Mobile devices are increasingly important for people of all ages. In addition, the way we use the Internet changes over time. We get more on the go nowadays, with less PC time at work or home.
For businesses like you, a seamless mobile experience on your site is becoming increasingly important. Google has recently announced that mobile-friendliness is now a ranking factor. So if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it could affect your search rankings in the long run.
As a business owner, you need to make sure that your website is optimized so that users can easily access the information they are looking for on their smartphones and tablets.
More importantly, it is a crucial factor in determining whether or not people will visit your site. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, then you’re missing out on potential customers. We will explain further below.
What Is a Mobile-Friendly Website?
A mobile-friendly website is a site that has been designed to work with smaller screens. The websites are usually carefully designed, so they do not take longer to load on a smartphone than those on desktop computers. Thus, when someone visits your website from a phone, tablet, or other small-screen devices, they don’t have to wait long before viewing content.
The main reason why this matters is that if visitors don’t see what they’re looking for quickly, they may leave without visiting any pages on your site. That’s bad news if you want to attract more people to come to your site and buy your product or service!
A mobile-friendly website also displays quickly on phones and tablets and usually does not require any additional app downloads. These features make them ideal for people using smartphones and tablets when browsing the web.
What Is Involved With Making Your Site Mobile-Friendly?
A responsive design is an approach to creating a website that automatically adapts its layout based on the device being used by visitors.
This means that when people visit your site using their smartphone, they’ll see something very different than what they’d get if they were visiting via a laptop computer. Responsive designs also allow users to view your site at multiple sizes without having to resize the browser window themselves.
Responsive web design is a way to designing a single site so it can be viewed on any device screen size. This means that your content should adjust itself automatically based on the user’s viewport width. It also allows you to create different layouts for desktop computers versus smaller screens such as phones and tablet PCs.
For those who have trouble reading on smaller screens, a mobile site is often a better fit, focusing on fewer words per screen and larger tap targets for links and buttons.
For instance, a mobile site can offer similar features and services like desktop, search engine optimization, and social media integration. Google recently announced that it is giving priority to “mobile-friendly” sites in search results, prioritizing those with content relevant to what users are searching for.
But it doesn’t mean that you should give up the desktop site design entirely. If you have a desktop site with a responsive design, it will automatically adapt and take the appropriate size in the mobile form factor.
Why Is Having Your Site Mobile-Friendly Important?
If you want to reach an audience beyond just those visiting your site via computer browsers, then having your own mobile-friendly website can help increase traffic to your business.
Mobile devices account for more than 50 percent of all Internet usage today. While many websites aren’t fully optimized for these devices, there has been a tremendous improvement over recent years, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.
If you’re one of the businesses missing out on this vast market, now might be the best time to optimize your website for mobile use.
Here are the further reasons why having a mobile-friendly website is essential:
Mobile Browsing Is the Most Popular Form of Internet Browsing
The most popular way to browse the Internet today is using a mobile device. This is because people increasingly consume content, including websites and videos on their phones and tablets, which has helped boost the number of people who use their devices for browsing.
According to Statista, 54.8% of web traffic comes from mobile devices in the first quarter of 2021 alone.
Also, thanks to connectivity on your phone or tablet, you can access internet resources whether you are at home, work, or elsewhere. Everybody can browse from anywhere, which means that people will use their devices to connect to the Internet instead of other devices such as desktop and laptop computers.
It Suits People Who Want to Find Information on the Go
If you want them to get all of your information without giving up on what you’re saying, you’ll want to make sure it’s accessible for them on their mobile devices.
When people are on their commute, they might be willing to spend more time on mobile devices, while at home or work, they might be more interested in getting things done. When they are out and about, you might be able to catch their attention for longer than you would if they were at home.
Sometimes people will want to check out your website quickly on their phone or tablet, but then find that some information is missing or the site is too difficult to use.
Mobile-Friendly Websites Are More Effective at Generating Traffic and Lead for Your Business
Mobile-friendly websites are significantly more effective than non-mobile-optimized sites at generating traffic and leads for a business. In addition, a mobile-friendly website will make you more attractive to search engines, which creates more Internet traffic than sites that are not optimized for mobile.
Besides offering a better experience for people using mobile devices, mobile sites can help your business, whatever it is in. For example, the faster the loading time of your site, the better the search engine optimization results will be.
Mobile users are often on a time crunch and need answers quickly. They also may not have an unlimited mobile data plan and need to use their phone sparingly.
