Mobile User Responsive Websites Are the Way to Go
Wherever you are, whether it's on a bus, in a restaurant or in a park, you'll see people on their smartphones or tablets. It might seem like smartphones are taking over the world, and you would be right. Worldwide there are 1.3 billion smartphone users with that number expected to increase as the technology becomes even more accessible. People are spending more time on their devices and accessing the Internet more often through them. In fact, 25 percent of smartphone owners use their device as the main way to access the Internet. Despite this, 45 percent of companies still have not adopted a mobile strategy. If you fall into this group, it's time to change gears and jump on the bandwagon before your customers move on to your competition. Below are some handy tips on how to optimize your site for mobile.
Streamline Your Site
Mobile screens are much smaller than those for desktops and laptops so what might look fine on these devices will be too cramped or difficult to navigate on a smartphone or tablet. Only provide the most essential information to make the user experience clear as too much information will ultimately be both distracting and frustrating. As well, keep these other tips in mind:
- Avoid blocks of text on your pages. Mobile users have a short attention span and want to get to the heart of the matter as much as possible. If you do need to write long posts or articles, break it up with bolded headers and break up your paragraphs.
- Keep your file sizes as small as possible. As powerful as the top smartphones might b, most people own devices that do not have fast processors or internet connection. Large file sizes can significantly slow down page load speeds. Considering that you only have about four seconds to capture a visitor's attention, a slow loading site can have a disastrous effect on your conversions.
- Use as few form fields as possible and keep them as organized and easy to use as possible. When possible, use simple checkboxes or radio boxes and keep the typing to a minimum.
Make it Responsive
Even if you haven't heard of the term, you've definitely interacted with a site that has a responsive design. As the name suggests, responsive design means a site that will adjust itself based on the device used to access the site. It works by using fluid, proportion-based grids and flexible images. With a responsive design you only have to worry about managing one website and one URL. The downside, of course, is it can be costly to redesign your entire site. In this case, it might make more sense to create a separate mobile site that focuses on the main actions your visitors take. Whether you go the responsive or separate mobile site route, Google will rank you better in searches so long as you are optimized.
Incorporate Visual Content
Images and videos are an excellent way to communicate your message to visitors in a quick, efficient and engaging way. Not only do they take up less space on the screen, humans in general are more drawn to visual content than text. Use images and videos as much on your site as you can without affecting your page load speed. Of course, you can't just put any old visual content on your site. You want something that will evoke some kind of connection and reaction that will entice your visitors to take action. This will require you to know your audience and understand what they want when they search for businesses similar to yours. One of the best things to do is to visit your competitors and take notes on what works and doesn't about their mobile site and then work from there.
The number of people dependent on their smartphones and tablets is quickly rising and if you want to future-proof your business, now is the time to go mobile.