How to Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices
In today’s digital society, one can’t imagine routine tasks without using a smart mobile phone. Mobile devices accompany us whenever we go, and so does eCommerce. Different businesses use the power of social networking sites to approach their target consumer. To the point, Forbes’ statistics show that 75% of social media users say that brands’ advertising posts help them make their buying decision.
It’s not big news that mobile optimization has become the most important competitive weapon in business battles. In this guide, we have gathered some useful tips for companies looking to optimize their website for mobile.
Ten years ago at the Macworld Expo trade show, Steve Jobs promised to the world that he will create an iPod, a phone and a mini-computer. He also reported each device’s characteristics: “New iPod with full LCD touch screen and user-friendly controls. A revolutionary mobile phone. And a next-generation laptop”.
When the time came to show the anticipated invention, Jobs presented just one gadget: “Why create three separate devices, when you can roll everything you need in one. And its name was iPhone.”
With a responsive user interface and patent-pending aesthetic, the iPhone has eclipsed all modern-day mobile technologies and remains the most prevalent of the rest of the smartphones known to mankind. A decade later, more than 1 billion were bought out. This event is regarded as one of the biggest mobile development hits of the century.
The iPhone’s launch was the trigger for the mobile revolution; it changed the way we develop and optimize websites, providing new standards for responsive UI design.
To give you an idea, almost every one of us starts and finishes their day with a phone in their hands — from ordering breakfast to requesting an Uber trip to posting a photo on Instagram — all that and more is done by phone. Steve Jobs gave software developers the key to building a new developmental approach to meet technological requirements.
Mobile Design: 10 Years On
It is estimated that there are 3 billion people of smartphone users and 1.3 billion PC users.
According to recent research of Klikz Digital, New Jersey’s leading advertising agency, the internet traffic that comes from mobile devices is growing every year and is certain to pass desktop. “A phone is more flexible in use, and therefore, it provides greater experience to the user than a computer does,” says company’s CMO Pete Polgar. He also noted that in the following years a smartphone demand will be huge as the technology is becoming a widely available and affordable alternative.”
Polgar agrees that mobile optimization is crucial for a website to succeed. And adds that “None of the search engines will recognize your website it is not responsive. Because SEO rankings are connected to user experience, your website is likely to be bogged down by more attractive sites”.
What is optimization?
Optimization is the act of making the best or most effective use of a system, design, or resource. The purpose of optimization is to attain the best design close to a set of distinguished standards or regulations.
Engineers are often required to consider a few viable design options before selecting which one better meets the client’s requirements. The term “optimization” refers to this decision-making process.
These include escalating factors such as productivity, stability, dependability, longevity, and effectiveness.
The matter of Mobile web design
The design of the user experiences for hand-held devices is also known as responsive design.
Responsive Web design is a concept that means that design and layout should adapt to the user’s behavior and context, taking into an account screen size, platform, and orientation. Responsive websites have a dynamic design that changes, including optimized visual and written content.
It’s an undeniable fact that smartphones go beyond daily usage and they’ve become a regular part of everyday life.
Having a mobile-friendly website is no longer considered an option. If your mobile users have a negative experience on your platform, you will lose a significant amount of your traffic and, as a result, your search engine rankings will suffer.
Realizing the fact that there is a huge difference between a mobile-friendly site and an optimized site is vital.
A mobile-friendly website normally appears as a smaller version, but touchscreen tablets can not always function properly. Mobile-friendly websites often have tools including text-based phone numbers or email addresses that can be used to initiate direct calls or emails from mobile devices, as well as slideshows and picture rotators that don’t use Flash.
While a mobile-friendly website ensures that the site works on mobile devices, mobile optimization takes it a step further. A site that has been designed for mobile devices automatically reformats itself. It not only ensures that the web displays correctly on smaller windows, but it also makes it much easier to use. It reformats material, makes navigation buttons bigger, and scales images to fit the screen.
The importance of a mobile-friendly website
With the number of people visiting the web page through mobile devices, it’s critical to ensure that everyone has a good experience, regardless of the platform they used to get there. They can move on to a substitute if your website takes too long to download or is difficult to use on a mobile device.
Having a mobile-friendly website bring certain advantages:
- Upgraded user experience: The user interface is crucial. Visitors can leave and not return if they do not have a positive user experience. The smartphone interface is vastly different from that of a machine. Visitors must be able to read your web pages without having to zoom in, select links without having to zoom out, and browse your site on a smaller computer.
- Elevated mobile SEO: Until recently, your smartphone SEO had no impact on your daily SEO. However, due to the rising number of smartphone users, Google has started to factor a website’s mobile SEO into its daily SEO. This means that if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, it would potentially damage your SEO.
- Increased user engagement: A mobile-friendly website raises the chances of your users interacting with you. This is because users can spend more time navigating through content on your web. They’ll be able to engage with your web in a variety of ways, including liking posts, clicking on CTAs, and even leaving comments.
