Going Mobile in a Mobile-Based Internet World
April 16, 2018
The number of mobile users seems to be growing in leaps and bounds since the smart phone’s introduction on the tech scene. Unfortunately, for some website owners this is cause for revamping and a change in marketing strategy. To improve traffic, and revenue, it’s more important now than ever before to make your website mobile-friendly. Sites that don’t load properly on mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets, tend to be overlooked in exchange for more favorable sites.
Search engines, like Google, have gotten behind this smart-phone-friendly website strategy, even going so far as to make mobile search indexes for users on their phones. These sites are designed to be accessed from anywhere, whether a user is at home or on the go, and load quickly and efficiently on the small screens of their devices.
Are you considering to get more involved with the smart-phone-friendly website movement but unsure how to proceed? For the most part, websites around the globe have already, or are in the process of revamping to become mobile-friendly. If you’ve yet to jump on this bandwagon, however, here are some tips on ways to get involved.
Keep Things Inclusive
One of the ways that many site owners are entering the mobile game is by creating a secondary website for mobile users only. This may seem like a good idea in theory, as it removes the need to change your entire website to fit small screens and other mobile-only defining factors. However, when you create a secondary website, you take away traffic from your original site. This means that when it comes time for Google to examine and rank your site among its peer websites, it may not do as well as a site which has combined all of its traffic in one area.
In terms of revenue derived by your traffic, yes, you will still be collecting the same number of customers, the same amount of sales and the same number of visitors to your information. But these numbers won’t be seen the same way by Google. It’s also important to consider the fact that many site owners who have two separate pages for mobile and desktop users don’t always include all of the same information in both sites. Mobile sites sometimes shave down information to make pages smaller, easier to read, and more attractive to look at. This means that your users, and Google searchbots, aren’t seeing all you have to offer when scanning a mobile site vs. a desktop centric site.
Be Flexible in Images and Content
The key to a successful mobile-friendly website is to be flexible with content and images. Your website needs to be responsive to the type of device being used to view it. This means that the size and style of text, images, and other content can change depending on the way the user is viewing it. Websites which aren’t flexible in this way could find users complaining of choppy text, images which don’t load properly, or are only partially visible, among other issues.
Size Matters for Mobile Users
When designing the layout for mobile-friendly pages, one of the mistakes designers make is to minimize everything. Sure, it fits better on the screen, but what you might be forgetting is that by making things smaller, you make them more difficult to see, especially on a screen which is already very small. For those who have vision impairment, tiny font is a nightmare, and it only makes viewing your site that much more difficult if the user must zoom in and then zoom back out every time they want to read a page.
User polls have found that website browsers find it annoying when they must zoom in and move the page over, and over, and over, to read the entirety of a paragraph. Information should be large enough to see, while still being able to neatly fit on the page without the need to scroll continuously to the sides to finish a sentence.
Consider YouTube for Videos
You can choose to use your own video embedding to deliver a video to site visitors, but be sure to factor in the way it will change when viewed from different devices and screen sizes. YouTube is a good way to share your videos because it’s already formatted to change size based on the user’s device and screen setup. This means less work for you. If you’re up for the challenge, however, it can be beneficial to use your own video embedding, just be diligent in how responsive it is to your user’s device.
Don’t Disable Buttons
One of the ways that desktop-based websites keep users from submitting multiple submissions on forms and other information gathering tools is by disabling the submit button one it’s been clicked once. This is a good tactic for computers with a solid connection, but not so much for mobile users. Mobile devices, such as tablets, phones, and even some laptops working through WiFi, may suffer from disconnection to servers from time to time. This makes it difficult and frustrating when trying to click a submit button. If disconnection occurs after the first click, a website with disabled buttons makes it impossible for the information to go through. Thus, forcing the user to complete and resubmit the form again.
Mobile-friendly browsing has become a more prominent feature to provide a better user experience. With the new guidelines and indexes being launched by Google, it’s a good time to start mobile-friendly revamping, if you haven’t already.