Mobile search is big business. More and more website users are logging in from their smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices. Yet your website doesn’t appear on mobile devices the same way it does on a laptop or PC. You have to create a mobile version of your site or to install a responsive theme that will automatically adjust for mobile devices.
Optimizing your site for mobile users will help you to reach more customers and to drive more sales. Here are a few tips for how you can optimize your site for mobile users:
Focus on Your Core
There isn’t a lot of room on a mobile screen for flashy graphics and a clever design. You have to make the most of every pixel, and that means stripping down the elements so you can focus on your core message. Get rid of extraneous information on your landing page, and get right to the heart of why users are on your site. This could be a display of your products (with the most popular right at the top), or it could be a short blurb about your services, with your contact information or links to your portfolio.
Improve Your Load Times
Smart phone users are often at the whim of cell networks and free wi-fi. Between their connectivity issues and the limited memory and processing speed on smart phones, they aren’t going to experience the same performance they would on a PC. That means that you have to do everything you can to improve load times on your site so you don’t lose users who get tired of waiting for your page to come up.
One of the best ways to improve your load times is to get rid of your photos and graphics, or to pare them down considerably. Most mobile users want to get the information they need quickly, and they aren’t as concerned about the way your site looks. Make sure users have a chance to learn about your message and aren’t turned away by a slow-loading site.
Keep It Simple
With so little space available on the screen of a mobile device, you may be tempted to try to cram in as much as you can to give users as much information as you can. However, just like with your full site, it is important to make wise use of white space to make your site easier to read and easier to use. Too much information crammed into such a tiny space can make it hard to find what you’re looking for, not to mention making it physically harder to click on the tiny links with your big finger.
Make Navigation Simple
Mobile users don’t have a full keyboard or a mouse available to navigate your site. Most of them are typing on small QWERTY keyboards that make entering information tedious, or they are trying to click on tiny links and end up hitting other links instead when their fingers inevitably go outside the small boundaries of the space.
Make navigation simple by creating large buttons, easy and intuitive menus, and lots of bold text against a simple design. The easier navigation is, the easier it will be for users to find what they need and to buy your products.
Provide a Link to the Full Site
Not every user will like the stripped-down version of your site. It’s better to give your customers options than to lose them entirely. Make sure you have a link to your full site so that those users who prefer that version can access it. They may even find more information there that convinces them to buy more of your products.
The mobile market is here to stay, and it’s only expected to grow larger. Make sure you use these tips to help you create a mobile version of your site so that you can continue to tap into that market and to reach more customers.
About the Author:
Bridget Sandorford is a freelance food and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching cooking schools in NYC. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.