About 50% of consumers in the United States use their mobile devices expecting to find the information they want or need. The percentage of mobile consumers is likely to only increase. If your website is not mobile-friendly, meaning a user cannot see or use your website on their mobile device, then your website simply won’t be used by those on their phones. Since nearly two-thirds of American adults have a smartphone, it’s only smart to have a mobile-friendly website. Without it, you’ll lose customers.
It would be like walking through a mall, seeing a store you want to explore, and finding that you can’t open the door. You’d just walk on to the next store that you can enter, right? It’s the same with your website. It must be usable for everyone, or they will just go on to the next store.
Making a website mobile-friendly requires the computer programmer to designer and format the site so that it’s easy to read and navigate on a screen smaller than a computer monitor. It’s possible to tweak elements of an existing site until there’s money available for a new site, but those stop-gap measures aren’t a viable long-term solution. If you’re not hiring a website designer or doing it yourself, you will need to ensure that your website template is mobile-friendly. If you’re not sure if your website is usable on smartphones check it out on the Google Mobile-Friendly Test, which will analyze your website and tell you if it is or not.
Mobile-Friendly Website Checklist
- Think Like Your Customer
Design your site in a way that makes it simple for your customer to do common tasks. Identify the most common reasons customers go to your site (get info, buy, etc.) and use the step-by-step process for meeting those needs to design your site.
- Be Consistent
Make sure the design of all of your websites match in look and feel. In addition to reinforcing your brand image, customers don’t have to try to figure out how to find what they need. This is called responsive web design (RWD). In practical terms, this means that all web pages use the same URL and the same code across all devices. Only the display changes in response to the screen size.
- A Standard Font Matters
Custom fonts can give your website a polished look, but those require a large data download before your site can be seen. That translates into a longer wait, a blank screen, and the likelihood that the customer gives up.
- Perfect Pictures
The right image needs to reflect your brand, but it also has to look good. Sizing and cropping impact the user experience. Pictures that are too big slow down the site. Approximately 40% of people will abandon a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
- Don’t Forget Data
Web analytics is a fancy way of saying that your website tracks and collects data for every user who visits your site. Your website designer can include the necessary code to collect the data related to things you want to know. This information can help with sales and marketing initiatives, but it can also help improve your website design and content.
When talking to potential developers, or looking for website templates, be sure your contract includes improvements to your mobile site after the launch. This way the feedback you get from customers, in addition to the data, will make it possible for you to continue to improve your site.
Still not sure if this is worth the effort? Consider this: In April 2015, Google started using a new ranking signal –mobile-friendly sites. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll see a decline in your search engine rankings and you’re not likely to be included in the top results for mobile searches.