MAKING YOUR SITE MOBILE FRIENDLY WITH SEMALT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What does it mean to be mobile friendly?
- How to know if your site is mobile-friendly or not
- Is responsive design the same as a mobile-friendly design?
- How you can make your website mobile-friendly
More than 50% of the world's web traffic comes from mobile devices and this number continues to grow every year. Also, 80% of all internet users own a smartphone. If your website and its content aren't mobile-friendly, you're definitely losing out on a whole lot of traffic and this could even be blocking your flow of traffic as well as your ranking on Google TOP.
It is, therefore, a necessity to optimize your website and its content for mobile because Google has clearly said that it wants to serve its mobile users with mobile-friendly pages.
What does it mean to be mobile friendly?
Having a mobile-friendly site or content simply means that the content on your webpages is easily consumable not only on desktop or laptop computers but on mobile devices as well.
How to know if your site is mobile-friendly or not
You might be wondering if your site meets the criteria for being called a mobile-friendly site. Meeting these criteria is necessary to avoid the sanctions Google places on sites that do not comply with its mobile-friendliness demands.
Google has its own mobile-friendly test tool which you can easily use to test your site for mobile-friendliness. Once the test is done it will give your site a grade according to its mobile-friendliness level.
Is responsive design the same as a mobile-friendly design?
Okay, let's get the facts straight. You may have probably seen or heard the term, "responsive" design used interchangeably with "mobile-friendly" design. This, however, is not technically correct.
Using responsive design is just one out of other ways to create a mobile-friendly site. For a website to be responsive, it means that the content of the site will always adjust to match whatever screen size it is being viewed on. It is the most popular technique for creating mobile-friendly sites.
How you can make your website mobile-friendly
If your website is already up and running or if you're just about to build one, making it mobile-friendly should be of topmost priority.
Please keep in mind that most of the tips shared in this post favor the responsive design method of creating mobile-friendly pages. That being said, here are some tips you can use to design your website (or redesign it as the case may be).
- Don't use large blocks of text: It is in your best interest to reduce the amount of text on your mobile website screen. Of course, you're going to need words to pass your message across to your visitors but large blocks of text can be pretty overwhelming and look humongous to read.
You may be scaring visitors away if your paragraphs are too long. Ensure that you keep your sentences and paragraphs as short as possible to encourage your readers.
- Use the right font(s): Make sure you use fonts that are clear and easy to read on your mobile site. You don't want a font that makes visitors strain their eyes to read your content. Selecting the right font is important in your web design process.
Your font choices and the way your text is arranged have the power to make your site visually appealing or appalling. You can also use fonts to separate text.
For example, you can use a bold font to represent headers, topics or subtopics while a regular-sized font will be used for the main body of the text.
- Increase your speed: Studies show that about 53% of people will abandon a mobile website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. The longer your mobile website takes to load, the higher your bounce rate becomes and ultimately the lower you will rank on Google TOP.
If you want to keep your page load time as low as possible, try simplifying your design. Avoid any unnecessary heavy images or codes.
You can check your current page speed using Semalt's free web analytics tool. It shows you your page speed scores for both desktop and mobile devices. The tool will also tell you what to do to improve on your speed.
- Make your Menu simple: There are a lot of things you can get away with when designing a website for desktop. However, mobile devices may not be as forgiving due to the fact that they have smaller screens.
You don't want your visitors to always scroll or zoom in and out just to make choices on your menu options.
Make sure you simplify your entire website into the least number of options possible. If possible, ensure that all the options fit on the screen and are visible enough. Look into your website and try simplifying the menu options for users.
- Nobody likes long forms: Don't make users feel like they are filling tax forms when they are giving their information on your mobile site. It may not feel as cumbersome when using a desktop site to fill long forms, but it will be definitely overwhelming having to do that on a smaller screen.
If your forms are too long, you should consider redesigning them. Look into your form and ask yourself if you really need each line. For example, if you're trying to get users to buy a product, just their billing and shipping info is enough - don't ask for their hobbies.
As a matter of fact, the top reason for most shopping cart abandonment is an extended and complicated checkout process.
- Let your CTAs be clearly seen: To get the most out of your mobile site, ensure your call-to-action buttons are very visible. Try not to bombard your visitors with more than one CTA on display - remember it's a smaller screen this time.
For every page, think about its primary goal (new subscription, purchase, downloads, etc.) and let your CTA for that page focus on that goal.
This way you'll be ahead of your competitors since research shows that 53% of websites have CTA buttons that cannot be easily identified in 3 seconds or less.
- Add a search function: Sometimes you may need to have a lot of options on your site. This is especially true for E-commerce websites.
While it is true that having too many options causes confusion for visitors and negatively impact conversion, incorporating a search function into your web design greatly simplifies things for them.
Adding a search bar helps users avoid the stress of having to navigate through a complex menu as they can type exactly what they are looking for.
- Ensure customer support is clearly visible: If your mobile visitors cannot easily contact you for help when they run into issues, it gives your business a bad reputation.
You should ensure you provide every relevant contact information in a visible place on your site, so your visitors can quickly get access to your customer service team.
- Ensure buttons are large enough: Make sure that you design your website button to be large enough so it can be easily tapped by a finger. Remember this is not the large screen of a desktop where navigation can be done with a mouse or keyboard.
75% of smartphone users use their thumbs to tap on their screens, so buttons and other clickable elements should be considerably big enough.
Also, it is quite difficult for people using mobile devices to reach the corners of their screens - so it is advisable to place your buttons and other important elements around the middle of the screen.
- Get rid of pop-ups: Let's face it, pop-ups are usually annoying especially on a mobile site. Remember most people use their thumbs to navigate mobile webpages, pop-ups are usually difficult to close since the small "x" button that appears on desktop or laptop screens will become even smaller on a mobile screen.
Many times, visitors even accidentally click on the ads while trying to close them - they'll end up landing on another page entirely - thus ruining their user experience.
If you must use pop-ups at all cost, you may try to either simplify the forms as much as possible or the second option is to only use pop-ups when a visitor clicks on it.
- Consider having a redesign of your website: If your site is well established, this may not be very feasible as a lot of your audience are used to your website design. But if your website is relatively new, you should try using a responsive theme when redesigning your website. Semalt has one of the best web development teams that can help with your website redesigning.
- Make sure that "widths" are always in terms of percentages: It's time to get a bit techy. If you right click any webpage element and choose "inspect element" (For Google Chrome), a panel will come up.
Click on an element in the window at the left, then the corresponding values will show up on the right window. You should see a value for "width" which can be set in terms of pixels or percentage.
If you set it in terms of percentages, the widths of those elements will adjust as screen sizes change.
- Use media queries: You can still use pixels for the widths of elements if you know how to use media queries. And using media queries is the key to responsive designs.
All you need to do is specify how you want the site to behave on different screen sizes. That's why some pages get resized and even reshaped as screen size changes.
You really do not need all the techy stuff if you buy a good theme or you hire the services of a great web development company like Semalt who build your website with the most up-to-date mobile-friendly and SEO strategies.
Having a mobile-friendly site will help you get the most traffic you can possibly get and improve your overall Google TOP rankings. This means more conversion rates for your business. Follow the tips in this article to make your site mobile friendly and enjoy the full benefits your website has to offer.