It takes a lot of work to make a website. You don’t want all that hard work to go to waste. That’s why today, more than ever, you need to ensure that your brand’s website is mobile-friendly.
The number of mobile internet users surpassed the number of desktop-based users years ago. Today, most people browse and spend time online using their smartphones or tablets. Those mobile devices have smaller screens and different functionality than a desktop. For example, you don’t see people using a mouse with their smartphones.
A mobile-friendly website should be part of your digital marketing plan. Learn more about what makes a site mobile-friendly, why it matters, and how to incorporate mobile-friendly design into your digital marketing solutions.
What Makes a Website Mobile-Friendly?
A mobile-friendly website looks great and functions well on a smartphone, tablet, or another mobile device. Mobile-friendly sites typically have three features that set them apart from desktop-only sites:
- Responsive design: Responsive design means the site’s layout adjusts based on the screen’s size. When someone looks at your website on their laptop, everything will expand to fill the larger screen. When they view the site on a smartphone screen, things shrink down, but not so much that the text is impossible to read.
- Simple layout: You know what they say, KISS (keep it simple, stupid). A mobile-friendly site is lightweight and simple. It’s not cluttered with a lot of text or full of videos and photos. Visitors can find what they need quickly without having to hunt and peck. If they visit the site to read content, they won’t be greeted by a large text block. Instead, everything will be scannable and scrollable.
- Fast load times: A mobile-friendly site feels the need for speed. People are impatient. They want your website to load five seconds ago, and they will leave if things take too long. Focus on building a site that loads quickly for maximum mobile-friendliness.
Why A Mobile-Friendly Site Is Important
Now that you know what makes a website mobile-friendly, why should you care? Since most people browse online using their smartphones or other mobile devices these days, most of your site visitors and potential customers will be looking at your website on a mobile device. It’s important to cater to their needs and wants. Beyond that, there are a few other reasons why a mobile-friendly site matters.
A Mobile-Friendly Site Is User-Friendly
You have to give the people what they want. And, they want a site that loads quickly, isn’t a headache to navigate, and doesn’t make them break out the magnifying glass to read it.
Mobile-friendly websites meet your visitors where they are, whether they prefer to browse on an iPhone, Android device, tablet, or laptop. No matter their device of choice, their experience will be enjoyable.
When people enjoy visiting your brand’s website, they’ll stick around longer and are more likely to come back again, a win for you.
A Mobile-Friendly Site Is Search-Friendly
It’s not only people who prefer a mobile-friendly website. Search engines also favor mobile-friendly design. Google and Bing use mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal for search engine optimization (SEO).
What that means, in simple terms, is that if someone’s doing a search on their mobile phone, and your site could be a good match, but it’s not mobile-optimized, Google will rank your site lower down in the search engine results.
On the flip side, if someone’s searching on their phone for a keyword phrase relevant to your brand and your website is mobile-friendly, it’ll appear higher in the search engine results, meaning you’re more likely to get a click.
A Mobile-Friendly Site Is Conversion-Friendly
You want to win customers. To do that, you need to convert visitors and leads. If people visit your site, then bounce, meaning they leave after a few seconds or without taking any other actions, that’s bad news for your brand. You want them to hang around. The longer a person browses your site, the more likely they are to sign up for your email list, make a purchase, or connect with your brand.
A user-friendly, mobile-friendly website is also a conversion-friendly site, as it attracts and retains visitors, giving them a chance to fully engage with your brand and ultimately become a paying customer or a subscriber.
How to Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
A few best practices ensure your website is mobile-friendly and most likely to win over visitors:
- Use easy-to-read, large text: No one wants to squint at their phone. Pick a font size that’s easy to read on a smaller screen (at least 16 pixels) and a font style with clear letters, like Arial or Times New Roman.
- Choose a responsive design: A responsive design adjusts based on screen size, meaning you don’t have to design separate mobile and desktop websites. Things are easier for you and you’re sure to please visitors no matter their device.
- Use big icons: Most mobile device users tap their screens to click on links or buttons. Make sure those buttons are big enough for them to tap without frustration. Ideally, the icons will be at least 48 pixels high. Also, leave plenty of space between icons and links, so people don’t accidentally tap one link when they wanted to tap the other.
- Skip the plug-ins: Plug-ins are so last century due to security concerns, but some web designers still turn to them. If you want to be mobile-friendly, leave the plug-ins in the 20th century. If you need bells and whistles, opt for HTML5 instead.
- Don’t go crazy with the pop-ups: Pop-ups encourage people to sign-up for your email newsletter or provide a gentle nudge. But they can be tough to close on mobile devices. A better bet is to leave them behind and incorporate email sign-ups and nudges into the page design instead.
Following mobile-friendly best practices means you get a site that loads quickly, engages visitors, and leads to more conversions, a win-win for you.