A mobile site that promptly provides content can help them find what they are looking for and get back to what they were doing with no delays.
Mobile-friendly websites also tend to be longer-lasting because visitors tend to stay longer on a mobile device. This meant that a mobile web page might generate more visits than a desktop site and lead to long-term relationships with buyers and leads.
You can even offer content downloads on mobile-friendly sites, just like how you would do on desktop sites.
It is also a great way to attract more people who want to browse online but don’t want to download or install anything just yet.
Users Are Looking for Quick Answers
Related to the previous point, users want answers fast. When searching for products or services, people expect results within seconds. If they cannot find what they are looking for, they won’t bother going any farther.
This is why having quick access to information is important, and a mobile-friendly website makes this possible by providing easy navigation and making it easier to read text.
And when those results come up, they expect to see relevant content without having to scroll down too far.
People Use Mobile Devices for Searching
People do search on their mobile devices more than they use them merely for browsing. Mobile search is the number one activity on mobile devices. So it is not just about making your website accessible to people who want to browse, but also, they can find your content easily with search engines and other ways of discovering sites online.
Therefore, it makes sense for your site to be mobile-friendly to ensure that people find what they are looking for easily.
Good for Search Engine Optimization or SEO
As mentioned earlier, Google prioritizes “mobile-friendly” sites in search results, particularly those with content relevant to what users are searching for. Therefore, if your site is not adapted for mobile, you will be losing potential customers for your business.
More than just being able to show up in search results, mobile sites are often loaded faster than their desktop counterparts.
If you want your audience on your website to stay longer, you should make it available through mobile devices too. The usability of your site will depend on how well it is optimized for mobile devices.
Common Issues When Setting up a Mobile-Friendly Website
The mobile web experience can differ from desktop browsing due to screen size limitations, lack of keyboard or mouse input devices, etc. The most common issues are:
1) Content Layout Problems
Content layout problems occur when there’s something wrong with the HTML code structure used by the website. These errors cause pages to load slowly or fail altogether. They’re usually caused by poorly written CSS, which controls the look and feel of a webpage.
2) Slow Loading Speed
3) Poor User Experience
Users may have trouble finding things on your site, especially if your site has lots of links. This happens because some websites don’t provide enough space between links, causing them to overlap each other. A good navigation structure should help visitors find exactly where they’re looking for. Having a clear hierarchy between different parts of your website can improve usability. Also, buttons and forms might appear out of place, forcing visitors to click multiple times before getting into a proper page they want to look for.
4) Inconsistent Design Standards
If your website doesn’t adapt itself appropriately to various device sizes, it won’t work correctly across all platforms. For example, if you’ve designed a website using fixed widths, it won’t display correctly on smaller screens like smartphones.
5) Unresponsive Website Design
Related to point number 4, responsive website designs allow your website to adjust its appearance based on the type of browser, resolution, and orientation. In addition, it will enable your website to automatically resize according to these changes without having to edit any files manually. However, responsive website design isn’t always easy to implement.
6) Missing Features
Some websites simply aren’t built to accommodate mobile use. As a result, they lose functionality that makes them more user-friendly. Examples include text messaging services, video streaming capabilities, and social media integration.
7) Lack of Proper Website Security Measures
Many people prefer to access information via smartphone apps rather than visiting websites. Unfortunately, this means that hackers could potentially gain unauthorized access to sensitive data stored within your app. To prevent this, ensure that your application includes security measures such as SSL encryption.
8) Inadequate Font Size
Most sites today offer their content in small fonts. While this helps users who browse the Internet on phones, it also causes problems for those who view the same content on larger monitors. Smaller fonts require extra effort to read, making it harder to focus on what’s being said.
9) No Accessibility Options
Not everyone uses a computer or tablet; therefore, not every person can enjoy the benefits of a well-designed website. In addition, people with disabilities often need special assistance from web developers to make sure that their needs are met.
10) Inappropriate Images/Graphics Sizing
The size of images is essential when designing a website. Large images take up too much room on the screen, while tiny ones leave viewers feeling frustrated. So make sure that your images are sized appropriately.
11) Bad Coding Practices
Related to point number 2, when making your website mobile-friendly, be careful about including unnecessary code. Too much code can slow downloading speeds and cause errors.
12) Broken Links
You don’t want to let your readers click on a link, only to get a 404 error page instead! This will frustrate your audience and may even lead to leave your site.
