Consumers are going mobile, using their smartphones and tablets to do everything from looking up hot restaurants to comparing product prices in-store. But if your business website isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be losing out on traffic, visits and sales. Here are seven simple tips for creating a mobile-friendly website.
- Think simple. Small mobile devices require paring down your desktop-oriented website. For instance, if you have an ecommerce site, streamline the layout by using short product names and small images. When users click, you can deliver expanded product descriptions.
- Go visual. Icons such as arrows or gears save space compared to words. Just make sure your icons are universally recognizable—don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
- Use smaller images. Photos load more slowly on mobile devices, and customers in a hurry will give up in frustration. Use fewer or smaller images (keep in mind that most mobile device screens are under 200 pixels wide).
- Test legibility. Mobile users will access your site outdoors, in dim lighting, in their cars—who knows where? It’s important that your typeface, design and colors be readable in a variety of settings. Test different fonts and color combinations with users of different ages.
- Avoid auto-refresh. Often, websites periodically auto-refresh. However, this causes problems on mobile devices because it makes downloading take longer.
- Don’t forget the fat-fingered. It’s harder to click on buttons or icons on a small mobile device than it is to use a mouse or keyboard. Make sure your clickable links, buttons or icons have enough white space around them to allow for fat-fingered fumbling.
- Try single columns. If your website has lots of type or images, you probably use multi-column layout. For a mobile device, a single-column layout is much more readable becuase users don’t have to scroll side to side as well as down.
When you’ve got your website mobile-friendly, register it on local search engines such as Yahoo! Local, Bing, Google+ Local and Local.com so customers on the go can find you when they’re doing online searches for businesses to patronize. Don’t forget about the major in-car GPS navigation sites, as well as any niche sites relevant to your business, such as restaurant review or search sites.
Web.com can create the website you need. Learn more about website design services from Web.com.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.