9 Ways to Optimise your Website for Mobiles
A recent study has shown that 52% of users are less likely to engage with a brand if they’ve had a bad mobile website experience. A further 36% of users said they felt as though they’d wasted their time by visiting sites which were not mobile optimised.
A great mobile site experience is becoming more and more necessary. If your site can’t cut the mobile mustard, then your customers are likely to find a good website and go elsewhere.
Have you considered how your site works on a mobile device?
First of all, consider the person accessing your site on their mobile device. The clue is in the name – they’re mobile, on the move or looking for a quick answer. These users are expecting something completely different from your site, and will be using it differently to desktop clients.
Mobile users are typically looking for specific information: an address, a contact number, and store locations. They’re not looking to read whitepapers, open PDFs or read lengthy information about the beginning of your company.
Here are 9 best practices to keep in mind to ensure your mobile site is as good as it can be.
1. Make it simple
Determine what content you’ll feature on your mobile site. Figure out what key pieces of information your customers will be looking for. A store locator is handy, a long ‘contact us’ form is annoying and off putting.
It’s also wise to think of the journey your customer will take from entry point to purchase. Reduce the number of steps your customer will need to take.
2. Plan the site layout
Keep the number of pages on your site to minimum. Pages on mobiles load slower than normal, and users won’t have the patience to trawl through your site.
Keep things as streamlined as possible, this way your users will have a better experience when they’re on your site.
3. Keep your branding consistent
Your mobile site will be much slicker than your real site, but it should still represent who you are as a brand. This is important as it reflects your brand, and a similar design encourages loyal customers to feel comfortable.
4. Make the most of the white space
Desktop websites usually look bland and bare if they have a lot of white space, and there is a natural tendency to pile your website with as much information as possible. But try and resist on your mobile site.
White space makes the appearance of your site cleaner and more refined. It also helps users click the right button, without pushing three at once.
5. Avoid Flash or Java
The main reason to avoid using Flash on your mobile site is purely to appease Apple clients. Apple products don’t support Flash and have said they have no intention of doing so. IPhones make up around 30% of the smartphone market, so you can safely assume that a significant amount of your users won’t be able to see your content.
Similarly, many phones do not support Java, and if they do it can significantly lengthen load times.
6. Cut back on text entry forms
Think about your poor users who have fat finger syndrome. Most of us have struggled to type on tiny keyboards and have pushed an incorrect button at some stage or another. Where you can, help your user, use dropdown menus, checklists and pre-populated fields.
7. Don’t use pop ups
Navigating between multiple tabs and windows is frustrating on such a small screen and slows load times. If you do need to open a new window, inform the user first, and help them back to the original page.
8. Redirect mobile users
Put mobile redirects in place so that your site knows when a visitor is using a mobile device. It should then direct them to the mobile optimised version of the site.
9. Allow visitors to access your full site
You’ve created a lovely mobile site and want visitors to use and love it. But there will always be someone who needs more content, or needs to see something you haven’t delivered. Make sure you include links on multiple pages that take the user to the full version of the site.
Consumer’s attitudes about brands can be shaped by your mobile site. Mobile sites allow you to showcase your brand and creativity in a different way. Keep your user at the forefront of your mind, stay true to your brand and your mobile site will work.