quickly leave a mobile site if they don’t see what they want (or the experience is difficult), according to Google. So it’s important to provide the best experience possible to attract and keep mobile web visitors.
Other features that make for a successful mobile site include:
- Skimmability: your mobile version shouldn’t be burdened with too much text
- Simple transactions: require minimal info for conversion
- Reduced navigation: focus on the key links people want
- Local tie-in: using your business’ local address and info, it’s easier for people to find you while on the go
- Thumb friendly: make sure links are easy to touch with a finger
- Complements your main site: colors and design should be similar to your primary site for recognition
You can also consider using a mobile site redirect, which identifies when someone typing in your web URL is on a mobile device. It automatically sends them to the mobile version.
More and more people are online when they’re on the go. If your site doesn’t deliver an ideal user experience, mobile users will go elsewhere.
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s written two books: 101 Entrepreneur Tips andInternet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as Small Business Trends, CorpNet, and BizLaunch. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.