By: Amy Harris, Expert Market
Thanks to some amazing advances in technology over recent years, the Internet has become increasingly mobile. With smart phones and tablets becoming more readily available at an affordable price, and mobile internet becoming cheaper and faster, consumers are now looking to website owners to make their sites easily accessible for browsing and interacting on the move.
The benefits of making your website accessible to mobile Internet users are huge, and the consequences of not doing so could prove disastrous in the long term. You may think that because your site is online and you can surf to it via your mobile device that you don’t have to do anything else—that is simply not the case. However, there are some fantastic, cheap, and free ways to make your website both easy and fun to use for mobile users.
Amy Harris, Community Manager for Photocopier Experts offers you tips for optimizing your site for mobile so you can boost your business and keep you ahead of the game.
When planning your new mobile website, you need to keep in mind that mobile users are looking to interact with your site (forums), read from your site (newspapers/blogs), extract some key information, or buy from it on the go (business site). Whatever the purpose of your site, you need to imagine yourself using it on the move and think about bringing it back to the bare bones. The simpler your structure, the faster and easier it is to navigate, and if you make sales through your website, it is essential that entry to purchase can happen in as few clicks as possible.
Choose the Right Platform
Google supports three distinct configurations when it comes to how mobile sites are loaded and presented, but favors the responsive web design. This means that all devices work on the same set of URLs, but the site is configured to switch between HTML and CSS, depending upon which device is accessing it. To do this, you can purchase an existing template with this technology built in or you can commission a custom template from a web designer, dependent upon budget.
Rejig Your Message
You know that your web copy is one of the most important elements of your existing site and you have probably paid a considerable sum, or spent considerable time getting it right. However, when it comes to optimizing your site for mobile, the way you present your call to action must change for the new environment. Your reader is on the move, not desk based, so the decision making process will differ. That means your copy has to be more direct, placed in prime position and more persuasive.
Images Matter More in Mobile
Images are important for two reasons. They slow down your site, so the fewer you have the better. They also take up lots of room that may be better served by copy. When designing the mobile element of your site, endeavor to use only key images and ensure that you render them on a percentage basis (instead of exact number of pixels) so that they adapt automatically to the user’s device and don’t disrupt your site design.
SEO Your Mobile Site
Never was SEO more important than with a mobile website. Potential visitors are unlikely to have the patience to scroll through multiple pages worth of search results when everything is miniature—it hurts the eyes and takes too much time. That means your site has to come right up at the top when users search your keywords, and those keywords might be a little different to the ones you have established for your main site.
It will take a little time to establish what those keywords are and a little trial and error along the way. But Rome wasn’t built in a day and rethinking your SEO strategy for mobile early will put you well ahead of the game once your competitors catch on to the power of mobile internet.
Optimize Early—It’s Worth It!
So just when you thought you had come to grips with your website, along comes mobile Internet to throw you back amongst the lions. It may seem like hard work, more expense, and unwanted risk to consider optimizing for mobile but in reality, once you lay the framework, the rest will follow naturally. The hard work is a one off and optimizing now will save you time, worry, and money in the future—especially when an estimated 50% of websites are accessed via mobile devices.