Smartphones have become an essential part of our everyday lives. We use it to schedule our meetings, to read the news, to watch movies, and to shop among many others. Today, we barely know anyone who leaves their house without their smartphone at their disposal.
For consumers, this means having the convenience to access almost anything directly from their phone. For business owners, this means you must always ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.
According to Statista, there are currently 3.5 billion mobile users worldwide. This number is expected to even rise to 3.8 billion in 2021. Mobile web traffic also accounts for 52.6% of global web traffic. This means that more people are accessing websites through their smartphones.
Given these data, it’s very important that you optimize your content and make your website mobile-friendly. If your audience doesn’t get a good experience from browsing your website through their mobile, you are likely to drive away a portion of your web traffic and hurt your search engine rankings in the process. Google is adamant about providing mobile users with mobile-friendly pages and not meeting this requirement could prevent you from getting more traffic.
Simply-put, a mobile-friendly website is one that doesn’t only appear good on desktop but also on mobile devices.
This means that your content must have a responsive design, the text is readable, the links are clickable, and the navigation is easy to use.
Still not sure if your website is mobile-friendly? Use Google’s mobile-friendly test tool. All you have to do is drop your website’s URL in the box and run it through. Aside from giving you a quick answer to the question, this tool also provides a screenshot of how your website looks like when viewed from a smartphone. It also provides additional resources and insights on how you can make your website’s mobile browsing experience better.
The easiest way to make your website mobile-friendly is by choosing a responsive website design. A responsive design shows the same content and information on both desktop and mobile platforms, but the appearance of the site changes and adapts to the size of the screen where it’s being viewed from.
By choosing a responsive web design, you’re not only making the mobile experience good for your audience, but you can also potentially increase your traffic and SEO ratings since Google can automatically detect this setup.
Remember that people usually use their smartphones to search for something. If they come across your website on mobile, frequently asked questions about your product or services should be easy to find.
Think about the main goal of your website too and make this more prominent on your page. For example, if you’re a travel agency, booking tickets and hotels can be the first thing that users see on your home or landing page.
Keep your web design minimalist and clean. Avoid large chunks of text and clutter as much as possible. A ‘busy’ or cluttered website can already look confusing on a desktop — imagine how it would look like on a smaller screen.
Remember to make your CSS and images light as much as possible too. What does this mean? Your CSS and images carry a ‘virtual weight’ in the form of a code or a file size, and this affects your website’s loading time. Compress your images or opt for a third-party app where you can host your media.
Flash isn’t supported on mobile, whether the user is accessing it from an Android or iOS device. It can also slow down your webpage’s loading time, which could hurt your SEO ranking.
Pop-ups are best avoided on mobile. When you’re reading from a smaller screen, an ad or a pop-up can block your whole view of the page. More often than not, users will just exit your website when this happens.
If pop-ups are really an essential part of your website, the best course of action is either to disable them for mobile or make sure that the ‘X’ is large enough so that users can easily see it and click on it. It’s also best to make the pop-up only appear after they scrolled down to the bottom of the page.
Use bigger buttons and be thoughtful about where you place them. When accessing your website through a desktop, it’s easy to find the navigation buttons and just click away with your mouse. But when viewing a page from your smartphone, you’re dealing with a smaller screen and only thumbs to click away.
Enlarge your buttons and think about you hold your phone. This should guide you on where you should place your CTAs and navigation links.
You don’t want your users to squint while reading your information from their mobile. A font size of 14px or higher is recommended on desktop, but make sure to test if this works for mobile too. Chances are you need to bump it up a bit and increase your font size for mobile if it looks better.
Check out the readability of your font too. Stick to basic and standard fonts; any font that the user still needs to download can slow down your website’s loading time.
Let’s face it: no one wants to view a slow-loading web page, whether on desktop or mobile. If your webpage takes a while to load, your audience won’t wait around.
In data collected by Google Research, the probability of your bounce rate increases to 90% if your mobile web page takes around 5 seconds to load. Anything longer than this will likely make your audience exit from your page entirely.
To ensure your website’s speed, be sure to compress your images and text. When it comes to mobile, less is better and faster.
Shorten your forms. Keep in mind that mobile users are always on the move. Make sure that all forms you have on your website only ask for basic and essential information. No one wants to fulfill a form that demands too many details.
Save your users the stress by turning off autocorrect too. In the input field, double-check to see that autocorrect=off is included in your HTML.
The best thing to do to make sure your website is still in tip-top shape and runs smoothly on mobile devices? Test it regularly by viewing it from your smartphone! Regularly check your website on different mobile devices and browse to see if there are any small issues or areas of improvement. The key to ensuring that your audience always gets the best mobile experience of your website is to perform regular tests.
A mobile-friendly website will not only provide your audience a good experience of your webpage when access from mobile, but it will also help you as the website owner to get more web traffic and to improve your SEO ranking. The more mobile-friendly your website is, the more likely it is for users to find your website first rather than your competitors when searching for the products and services that you offer.