Mobile-Friendly – A Must-have Feature of Your Website

It’s now a fact that there are more people using the internet with mobile devices than desktop or laptop computers.

There was a time when having a ‘mobile-friendly’ site was a nice add-on.

Today, it’s a must-have feature of your website.

If you can’t reach your customers through mobile search or display, or you’re not providing a satisfactory mobile experience you will lose out to your competitors who are.

You need to ensure your website is ‘responsive’. This means that it should look good and be easy to browse on both a desktop computer or mobile device.

A visitor to your website using a mobile device should enjoy a comfortable, easy experience in navigating and interacting with your website.

And don’t forget to cater for people with vision impairment or other disabilities.

mobile web design

Why Mobile-friendly?

In June 2007 Apple released its first iPhone.

This ushered in a new age of mobile phone use.

Phones were now used by many to take photos, message others and, importantly, surf the web.

Mobile internet usage surpassed computer usage for the first time in 2016. This was no surprise.

Now you need to optimize all your marketing campaigns and assets for mobile consumption.

The most important online marketing asset you can have is a mobile-friendly website.

on the mobile phone

What Does a ‘Mobile-friendly’ Website Mean?

These days a website must look good on a smartphone or tablet. You mobile-friendly website should have:

  • Easy to read text – without squinting or zooming in
  • Easy, intuitive navigation, with buttons and links large enough to be tapped with a finger
  • Pleasing to look at so the user enjoys the design

planning a mobile website

Your Website Needs to Be Fast on Mobile Devices

  • Did you know that 53% of mobile users abandon sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load?
  • Search Engine behemoth Google penalises sites that take more than 1.5 seconds to load.
  • If your site doesn’t load quickly, then say ‘goodbye’ to a top search ranking and ‘hello’ to missed sales and revenue.

developing a mobile website

Your Website Needs to Be Secure

  • In 2018 Google started labelling websites without an ‘HTTPS’ or SSL certificate in the search bar ‘non-secure’.
  • Sites that had a secure ‘SSL’ certificate instead had the green ‘locked’ symbol, denoting their security.
  • Most reputable web host providers like my preferred one BlueHost [affiliate link] include a free SSL certificate with their hosting packages, so there’s just no excuse for not having one.

smiling mobile phone user

Mobile Site Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

  • In 2015 Google announced that mobile-friendly websites appeared higher in the search results.
  • Better search engine rankings mean more visits to your websites, leading to more leads and more sales.

designing a mobile-friendly website

5 Steps to Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

  1. Make your website responsive and build it for mobile-first viewing – Ensure that the layout and display of the page automatically change based on the size of the device screen.
  2. Make it easy to find key information, such as contact information and services/products – these should always be easy to find on a mobile screen, and your navigation should be minimized.
  3. Make the buttons larger so that people can click your buttons with their fingers. Include correct button labels for people using screen readers.
  4. Use a font and font size that is large and clear enough to be read from a smaller screen. Font size should be at least 16px, black on white background for best contrast (sans-serif is recommended).
  5. Compress your images and files so that your website is fast-loading, and remember that large images, files, and videos can significantly slow down your mobile website. Ensure alt-text for all images for accessibility.

mobile-friendly

5 Tips on What NOT to Do for a Mobile-Friendly Website

  1. Don’t have a separate ‘mobile-friendly’ website. Previously, a separate website was created for the ‘mobile-web’. This website had some content removed and design simplified for the web on mobile devices. This is no longer a recommended strategy. Google penalises us for duplicated content. So, having two websites—one for mobile and one for desktops—with the same content reduces your chance of showing up on Google’s search engines.
  2. Don’t stop testing. Once your mobile-first website is finished, don’t just test it on your own smartphone. Test your website out on an iPhone, an Android, a Windows phone, and different tablets. Test every page, user action, every link and buttons. While you’re testing always put yourself in the position of the user. Even better, ask someone not connected with the website to test it on their phone or tablet for you.
  3. Don’t have pop-ups on your mobile site. It can be difficult and frustrating to try and close pop-ups on a mobile device, which might lead to visitors leaving your site – for good.
  4. Don’t mask log-in forms on mobile sites. I’ve easily logged in to sites on my laptop that I cannot get into on a mobile version of the same site. This is a serious error. You should ensure your site is fully usable to repeat users or customers, especially on mobile devices.
  5. Don’t use Flash, which fell out of favour years ago because it’s bad for SEO. Flash can slow down a page’s load time and there are a lot of browsers and mobile devices where it doesn’t work at all.

*If you would like me to review your website for mobile-friendliness and provide you with some recommendations; or build you a mobile-first website from the ground up, let me know – I’d love to hear from you!

To your online success,

Tom Perry

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