By Hassan Bawab, founder/CEO, Magic Logix.
Your business website might have been designed three or four or five years ago, back in the days when most people looked at websites on a desktop or laptop computer. But the days when you could afford to have a website that’s not mobile-accessible are long gone. Trends point towards mobile website users overtaking desktop users in the next couple of years. Here are six tips for making sure your website is ready to take full advantage of mobile technology and can cater to mobile users.
- Build a responsive design for your site — yesterday. If your site isn’t already designed with a responsive or adaptive theme, you need to make this change your top priority. In a nutshell, a responsive website design means that the site automatically responds to the screen size that the server detects. Responsive websites change elements like site navigation and image size to better suit a small screen. Remember that mobile users have even less patience than traditional website users when it comes to things like ease of navigation and page load time. So give them a site that doesn’t test that patience.
- Claim your business on Google Maps. If you haven’t already done so, make sure to look your business up on Google Maps and go through the process of claiming it. Once you have verified that you are the business owner or a valid representative of the business, you can add things like store hours and average prices. Mobile users are mobile; that means that they’re looking up your business on the go and want quick answers to questions like, “What time do you close today?” They might be more likely to look for answers to certain questions on Google Maps than on your website, so provide potential customers with easy access to this type of information regardless of where they find you.
- Put relevant information in a place that’s easy to find. As mentioned above, users who are looking up your business on a cell phone want quick access to directions, store hours and contact information. Make sure that this information is easy to find. Otherwise, you may lose a potential customer to a competitor who makes life easier for them.
- Supplement text links with easy-to-press buttons. Almost anyone who uses a mobile phone to browse the Internet has experienced this frustrating problem: With your fat thumb, you try to click on one link, but you end up clicking on something else instead. Text links can play a role in search engine optimization, so you don’t want to get rid of them altogether. However, supplement those links with big buttons that are easy for mobile users to press. For example, you may have a text link that says, “Learn about our company’s blue widgets.” Add a big button linking to the same content that simply says “learn more” right below that content.
- Easy-to-press buttons should be in your emails. Not only are people reading your website from their phones now, they’re also reading your emails from your phones. That means that if you want to improve email marketing click-through rates, you should have big buttons there too.
- Test, test, and re-test. You aren’t finished just because the initial design process is over. Use an analytics tool like Google Analytics to look at metrics like bounce rates specifically for mobile users to find out if your site is as mobile-friendly as you think it is. When you find a point on your site where your mobile users are inexplicably dropping off, tweak that page until the numbers change. Furthermore, nothing beats testing the site yourself on your own smartphone. If you find the site difficult to navigate, slow on a mobile device, or that it’s difficult to find mobile-relevant information, chances are that your customers will too.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you want to take advantage of mobile marketing, you have to make sure that your website is ready to handle mobile traffic. The six tips above will get you going, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. Above all, keep testing and changing your website according to what you learn from your analytics data.
Hassan Bawab, founder and CEO of Magic Logix digital marketing agency, is a leader in cutting edge technology and an innovative speaker/writer.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.