But have you ever tried to access a website that wasn’t smartphone-friendly? It’s nearly impossible: pinching and zooming to get your finger in just the right spot to click the link you need, or scrolling from side to side just to be able to see or read all the content on the page. It’s no fun.
Conducting business on a mobile device is a trend that isn’t going away - in fact, it’s only going to increase from here. If your company’s website isn’t designed for use on a smartphone, you’ll be left in the digital dust. If you want to ensure that consumers will choose your business over your competitors, you’re going to have to get mobile-friendly.
SEO: The Need for a Mobile Site
For quite some time now, Google has given higher rankings to websites with mobile pages, boosting the views and clicks those websites receive. This kind of search engine optimization is great for someone seeking an answer via Google, and it can be great for your company too, if you know how to boost your ratings with a strong mobile design.
Within the past year, Google has changed its algorithm again, this time also awarding higher rankings to websites with mobile pages that load faster than their slower counterparts, who show up further down in the search results: even if they have a mobile page. In fact, these desktop sites, or slow-to-load sites are pushed so far down the page, they might as well be invisible!
So now, the speed at which your mobile page loads is almost as important as having a mobile page at all! If you think your webpage can be getting higher traffic, you’re right: It can. One major way to help boost your SEO and be seen by the new customers you’re seeking is to develop a mobile site that is clear, user-friendly, and quick to load.
A High-Quality Viewer Experience
Technology is advancing at breakneck speed, matching the tempo of today’s world. People don’t have time to wait for web pages to load; they expect to be able to get the information they need in a matter of seconds. If your website does not have mobile formatting, it takes longer to load, and sometimes it won’t even load at all!
With high-speed internet available at nearly every turn, consumers expect a webpage to load in just about 2 seconds, and 40% of consumers frequently give up and leave a page if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds’ time. You can reduce your bounce rate with a quick-loading, scannable site. Don’t lose out on a potential new customer merely because your webpage didn’t load fast enough on their mobile device.
Another reason to upgrade your website to include a mobile-friendly format? Visitors to your webpage will have a much more pleasant time interacting with your website on their smartphone if your page is mobile-compatible.
Give it a try: Try to load a desktop version of a website on your smartphone. The information is poorly organized, it’s hard to find what you’re looking for, and you may even be frustrated by trying to get around. It’s a hassle.
Removing this hassle with a streamlined, easy to navigate page will keep visitors browsing longer than if they were struggling through a non-mobile version. They’re more likely to do business with you if they can actually use your website.
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A Strong Impression of Your Strong Brand
The impression consumers get about your company from your website is a major part of your brand image. Brand image is not something that you can just manufacture: Your customers form their own opinion of your company as they interact with you, your services, and your website.
Your website is the 21st-century version of a calling card: You can help curate consumer impressions of your company with an accessible, well-designed mobile site.
It’s no secret that people identify themselves with the brands they purchase. And if your website is a challenge to use? They won’t want to identify with your company. But if your mobile site is sleek, modern, navigable, and even delightful? They will be proud to become one of your most supportive customers, and you’ll enjoy a rise in profits.
What Exactly Makes a Website Mobile-Friendly?
If it’s so vital that your website is compatible with a smartphone screen, then what should you consider implementing to make your website mobile-friendly? What are some traits that help keep your web page accessible to the average visitor viewing your page on their phone screen?
You will want to keep these considerations in mind as you begin to develop a mobile site:
- Large typography
- Clean page, free of clutter and excess detail
- Brief, concise, but still informative pieces of text
- Accessible and navigable mobile menu
- Large, vibrantly colored calls-to-action (And keep in mind, color is everything!)
- Minimal navigation on the homepage
Looking for more examples of truly great mobile websites? Hubspot has compiled a list of 21 of the best mobile sites. Each one is sleek and streamlined, easy to use, and is a strong representation of that company’s personal brand. It’s unique to them, and yours can be too.
Mobile-First, Adaptive, or Responsive?
When designing your website to be mobile-friendly, there are three main approaches to mobile design, and each one has its own distinct benefits.
- Mobile-First: Creating a mobile-first website doesn’t necessarily involve a specific kind of format, it’s more of a guideline for building your total website. Previously, websites have been created with desktop computer screens in mind, and then parts of it were streamlined to make it clearer and easier to see on a mobile device.
Now, mobile-first created pages are just that: The mobile version of the webpage is designed first, and any necessary enhancements are added to the desktop version later, if needed. Mobile web browsing has become so popular, that many designers are thinking about the mobile version of a site first.
- Adaptive: Adaptive websites are a great way to bring an older website design into a smartphone-ready format without having to redesign the entire site. It’s like retrofitting the old webpage so that it works well with newer screen sizes. It still gives the developer total control over how the page looks on each device. This is a very useful format for complex layouts that sometimes accompany e-commerce sites.
Most new websites that are being created are skipping this step, instead opting to create totally new, responsive sites
- Responsive: This is the new, current standard in optimizing your website for any kind of device. If you are creating a new site from scratch, this is definitely the way to go. Responsive sites require zero separate site page layouts, and the page layout responds and adapts to each individual screen size. It’s a one-stop shop no matter the device your visitors use.
If you haven’t yet updated your website to match our increasingly mobile world, now is the time! When you offer visitors to your website a pleasant, easy to use, and even beautiful design, not only are you boosting your company’s online visibility, you’re also bringing your company into the present day, and opening your business up to new clients and new business, and what could be better than that?
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