Designing a Mobile Website: Two Things to Know
The expert consensus is that if you are still holding out on designing a mobile website for your business, you are making a big mistake. With nearly a quarter of all searches being performed on mobile devices, not catering to the mobile-ready demographic is to ignore the fastest growing segment of potential new (and often, returning) clients. So now that you’re convinced, what do you need to know to optimize your new site for mobile searches?
First, gain encouragement from this nugget of information: According to a survey of 250 global marketers conducted by the CMO Council, only 16 percent of marketers have a mobile strategy aimed at building customer engagement in place. That means that while many of your competitors may already have a mobile site, they still don’t know what to do with it. Here is what you can do to set yourself apart from them and get your new mobile site search engine ready.
First, know how Google views mobile optimization.
Google supports smartphone-optimized sites in three configurations: 1.) Sites that use responsive web design, 2.) sites that dynamically serve all devices on the same set of URLs but with different HTML and CSS specific to the device, and 3.) Sites that have separate mobile and desktop URLs.
Google readily supports all three options, but because mobile is becoming highly competitive, using the first option – responsive web design – may be the best way to optimize your mobile site. That is because responsive web design is now the preferred mobile design configuration, which was confirmed by Google late last year.
Then, know your mobile design limitations.
Even if you choose to use responsive web design to build your mobile site, there are still limitations to what you can do when designing it. First, take note: Mobile users hate scrolling, so keep your text short, concise and informative, with the most relevant information (location, contact details) featured first, and filler-fluff text (marketing content) featured second and sparingly.
Remember, your mobile website is vastly different from your desktop site in terms of the attitude of the user. Most likely, he just wants to find you, get directions to you and get off the website. The good news is, his next stop will probably be your business, which is why he was on the site in the first place. Desktop users at home are not as likely to convert this quickly, which is why you have more freedom to market to them. Know your mobile web design limitations, but remember that those limitations are actually to your benefit.
These are general principles that any small business can apply to designing a mobile website, but it still takes a professional team to execute a good mobile web design plan. Crest Media will be glad to answer your mobile web design questions during a free phone consultation.