By Alex Neighbour

7 Tips to Help Make Your Small Business Website Mobile Friendly

Businesses | Mobile

If you’ve been doing any kind of inbound marketing over the last few years, then you’ve probably heard about the need to optimize your small business website for mobile use on at least one occasion, and for good reason – mobile penetration continues to increase every year, and more mobile users are accessing the internet via their smartphones or tablets on a regular basis.

Just consider these facts:

  • Around 50.3 percent of all e-commerce website traffic is generated by mobile devices.
  • Almost 60 percent of all mobile consumers around the world use their mobile devices as their primary or their only device for accessing the Internet.
  • Around 70 percent of all Australian’s own smartphones, with 55% owning an iPad or other tablet.

These are pretty telling numbers, but it should have been obvious from the way mobile use was trending over the last few years that it was only going to grow. Making sure that your website is optimized for mobile use will ensure that a large section of your target audience won’t abandon your site because it won’t display properly or is difficult to navigate on their mobile devices. If this wasn’t enough of a reason to optimize your website for mobile use, then keep in mind that earlier this year Google updated its algorithm in order to reward mobile-friendly sites by ranking them higher on mobile searches – meaning that sites that are not optimized for mobile use will experience a drop in ranking on mobile search.

Now that the importance of mobile optimization has been established, you’re probably wondering how you can actually go about making your website more mobile-friendly. Here are seven tips for optimizing your website for mobile use:

Use a responsive design
While you could create a separate mobile version of your website, it’s generally a better idea to just implement a responsive design. A responsive design makes use of flexible layouts, flexible images, and cascading stylesheet media queries. This will allow your website to be displayed properly no matter what size the screen it’s being viewed on is.
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Avoid Flash
Flash can make your website more interesting on a desktop, but it’s going to cause issues when mobile users attempt to view it. This is because most mobile devices don’t support Flash. Replace any use of Flash with a compatible technology, such as HTML.

Optimize your image sizes
The bandwidth of mobile devices is much smaller than that of the bandwidth of a desktop, which means larger images can cause the site to load more slowly. Try to use the smallest possible file size for your images while retaining their clarity so that your site loads quickly on mobile devices.

Don’t go crazy with your fonts
Sure, there are thousands of different fonts available online that could give your website a unique look. However, using custom fonts on your site will often result in mobile users being prompted to download these fonts to their phone in order to view them. For the most part, visitors aren’t going to want to bother with this task and will simply go to a different website instead. Stick with standard fonts.

Use larger font size
Your website’s font size may look fine on a desktop, but it may require a magnifying glass to make out on a smartphone. Use a larger font size and consider using a font that is clearer and easy to read (in order words, avoid ornate cursive-type fonts). For font size, it is reccomended to be at least 14px for maximum legibility. The only time you should be going smaller, to a minimum of 12px, is on labels or forms.

Make call-to-action buttons easy to click
It can be difficult and frustrating to try and click a link with small anchor text. The last thing you want is for users to have to zoom in to your page so that they can click on the link with their thumbs. Consider using large call-to-action buttons that can be easily tapped instead of text links. Apple’s design guidelines recommend button sizes to be at least 44px by 44px, with Google reccomending 48px by 48px. This will help maximize the user’s experience on their mobile device.

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Optimize your website for local SEO
Mobile optimization and local search go hand-in-hand. This is because many consumers do local searches on their mobile phones. Consider this – almost half of all local searches result in mobile users visiting the website’s physical store within a single day. Around 18 percent of all local mobile searches result in a sale within one day. This means that you should use local keywords, such as the city name, as well as provide your NAP (name, address and phone number) to local directories, such as Google My Business or Yelp.

Not only will your website lose mobile users as potential customers if your website isn’t mobile friendly, your mobile search ranking will drop as well. At this point in time, not optimizing your website for mobile use can put you at a real disadvantage with your competition. Be sure to optimize your website for mobile use by following these seven tips.

 

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