Mobile web browsing is rapidly growing into the next major Internet platform, but it isn’t enough to simply have a single website that can be accessed by mobile and desktop browsers alike. Functionality is actually more important than style for mobile websites.
As always, your content has to be compelling (and usable), designed to be more task based as mobile users are generally looking for something specific and urgent. Mobile search is predicted to overtake desktop by 2015, so if you’re not tapping into this market, you’re behind the eight ball already. In some countries, like China and India, this has already occurred.
What are Mobile Users Looking for?
Certainly, there’s an expectation gap for mobile performance, so our first tip is to avoid large images and flash animation, or anything that degrades the speed of your site. Consumers currently expect a mobile site to load within four seconds, with increasing numbers moving on if the site takes too long to load. You need to be creative with mobile, giving your prospects what they want, when they want it – yet giving them a different (optimized) experience than the one they get on your desktop website.
Our Mobile Website Design Tips
- Design content to minimize horizontal scrolling. It’s far better on mobile to break up web pages into smaller sizes, emphasizing high priority content.
- Give your prospects the option to view your full desktop website (on your header or footer) and be sure to insert sufficient “back to the top” links to minimize vertical scrolling.
- Use text links, as rollovers or other dynamic elements may not work at all or will consume excessive resources.
- Use ample white space so your site will appear cleaner. Clear, single column (simple) designs work better, while reducing a mix of vertical and horizontal scrolling (which viewers highly dislike).
- Place your most important information and functions on the opening page. Clearly marked, reasonably large navigation buttons are generally far better than tiny hot spots, clickable images, or embedded text links.
- Minimize the amount of text a viewer has to enter. Using drop-down menus, checklists, and pre-populated fields as a means of data entry can all help.
- Avoid the inclusion of tables, frames and other formatting. If you use padding, remember to keep it to an absolute minimum (far less than you’d use for a normal web page).
- Avoid using pop-ups as mobile devices have precious little space to pop into.
- Use large fonts for clickable text, so viewers will be able to clearly distinguish them.
- Branding between your mobile and desktop websites should appear to stem from the same source, to provide a sense of familiarity to repeat prospects.
- Strike a balance between the number of links on each page and the depth of the site.
- Make it easy to get from point click to point destination, meaning mobile visitors tend to visit sites with a particular aim in mind – to find your location, prices, directions and so on.
- Defer your mission statements, staff biographies and HR policies and the like to your desktop website and focus on functionality for your mobile site.
- Ensure any images you use are sized and optimized for the mobile format.
Contact Big Red SEO Today!
Need help formulating mobile and desktop strategies? Call Big Red SEO, a successful Omaha SEO Company, at (402) 522-6468, or feel free to fill out our contact form. Our mission is to help businesses be found where their customers are looking. More than ever, potential customers are searching for services in their local area. We help you get the results you deserve.