Posted by Jeff Adelson-Yan (@jeffadelsonyan)
Today, people are increasingly turning to mobile phones as a main way to access the Internet. But creating a mobile site for your company means more than just making sure it fits on the screen of a smartphone. Instead, there are a variety of different factors marketers need to take into account to ensure their websites result in a great mobile experience for visitors. Thanks to Google, below is a list of 10 best practices for making the most of your mobile site.
1. Keep It Quick
Visitors to your mobile site are oftentimes on the go and short on time. That’s why it’s important to keep load times short and copy easily scannable. Do this by prioritizing content mobile users are likely looking for, using bullet points instead of large text blocks, and compressing large images.
2. Easy Navigation
For many customers, nothing is more frustrating than a mobile site that is difficult to navigate. They’ve come to your site for a reason and likely know what they’re looking for, but your mobile site is making them jump through hoops just to get to the information they need. Avoid the confusion by making your navigation clear and possibly even including search functionality for larger, more complex sites.
3. Be Thumb-Friendly
Keep in mind, visitors to your mobile site aren’t using a mouse to navigate – they’re using their fingers and especially their thumbs. Reduce those frustrating, accidental clicks by using large, centered buttons and allowing them some breathing room. Designing your website with this in mind will make it easier for people to interact with it, particularly those with large hands.
It’s hard enough to see websites on a mobile device, so don’t make it any harder. Design your mobile site so it’s easy to read on a smartphone or tablet by creating contrasts, using plenty of negative space and using size and color to indicate button/link priority.
You want your site to work across all mobile devices and all handset orientations – a feature not available with a site designed using Flash. Instead, use HTML5 for better interactivity and animation options.
6. Make Converting Simple
Whether your goal is for customers to make a purchase, request a quote or just contact you through your website, it needs to be easy for them to do on a mobile phone. Focus on providing information that will aid in conversions, keep the number of steps to a minimum, keep contact forms short and use click-to-call functionality when possible.
7. Cater to Locals
When looking for local information, consumers turn to their mobile devices. Make it easy for them to find and get to you. Include your address or store locator on the landing page, include maps and directions, and allow users to check stock at nearby stores.
8. Make It Seamless
Throughout the day, consumers are hopping from one screen to another – a desktop while at the office, a laptop while sitting on the couch at home, or a mobile phone or tablet when on the go. Create a seamless experience by converting as much of the functionality of your desktop site to your mobile site as possible.
9. Use Redirects
A mobile site redirect can tell what kind of device visitors are using and can then send smartphone or tablet users to the mobile-friendly version of your site. When implemented during your mobile site’s development, customers are able to get the best version of your site depending on their needs and accessibility.
10. Listen, Learn & Iterate
Your mobile website should be user-centric, focusing on your customers and providing them with the best possible mobile experience. Don’t be afraid to ask your desktop site users what they want in a mobile site. And as usual, testing and optimization should be an ongoing process.
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