Adults in the United States spend 93% of their weekly mobile-device time accessing the internet. While in the UK 52% of mobile users have smartphones and 39% of them say that their mobile is the main device they use to access the Internet. Thus, now is the right time to make sure you’ve made your website mobile-friendly.
Mobile internet usage has grown rapidly in the last few years. Good internet connection and affordable mobile devices are two reasons attributed to the growth of websites being accessed from Mobile phones.
No wonder, 30% of the website traffic today comes from mobile devices. Making your website mobile friendly is an advantageous or rewarding effort and significantly brings you ahead of your competitors in the global market (if they are behind in the race to make their websites mobile responsive).
According to Google Mobile, Movement Study states that 9 out of 10 searchers have taken action as a result of a smartphone search. And, 95% of users find local information through mobile devices and most of the users searching local information from mobile device are the users, who are ready to buy something from the local store.
Google released a mobile-friendly update to its search algorithm in April 2015 and again in March 2016. The updates have become a part of latest onpage SEO checklist adopted by Digital Marketers all across the globe.
As per the updates, mobile responsive websites are expected to have better rankings than websites which are unoptimized sites in mobile search results. Now, most of the businesses are focusing on creating delightful mobile website experiences.
Here we are the simple steps to build a mobile friendly responsive website:
- Simplify your menus:
When designing your menu options, keep in mind that it is not for laptop or desktop screens as these screens are bigger than mobile screens. The menu of the desktop site can have lot of options and content which can create complications on smaller screens.
For smaller screens eliminating much of the non-essential content and providing only specific content can attract more consumers.
You don’t want website visitors on mobile screens to scroll or zoom in to see all the navigation choices. Everything needs to be concise and fit on one mobile device screen. So, the first step in creating a mobile website is to determine valuable and specific content in your website.
The best approach is to utilize the restricted amount of screen space to define what piece of information your visitors will probably look for.
- Simple navigation:
The navigation of your mobile website needs to be intuitive, clear and easy.
Many favor the “hamburger” menu followed by several lines stacked on the top of each other denoting a drop-down menu. The key to the success of navigation is to understand your website users & audience. Here are few things you need to consider:
- When visitors land on the website – the first thing to catch their attention is the main menu. The menu is usually replaced by a button & opens as a vertical list on the mobile device.
- Reduce the number of categories and levels of navigation.
- Across the mobile site use clear and consistent buttons for navigation.
- Some primary service pages & a footer that connects to the home page.
- Promotion through social media sharing buttons.
- Search option and easily accessible shopping cart on every page of the site.
- Font & button size:
When we are talking about mobile devices, font and buttons size matters a lot. Font size should be at least 14px.
To maximize your legibility,adjust the font size. In some scenarios it may seem to be big so at that time you can consider the smaller size minimum by 12px on labels or forms.
A better practice is to use bigger buttons as bigger button reduces the chances of hitting the wrong button by mistake. For example, Apple’s guidelines recommend button sizes to be at least 44px by 44px.
This results in maximizing user experience on mobile devices and increases conversions.
- Clearly display your CTAs:
To have an effective web design, your call-to-action button must be clear. Since your user would be accessing the website on a a smaller screen ,you must only have one CTA on the screen to get better conversions.
The goal of each landing page should be clearly defined and your CTA needs to focus on the primary goal.
Today 53% of websites have call-to-action buttons which effectively work to increase the revenue. So, strategically place relevant call-to-action buttons which best suits your mobile device.
- Finger-friendly design:
To create a finger-friendly design, plan the mobile UI for main CTA and other buttons. Every button on the small screen should be a touch target. This requires more user attention, effort, and slows down the navigation process.
The best practices for mobile UI suggest that a button should be approximately 45-57 pixels wide so that the finger can comfortably fit on the button.
This will allow them to press the desired button easily. Small visual feedback at times are neglected but we forget “beauty lies in the detail” . Such small details contribute to a good mobile UI design. Thereby, leading to a seamless website experience for visitors visiting the website from mobile phones.
- Build an integrated experience across different platforms:
A mobile website should produce a seamless browsing experience across all the devices. If a user logs in to your website to view information then it should be easy to navigate and accessible on different mobile devices as it is on desktop.
A similar look & feel across various platforms will create a seamless experience for visitors to build strong relationship with your customers that results in higher sales and revenue.
Users are likely to access your website through a variety of devices each with their own aspect screen resolutions and aspect-ratios. So, it is important that your site should be consistent across all the platforms.
- Disable Popups:
In the year 2017, Google turned out their soft penalty for what they call “intrusive interstitials”. This simply means popups. Having pop-ups shown on your web pages on mobile devices dramatically contributes to a bad reduce user experience as visitors are unable to see or access the content they are looking for.
To tackle this, Google is penalizing pages with popups by significantly reducing their search engine ranking. The simplest solution for this is to disable popups on mobile or turn them off. Sometimes, the popup is important. In this case, one can just add content as a section on their page.
- Optimize Forms for Mobile:
If you’ve ever experienced online shopping on your phone, you might be aware of how frustrating it can be to fill the endless fields in the personal information form which you are expected to fill before completing a purchase.
You should design the website to keep your forms optimal (to the point) to minimize the negative effect it might have on your conversion rates.
The best way to achieve this is by minimizing the field and size of the forms to ensure that it meets your requirements and provide a wonderful experience to mobile users trying to use your website to send an inquiry or make a purchase.
One of the simplest example i can think of is the scenario when websites ask for location. Today, websites are easily able to detect location of a mobile by geo tagging. Still, there are websites who love to ask for city, state, ZIP. It’s a big turn off for a mobile user who has a small screen to fill the data.
- Use a mobile-first responsive design approach:
Redesign your site by deploying a mobile-first designing approach using responsive web design practices. And how do you do that?
To start with. Plan how the website will be used on different mobile devices and what type of content is priority.
Responsive design results in the best possible experience at the mobile level but allows for enhancements to the site’s design and functionality as it increases in screen size.
Always keep in mind that your customers are on their mobile device around the clock. Responsive design boosts your traffic because it makes it easier for your customer to share your content.
- Website speed matters:
When it comes to conversions and overall user experience (UX), site speed matters a lot. According to research, more than 50% of web users will abandon a page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
For speeding your website on mobile, use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) – a Google-backed initiative that increases website rendering on mobile devices significantly.
The best way to keep your page loading time as low as possible is by simplifying your overall design. Reduce unnecessary heavy images and flashing lights.
Simple website loads faster & has higher conversion rate.
In today’s highly competitive world your website should be optimized for mobile users.
To do this effectively, simplify your menu choices, keep forms short improve navigation, clean up space on the screen, remove popups, eliminate large blocks of text and make sure your CTAs are clearly displayed.
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