How to Create a Mobile-Friendly Website for Your Visitors

Let’s start this post with a little exercise. Using a mobile device, access your website.


What do you see?

  • Can you access the pages easily?
  • Can you read the pages easily?
  • Can you find all the important information?
  • Is it hard to use?

Here is the deal: the desktop version of a website might look great but unless it’s mobile-friendly, it might be difficult to view and use on a mobile device, requiring the user to constantly pinch and zoom to consume content. This can lead to a frustrating user experience and subsequently the visitors abandon the site for greener pastures in the form of your competitor’s mobile-friendly site, which is readable and therefore immediately usable.

Did you know that, in the United States, 94% of people use their smartphone to search for local information? Even more interesting is the fact that 77% of mobile searches occur at places where desktop computers are available, namely at home and at work. The translation of these statistics is simple: Whether you are selling products to people or you are running a business blog to build trust and authority among your potential buyers, mobile is critical to your business and your website needs to provide a good experience for users, whether they are using their desktop computer to access it or their mobile devices.

But how can you optimize a website to look good and offer users a full mobile experience?

1. Make your Website Easy to Use for Customers

If you are a large men’s athletic footwear store, your goal is to make it easy for potential customers to complete certain tasks. For example, you may want customers to:

  • Pick your site from the SERPs after searching for shoes or men’s athletic footwear to buy
  • Browse through your selection of products
  • Check out your blog posts and product reviews
  • Get your local address
  • And ultimately purchase some men’s sneakers or men’s tennis shoes

Outline these tasks and design your website so it streamlines the process for users and help them complete these tasks through a minimum number of user interactions. At the end of the day, designing a site to be mobile-friendly is based on the principle of prioritization. Once you know the most important tasks your customers perform on mobile, your site should be designed to support these tasks and support ease of use too. The quality of a mobile site matters!

2. Consistency is Not an Option

If you are optimizing your website for different screen sizes and load times, you need to select a theme, template or design that’s consistent for all devices. This means that you need a setup where the server sends the same HTML code to all the devices but the rendering of the pages changes based on screen size. In short, you need to use a responsive web design whereby how your website pages appear changes or “responds” when it’s accessed from, say, a desktop computer, a tablet or a mobile phone. A responsive web design has a number of benefits:

  • It makes it easy for visitors and potential customers to share and link to your content using only one URL
  • It helps Google and the other major search engines assign indexing properties to pages
  • It’s easier to maintain the pages and requires no redirection to a device-optimized view

3. The Dos and Don’ts of Webite Design for Mobiles

Mobile devices are revolutionizing the way sites are designed. For example, endless scrolling has no place in the world, as we know it today. Some other considerations when it comes to website design for mobile include:

  • Flash

Don’t use it. The plugin may not be available on your user’s phone. If you want to use special effects on certain pages of your site, use HTML5 instead.

  • Avoid pop-ups too

For a user accessing your website from his phone, it can be frustrating and mildly unpleasant to try and close pop-ups on mobile devices resulting in a higher bounce rate.

  • Allow for users with fat fingers

Last but not least, touch screen navigation has its pitfalls, the most significant of which are accidental clicks. Remove buttons that are too big or too small or that lie in the path of a finger trying to scroll down a page uninterrupted.

4. From an SEO Perspective

And finally, for good rankings up the SERPs, signal Google whenever you format a page for mobile. This helps the search engine giant to serve your content to mobile searchers. Also keep all resources you use crawlable, in particular critical files that help render the page.

Related Post:

Website Design & SEO

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