The future of search is mobile. Back in 2016, Google announced a move to mobile-first index. A soft rollout was expected this year, which makes it crucial for companies and online businesses to get the mobile experience right for both the end user and Google.
Your company cannot afford to ignore mobile customers. 80% of internet users have a smartphone and 80% of the top websites ranked on Alexa are optimised for mobile. The love for mobile makes it easy for prospects and customers alike to access your site.
Over 50% of all web traffic originates from mobile. If you’ve not optimised your website, you’re going to lose Google rankings, traffic and a chance to convert more customers.
Here are 8 tips to help you create a mobile-friendly website in 2018.
Create simplistic menus
The major difference between mobile screens and desktop screens is that a mobile screen is significantly smaller. If you currently have an extensive menu that flows nicely on a desktop screen, the experience could be different on mobile.
Visitors don’t want to zoom in or scroll out to see all the navigation choices. It has to fit on the screen. Simplify your menu with fewer options that make it easier for users to navigate.
Plan your site layout
Mobile sites load more slowly than desktop sites. It is crucial to site speed that you keep the web pages to a minimum. Remember that users don’t have the patience to click through several pages when looking for an item. A streamlined layout is the only way to go. This example from Domino’s Pizza should help.
Manage your content for mobile
The content you deliver to mobile users is crucial to your ranking. Conduct a thorough audit of your mobile and desktop site to identify gaps. A good tool to use is Screaming Frog Crawler. The software crawls your website and analyses the results.
It goes without saying that you should not use flash on mobile. Most websites have killed it entirely, but you can still find some sites that insist on it. Alternatives include Java or HTML5 that allow you to add interactive elements for more engagement.
Large and legible print
Google penalises you if your text is difficult to read. Legibility is one of the metrics for mobile-friendliness. Good mobile design entices the reader with easily legible fonts that do not require zooming. Here are a few recommendations from Google.
The choices for font sizes are infinite, plus there is the battle of whether to use san serif or serif. Generally, avoid overly stylized fonts. A good combination in typeface and sizes creates the visual hierarchy for a webpage and guides the visitor. According to UserTesting, the choice of fonts should depend on the experience you want to create and the purpose of the website.
Aim for functionality
Functionality is what you offer your website visitors to get things done quickly and efficiently. If you’re running an e-commerce store, things like product search, stores near me, currency converters and product reviews help them perform the intended function much faster.
This example of Purina, a pet food provider, is ideal. On the home page, you can see the search box that makes it easy to find what you need. Results are based on food type, price and brand. The columns, tools, buttons and design elements make it easy to find the right pet food and complete your order in a breeze.
Use short forms
Using long forms for mobile won’t convert. Change the design to shorter forms that fit a smartphone/tablet screen.
You don’t need a person’s phone number or home address when asking them to fill out an email subscription form. Their first name and email address should suffice. The same applies to a form for buying a conversion. Only ask for shipping and billing information.
Long checkout forms are one of the major reasons for shopping cart abandonment. Change your mobile website forms if you want to reduce this issue.
Clearly displayed CTAs
CTAs are essential to conversions. The call-to-action on your mobile site should be obvious. One CTA per page will do or else you’ll overwhelm them. What is the goal for your landing pages? Do you want the user to download a white paper? Fill out a form? Make a purchase? Create a CTA button that focuses on that primary goal. The user should be able to identify your CTA in less than 3 seconds.
Design for touch
Mobile users are using their fingers instead of a mouse or keyboard. Design should be easy for fingers of all sizes. Inaccurate taps are frustrating and should be factored into the design. Touch inputs or gestures should be large enough for all users.
Optimising your website for mobile gives you a measurable edge over your competitors and increases conversion across desktop and mobile devices. It also ensures faster loading times, increases SERP rankings and ensures a solid user experience on your website.