A mobile optimized website is an essential element for your Michigan based business. The use of online browsing through a mobile device, like a tablet or mobile phone, is constantly on the rise. In 2012, it accounted for approximately 10% of all internet traffic and by the end of 2013, this had grown to 24%.
It is expected that at some point, the amount of traffic from mobile devices will overtake the traffic from a desktop. Part of the reason for this is that mobile technology is so readily available and easy to use. Research has found that new mobile technologies can help bring families together as it allows them to spend time as a unit while at the same time being able to browse the internet and check social media accounts.
Shopping online via a mobile device is also growing in popularity. On Black Friday 2013, it was found that one in five sales was made via a mobile device and US mobile sales are likely to reach or exceed $31 billion by the end of 2015.
Yet there are significant barriers for Michigan businesses. Mobile devices are not the perfect medium for displaying any type of website. In fact, websites need to be optimized so they appear professional, enticing the visitor to make a purchase or to sign up to the company’s newsletter. Research has found that a bad mobile experience can damage the brand’s reputation and force customers to seek alternatives.
A survey in 2011, found that half of companies had display issues when connecting to a site via a mobile device. Yet, 75% of consumers would return to a brand’s site should they have a good experience.
Yet, designing your website for just mobile devices isn’t the best step. Janine Warner, a digital design and internet trends consultant, has stated that “Nearly every business needs to adapt to reach consumers effectively on any screen. There are basic strategies for building websites that display well on all devices:”
She goes on to explain that for small businesses, the best option is for a responsive site.
So how can you adjust your website so that visitors from all types of device can enjoy the experience of visiting your site?
Adjust Your Site For Today’s Users
You cannot ignore that more than one billion internet users are accessing the internet from their mobile phones and tablets. Therefore, even if you can’t have a new site built from scratch, you can have your website adjust so that mobile device browsers can access your site and display it better. There are two main options for this process:
Simplify Your Site Design
The first action you should take is to look at your website on a smartphone or tablet. You may notice elements that need to be changed for your business’ website to be more mobile optimized. You’ll probably find that one or more of these elements will need to be changed:
- Simpler page designs
- Font sizes
- Image optimization
- Button sizes
You’ll also do better at capturing visitor information and generating sales if you place important information at the top of your site where it can be easily accessed by your visitors. The more work your audience has to do to find your content, the fewer conversions you will have.
Create A Mobile Version Of Your Site
An alternative to making changes to your current site is to create separate version of your website that will only display on mobile devices. This is often the best way to get a website to look good on a mobile device, especially for more complex websites.
However, there are also problems with this strategy. Firstly, if your mobile site has a second URL, such as .subdomain, search engines may not be able to index the page. This could mean it doesn’t show up in search rankings which could account for 80% or more of your traffic and a significant proportion of your online sales.
Another problem with this option is that devices all have different viewing standards. Therefore, what will display correctly on one mobile device, might not on another device. So, you either end up creating a number of mobile websites (expensive and impractical) or ignore some of your visitors.
Build A New Site That Can Display On Any Device
For a small business, a great option would be to have a responsive website created. A responsive design is a solution that uses CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to adjust a single website format to fit perfectly into the device’s viewing parameters.
Not only does this allow search engines to find your site no matter what device it is designed for but it allows the site to match the display to the devices capabilities. This means that everyone who enters your site will not be disadvantaged.
Despite this, it is still best to optimize images and ensure that you are minimizing the memory it takes to load the site as this can affect load time. Web users like fast sites, even on their mobile devices and it is estimated that for every second it takes for your site to load, you will lose 7% of your revenue.
What are your experiences viewing or using websites on mobile devices?
by NJE Design