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Making Your Mobile Website User Friendly

Get an expert's advice on how to make your website more mobile-friendly and gain more web traffic.

By
Diane S. Thieke,
June 18, 2013

 

Mary Meeker, a partner at Kleinert Perkins Caufield & Byers and Internet visionary, released her latest “Internet Trends” report at the AllThingsD conference last month. Once again, she noted the rapid growth of mobile.

Global mobile traffic is on a rapidly increasing trajectory, as are purchases made from mobile phones. Anyone with a retail business needs to consider Meeker’s slide about online deal site Groupon: from 2011 to 2013, the number of Groupon purchases made on mobile devices tripled from 14% to 45%. That momentum is unlikely to slow down.

For marketers, this means paying increasing attention to how your website looks on mobile devices and optimizing the user experience so that it drives sales to your business – not away from it.

This is especially important for location-based businesses, such as restaurants and stores, as traffic driven through mobile phones will be largely through people on the go.

There are several options for creating a mobile version of your website, beyond tasking your Web developer. Tools like Mobify and dudamobile help you get a mobile website up and running in just a couple of clicks. If you’re using Wordpress to power your website, there are a number of plugins that enable a mobile-friendly experience.

Another option is to use responsive design to create your website. With responsive design, your website’s content and layout automatically conform to the display screen size on which it is viewed. As screen size becomes smaller, designers are increasingly challenged to simplify. The idea is to adapt content and layouts to the screen to avoid frustrating zooming and eliminate accidental clicks.

Whichever approach you decide to take, here are 3 tips for making your website more mobile-friendly:

Understand your audience. Dave Fletcher of The Mechanism suggests asking three questions about your target customer. Who is your audience? Where are they accessing your content? What do they need?

Reorganize your navigation. What is the most important information for someone on the go? For location-based businesses, it’s especially important that a user easily access a phone number and directions as well as make reservations. Since phones typically zoom out automatically, have the most essential content available in larger text and avoid many columns to eliminate excessive scrolling.

Shorten copy. Be succinct and your visitors will thank you. Large amounts of text are overwhelming on a smaller display screen and may drive away someone who is looking to quickly access a phone number or operating hours. The most effective content “cuts copy to a minimum and only spews the necessities—necessities being what your target should see during those fateful two seconds that determine a click/tap,” Joanne Eberhardt from the Hyperfactory told Mashable.

Diane S. Thieke is the president and founder of Simply Talk Media, a digital media marketing consultancy. With more than 25 years in digital media and technology, she helps clients build stronger relationships with their customers and communities, using both social and traditional channels. Follow her on Twitter at @thiekeds or visit her blog at www.simplytalkmedia.com/blog.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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