More than three-quarters of American adults – 77 percent — own smartphones and over half own tablets, according to the Pew Research Center, and an ever-increasing number of those consumers are using their devices to surf the web. According to Google, 67 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a business if it has a mobile-friendly website. With that in mind, here are 10 tips if you’re ready to “go mobile.”
BEGIN WITH THE BASICS. Smartphone users are typically looking for directions, hours and contact information. Put that information at the top of your website’s home page where it’s easy to find, along with a link to your address on Google Maps. Include a “click to call” button on every page of your website so customers on the go can contact you easily.
LIMIT IMAGES. Too many images, or images that are too large, will take a long time to load on a mobile device, frustrating prospective customers. Use smaller sizes and compress the images so they’ll load quickly on a mobile connection.
DESIGN FOR TOUCHSCREENS. Clicking on a tiny smartphone screen is harder than using a computer mouse. Make sure that buttons and links are big enough to click on easily, and put plenty of white space around them so users don’t accidentally hit the wrong link.
LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF TEXT USERS MUST ENTER. Filling out lengthy forms on a smartphone or tablet is difficult and exhausting. Wherever possible, use dropdown menus or a list of choices so users can tap a selection rather than key in information.
CUT DOWN ON CONTENT. Streamline your content so customers can get the key points of your message quickly. It is difficult and frustrating to read lots of words when squinting at a small screen.
SIMPLIFY SITE NAVIATION. Consolidating menu options or tabs into a shorter list of navigation options works best for mobile sites. Focus on the choices mobile users are most likely to care about, such as menus for restaurants.
MAKE EMAIL MESSAGES MOBILE-FRIENDLY. It is extremely important that emails be readable on a mobile devices. Some three-quarters of smartphone owners say they are “highly likely” to delete an email if they can’t read it easily.
GET PROFESSIONAL HELP. Emails can look dramatically different on the small screen of a smartphone than on the laptop where they were composed, so consider using an email marketing provider that has templates already formatted for mobile devices.
THINK MOBILE WHEN BEING SOCIAL. Keep posts short so customers can read them quickly and easily on mobile devices. For instance, “Excited for fall fashion yet?” with a photo of your boutique’s new fall sweaters is better than “We are ready for fall—are you? Our store just got a new shipment of XYZ sweaters in tons of cozy fall colors. We are so excited to have you come in and see the new line!”
TEST YOUR SITE. There are a variety of tools you can use to see how your site looks on a range of different mobile devices, from Android phones to iPads.
GET HELP. Visit the SBDC for help making your website mobile-friendly. They can help you assess your options, including services that convert your existing website to a mobile-friendly one.
For more information on making your website mobile-friendly, contact the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County. Conveniently located in Camarillo, California, we’re here to help.