13) Too Much Text
When creating a website, try to keep things simple by avoiding long paragraphs of text. Long blocks of text can be challenging to navigate through, especially on the phone. Instead, consider breaking up large sections into multiple pages.
14) Not Enough Space Between Elements
If you’re trying to create an appealing layout for your website, then you’ll have to pay attention to spacing. Try using margins, padding, and other techniques to separate different parts of your webpage.
Recommended Steps to Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
To ensure that your business has a great mobile user experience, we recommend taking these steps:
1) Incorporate Responsive Design
A responsive design allows adapting its appearance based on how visitors interact with it. For example, if someone clicks on one of your links, the site automatically resizes itself so that all elements remain visible. When designing your site, use responsive design techniques to look awesome no matter which type of device someone uses to visit it. This way, you won’t lose traffic because of a poor viewing experience.
2) Use CSS Media Queries
These allow you to target specific devices, enabling you to change certain aspects of your website depending on whether or not it’s viewed on a mobile phone.
3) Include Device-Specific Content
It’s best practice to include unique content for each type of device used to access your site. This ensures that people viewing your mobile version of your site on a smartphone see something completely different than they would be browsing the desktop version.
4) Optimize Image Files
Since most smartphones use smaller screens compared to desktops, having high-quality photos makes them easier to consume. Also, since many websites now load faster thanks to HTML5 technology, optimizing image files could help improve overall performance. You can use plugins like ShortPixel or Smush to optimize your images before uploading them to your website server.
5) Add Schema Markup
Using schema markup helps search engines understand what information should appear in particular places within your website. By adding the schema markup, Google understands that there’s more to your website than just words.
6) Keep Navigation Simple
Having lots of navigation options can confuse users who aren’t familiar with your brand. Simplify your menu structure by removing any items that aren’t relevant to current events. Ensure that your site works properly on smaller screens.
7) Avoid Flash
While some sites still rely heavily on flash, others have already moved away from it as a primary means of delivering multimedia content. As such, it might be time to remove it altogether. Also, avoid Flash videos as it is incompatible in many modern devices nowadays.
8) Remove Unnecessary Features
Some features are helpful but take up valuable space on your screen. Consider removing anything that isn’t essential to making your site accessible. For example, sliders may work well when promoting an event but don’t add much value once the page loads. Instead, focus on creating engaging headlines and images.
9) Reduce Page Load Times
The average web page takes about 3 seconds to load fully. That’s too much time when people are waiting around for their content to display on their devices. To reduce loading times, optimize images and compress code. In addition, you should test how fast your site loads on various types of devices. Tools like Google PageSpeed and GTmetrix can provide insight into where improvements need to be made.
10) Provide Alternative Accessibility Options
People with disabilities often need additional ways to view your site. If possible, provide alternative text, captions, audio descriptions, and video alternatives. If you’re unable to view your site due to accessibility issues, consider providing alternative ways to navigate through your pages.
11) Test On Different Devices
You may think that your site looks good on every single device, but chances are, it doesn’t. So before launching your new site, test it across multiple platforms, including tablets and phones of different brands.
12) Ensure Compatibility Across Different Mobile Browsers
Many browsers offer similar functionality, but sometimes they don’t play nice together. To avoid compatibility issues, try testing your site in different browsers like Chrome and Firefox before going live.
13) Add Alt Attributes to Images
Alt text and attributes allow people who cannot access images to understand still what the picture shows. It also makes sure that if someone does not see an image, they will know why.
14) Don’t Rely on Popups
Popup blockers exist for a reason: they prevent annoying ads from popping up while browsing websites. Make sure all links lead somewhere meaningful or else risk losing visitors.
15) Create Shortened URLs
If possible, create shortened URLs so that people visiting your site via their phones can easily share your link through social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. This way, more people get to experience your great content! Sites like Bitly can help generate short links.
Mobile-friendly websites are becoming increasingly important for businesses. It is vital to your website if you want visitors to your website to stay longer.
If you don’t make your site mobile-friendly, then you’re missing out on potential customers and revenue. In addition, people are increasingly using their mobile devices instead of other devices to browse the Internet, especially when they have free time.
Suppose you want to reach a broader audience that can hear all of your information without giving up on what you’re saying. In that case, they need to be able to access it on a smaller screen like what’s found on tablets and phones, and you should consider having a mobile-friendly website.
We hope that this blog post is useful to you.
Now, over to you! How did you make your website mobile-friendly? Let us know in the comments!