More than half of American adults own smartphones and one-third own tablets, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project—and more and more of these consumers are using their devices to go online. A mobile-friendly website can boost your business’s sales: According to Google, 67 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a business if it has a mobile-friendly website. Ready to “mobilize” your website? Follow these 10 tips.
1. 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. MobilePhoneEmulator, mobiReady and Screenfly are a few to try.
2. 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.
3. 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. It’s OK to use images, but use smaller sizes and compress the images so they’ll load quickly on a mobile connection.
4. Design for Touchscreens. Clicking on a tiny smartphone screen is harder than using a computer mouse. Avoid user frustration by making sure that buttons and links are big enough to click on easily, and putting plenty of white space around them so users don’t accidentally hit the wrong link.
5. Limit the amount of Text Users must Enter. Filling out lengthy forms on a smartphone or tablet is tiring. Wherever possible, use dropdown menus or a list of choices so users can tap a selection rather than type in information.
6. Cut down on Content. When they’re squinting at a small device, your customers don’t want to read a lot of words. Streamline your content so they can get the key points of your message quickly.
7. Simplify Site Navigation. If your standard website has a lot of menu options or tabs, consolidate them into a shorter list of navigation options for your mobile site. Focus on the choices mobile users are most likely to care about—for instance, they don’t need to see your restaurant’s “About Us” page, but they do want to see your “Menus.”
8. Make Email Messages Mobile-Friendly. In a Constant Contact study, 80 percent of smartphone owners say it’s extremely important that emails be readable on a mobile device, and 75 percent say they are “highly likely” to delete an email if they can’t easily read it on their smartphone. Consider using an email marketing provider like Constant Contact, which has templates already formatted for mobile devices. Constant Contact even offers free workshops on developing mobile-friendly emails, or visit your local SBDC for help.
9. Think Mobile when being Social. Four in 10 social media users regularly access social media from their mobile phones, the Pew Internet and American Life Project reports. Keep posts short so customers can quickly enjoy them 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!”
10. Get Help. Visit the SBDC for help making your website mobile-friendly. They can help you assess your options, including services like bMobilized, Dudamobile, Mobify and MobilizeToday that convert your existing website to a mobile-friendly one.