Mobile websites are becoming increasingly essential. As more people access websites from their mobile phones and tablets, the need to provide an experience optimised for smaller screens becomes greater.
If people land on your website and find that they cannot navigate it smoothly on their mobile phone, they will likely leave.
And after Google updated its algorithm to give more weighting to mobile friendly sites, you may also find that your site does not appear as high up in the search results when the searcher is using their mobile device.
So how can you optimise your site?
Find out how friendly your site is
You can start off by using Google's tool to find out just how friendly your mobile site is. This will tell you how Google sees your site, and if you have done nothing to optimise it, your site is likely to get a bad rating. However, once you know where you stand, you can take steps to improve your site.
Create a mobile-friendly version
You have two options when it comes to making your site mobile friendly. The first is to create a separate mobile version of your site that will show up when the visitor is using a mobile device. The second is to create a responsive website design.
A separate version is relatively easy to create, especially if you are using a platform like WordPress where plugins like WPTouch will convert your site automatically to a mobile version. You can also hire a designer to create a mobile version for you.
Responsive design is usually more convenient because you only have one website that adjusts automatically depending on the screen size being used to view it. However, it may be a bigger job to get a responsive design, and you may have to hire a professional designer.
At CSI Media, our website designers focus on responsive design and we believe this is the best solution. However, we will be happy to advise you on your options.
Focus on the essential elements
After you have created a mobile-friendly version, you need to focus on various elements to optimise your site. These include areas like the following:
• navigation should be clear and simple for mobile visitors;
• pages should load quickly;
• if you want to sell products directly, make sure the ordering process is simple;
• pay special attention to landing pages, especially any long forms you want visitors to fill in, because mobile users may be reluctant to do so;
• make text easy to read and ensure images are clear;
• calls to action should also be clear and easy to read.
Optimise the experience for mobile visitors
Make sure you optimise your website experience for mobile users. Even if most people still visit you from desktops, this is likely to change in the coming years and you simply cannot ignore mobile visitors.
So set up a mobile friendly website now and ensure you are ready to provide the ideal user experience for your visitors who want to explore your site on their mobile devices.