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6 Ways to Ensure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
by Shelly Jackson Buffington
January 11, 2024
Person browsing a website on mobile device

For any business these days, a mobile-friendly website isn’t an option—it’s a necessity.

You might be surprised to know that more than half of all web traffic is generated from mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, Android phones, and tablets. Now, more than ever, if a business’s website isn’t mobile-friendly and easy to view on a small screen, a brand could miss out on more than 50% of potential customers.

In 2020, almost 4.5 billion people worldwide use the internet, and a large majority—3.9 billion people—access it via a mobile device.

If your site isn’t optimized for mobile consumption, your brand isn’t sustainable and business will likely suffer.

What does it mean to be mobile-friendly?

When your website is mobile-friendly, it’s designed, developed, and optimized for users on all standard mobile devices.

How mobile-friendly is your website?

You can use this Google tool to test if your current website is mobile-friendly. This simple test takes less than one minute to assess how your site stacks up. You’ll learn what usability errors occur on your site and how you can improve.

Why is it important to be mobile-friendly?

Aside from the fact that more and more internet users and consumers are using mobile devices to scan the internet and shop online, mobile-friendly websites benefit from a host of other advantages, too. For example, Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites, which means your business can’t afford to be mobile-unfriendly. Google is responsible for almost 95% of all internet search traffic, so if your website is pushed down on the search rankings, you’ll miss out on important exposure and business.

6 Things You Can Do To Mobile-optimize Your Website Today

1. Prioritize Easy Navigation

When a website isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s often difficult to navigate, view, and use on a mobile device. Website visitors might have to zoom in to read content or scroll endlessly to find a button or link on which to click. This kind of website experience is frustrating, and users are more likely to abandon the site. In order to prevent unnecessary bounces from your website, make sure you prioritize easy navigation. Enlarge buttons, text, and menu options. Touch screen navigation can lead to accidental clicks if your buttons are too big, too small, or in the path of a finger that's trying to get the page to scroll.

2. Make Sure It’s Responsive

When a website is responsive, it’s easier for the site viewer; it minimizes scrolling, panning, zooming, and—most importantly—confusion. Website visitors don’t want to be confused when they land on your website; a confused customer never acts.

Responsive design makes the experience enjoyable for every visitor, regardless of what device they use to view your site.  Responsive design uses a grid system which means the page is divided into columns (typically 12) that are sized at 100% of the width of the browser. This grid is fluid and flexible and the content within it can adapt and rearrange itself (move, stack, etc.) to fit the screen size. The term "responsive" is used because the grid and content within it can recognize and "respond" to the size of the screen on which it appears.

To ensure your website is responsive, hire a professional developer to build your site, or create it using a responsive platform like Squarespace.

3. Don’t Block Javascript, CSS, or Image Files, and Stay Away from Flash

Without getting too technical, Javascript and CSS allow Google to view your website as a viewer and then properly index it for optimal search rankings. If your website blocks the Googlebot’s access, it can result in lower rankings and less visibility.

Avoid Flash—it’s not supported by Android or iOS, so even if you use it, it won’t appear on mobile devices; this will lead to users seeing an error that reads something like “Unplayable Content.” This kind of error will likely confuse your viewer and cause a less-than-satisfactory experience.

4. Optimize Images

When dealing with images, make sure you only include high-quality photos and graphics.

Refrain from using images that are too small or low-resolution. Maintain consistency by ensuring that the mobile site and the desktop site both have the same alt text for images, which is the text used to describe an image.

5. Stick to Standard Fonts

Standard fonts are much easier to read on small devices; they’re web-safe and compatible with HTML/CSS. Many devices like Android and iOs come with preinstalled web-safe fonts like Open Sans, Lato, or Roboto. You'll also want to ensure you optimize font size for mobile—16px is generally the rule for the best font size for body copy on mobile. What may appear a good size on your desktop may appear tiny on a phone and tiny text on a tiny device is a big strain on the eyes. You can control font sizes on different screens with media queries. A good rule of thumb is to avoid using highly decorative script fonts because they will be hard to read on a small screen. Choose a clean, simple serif font like Georgia or any common sans-serif font like Roboto for a long body of text. 

6. Keep Your Language Clear

When branding for mobile, strive for shorter subject lines, less text, and include large CTA buttons (but not so big that they take up the entire mobile screen). With the rise of mobile, there’s a trend that prioritizes easy-to-digest content. Assess your current online content. Look at your website, blog, and email marketing. Where can you simplify without losing the core of your message? Think intentionally, and be as strategic as possible in your culling. When you write your content, be sure to craft the same clear headings on mobile that you do on desktop.

About the author
Shelly Jackson Buffington
Shelly Jackson Buffington, MBA, CPC is a writer, podcaster, and certified professional coach based in California. She's the Co-founder of The Look & The Feel, an award-winning branding agency. With over 15 years of experience supporting organizations in their messaging and communications efforts, Shelly helps entrepreneurs find more ease and enjoyment in what they do.
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