But it’s not uncommon, and the big increase resulted in part because we made our website much more mobile-friendly earlier this year. Overall, nearly every business is seeing increased web traffic from mobile devices as more and more people live their entire lives tethered to their smart phones.
As mobile continues to expand, business owners would do well to pay attention. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you could be losing visitors, leads and sales. Existing customers might also dump you for someone more mobile-savvy.
More Google searches now take place on mobile devices than desktop computers. What’s more, Google keeps changing its search algorithm to grant favored status to websites that are mobile friendly. If more than half of all potential customers who find you via search only to encounter a mobile-hostile website, you will lose business.
In short, you need to shape up and get mobile-fit in order to grab your piece of the mobile pie.
The good news is that many businesses – including an estimated 44 percent of big companies – still haven’t made their websites mobile friendly. So this could be your chance to gain a competitive edge.
Mobile friendly sites have these characteristics:
- They avoid software that’s not common on mobile devices such as Flash.
- They use text that’s readable without zooming.
- They re-size content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom.
- Links are spaced far enough apart so the correct one can be easily tapped.
Here are five things you can do, suggested by experts at CrownPeak (www.crownpeak.com), a cloud services firm that works with companies of all sizes:
1. Choose a responsive website design: A “responsive” site design is one that is accessible and user-friendly on a variety of screen sizes and formats. It automatically adapts to mobile users and presents buttons and information in a stacked format so they can easily scroll through and take actions, rather than just scrunching the desktop version down to something virtually unreadable. With a responsive design you don’t need a separate mobile version of your site. It provides a seamless user experience across all devices.
2. Research your website visitors: Consider how your current customers, prospects and others use your website. Besides optimizing for mobile trends in general, you’ll want to create an experience that fits the unique behavior of your users. For example, you should know which pages your users visit most often from a mobile device. Pay special attention when writing content and selecting images for those pages.
3. Focus on speed: Speed matters in the mobile world. Users expect pages to load quickly on their mobile devices just as they do on their desktops. But web pages tend to load more slowly on mobile devices due to slower network connections or the user’s location. Avoid using large image files, or excessive amounts of images, and use a site design that provides automatic image resizing.
4. Target mobile users first: Although responsive design lets you develop a single site for both desktop and mobile audiences, you might want to think about mobile first. A good mobile experience will usually translate well to the desktop, but the opposite isn’t always true. Keep in mind that mobile users are on the move and looking to access specific information quickly, in small bites. They are researching products, looking for timely information and making purchases.
5. Think small: Consider the small screen experience. Put your call-to-action (CTA) in the top part of the page. Buttons, links and anything clickable should be placed a safe distance from each other to avoid accidental clicks. Keep your content concise. Consider screen size and the mobile user’s attention span when deciding how much information and how many images to include.
How mobile friendly is your current website? It’s easy to find out. Google offers a free analysis tool that rates the mobile friendliness of any website in seconds. To find it, search Google for “mobile friendly test tool.” Just enter your URL and click “Analyze”.
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