- Attract local users: The importance of mobile SEO in local SEO cannot be underestimated. When searching for a particular company, several people would conduct searches on the go. These people are looking to purchase something. They’re more likely to drop in and make a transaction if they’re near your physical location and locate your website when doing a smartphone search.
- Gain credibility: Your customers would appreciate a website that is fast, engaging, and mobile-friendly. It will also lend your company legitimacy and your customers will be able to browse your website while on their phones and make critical purchasing choices based on what you have to offer.
Considering the number of users who use mobile devices to conduct searches and browse the internet, the value of having a mobile-friendly website cannot be overstated. You risk missing a large portion of your target audience if your website design is not optimized for mobile use.
Turning the website into a mobile-friendly version
To make your HTML website mobile friendly there are factors to be considered:
- Make the design Responsive: As a user moves from a desktop to an iPad, the website must adjust to the new device’s resolution, picture format, and scripting features. Responsive Web design is a concept that means that design and layout should adapt to the user’s behavior and context, taking into account screen size, platform, and orientation. Responsive websites have a dynamic design that changes, including optimized visual and written content. With responsive design, you can make your website user-friendly without restricting the details available to your mobile users – they’ll get more of the same content as the majority of your site’s visitors. Sensitive nature is also beneficial to SEO. It comes highly recommended by Google.
- Create easy to find information: Consider what content your mobile users are most likely to explore as they reach your website, and place it clearly and easily accessible on the mobile homepage. Consider the most common questions people have as they visit your website. If you are not sure what content to create, use your analytics. You should include Mobile Traffic as a Segment of Google Analytics’ Behavior section to see how mobile users communicate with your website.
- Block Ads and Pop-ups: Nobody likes them in any situation, but it’s particularly aggravating when you’re trying to read text on a smaller screen and a large ad or pop-up blocks your view of the page. Disable Ads for smartphone users, or set it up so that pop-ups occur only when they’ve scrolled to the bottom of the screen, rather than when they first arrive. Also, make sure the X to cancel the ad or pop-up is large enough for them to see and click.
- Increase the speed: The speed at which a website load is an important factor in its usability. Page speed is one of the 200 ranking metrics used by Google to determine a website’s location in search engine results, and it improves the user experience.
To increase the page load time consider these points:
- Optimize image size and format: Downsizing the website’s images in HTML is counterproductive because it only affects the image’s appearance rather than its dimension. Use an external image editor, such as Photoshop, to scale the images and limit the resolution to 72dpi.
- Establish gzip coding: Heavy files on your website should be zipped using something called the G-Zip Compression, like the files on your PC that are zipped and compressed to limit the overall size during online file transfers. This saves space and downloads time, as well as reducing the time it takes for your website to load. You can set up the server so that zipped information is returned.
- Decrease cookie size: Cookies are used to keep track of information that needs to be remembered between requests. This information is submitted with each request and, if it is large, adds to the load time. As a result, by reducing the size of the cookies, you can reduce the amount of data transmitted and the time it takes for the website to load. Remove or limit the size of cookies that aren’t required.
- Keep the design simple: On either browser, complicated websites with a lot of clutter are frustrating, but on a tiny computer, they make it much more difficult for visitors to access the site. Keep distractions to a minimum. Maintain a simple, sleek style that allows users to quickly find what they’re looking for. A simplified interface also contributes to quicker load times by providing fewer files on each page that need to be loaded.
- Use large fonts: If the font is tiny, reading on a small screen becomes much more difficult. For your web pages, it’s safest to use a font size of at least 14px, but you might explore to see if going larger will be easier. It’s still a good idea to use common fonts. Any fonts that your visitor’s browser may need to download will increase the time it takes for your website to load, which is bad news for smartphone users.
- Avoid using Flash: It is an SEO error to use flash on your website. It can take a long time for a website to load, and it doesn’t fit in a lot of browsers and computers. Since neither Android nor iOS devices support flash, if you create a website that relies on a flash animation in any way, your smartphone users will be largely left out.
- Use the viewport Meta tag: The viewport meta tag is a simple way to manage how your website appears on mobile devices. You’ll have to swipe from side to side to read each line of text and see the various sides of the page if your page opens up the same width on your phone’s tiny screen as it does on your laptop. The viewport meta tag instructs browsers to resize your page to match the screen of the user type the client is using.
- Make it simple to switch to desktop view: If you go for a mobile version of your website rather than a responsive platform, some of your mobile users will choose to see the desktop version of your website instead of the mobile one. If that’s what they want, give them a way to do it. You want your users to be able to communicate with your website in the most natural way possible.
- Conduct mobile testing on a regular basis: The best way to ensure that your website has a decent user experience is to test it on your mobile device on a daily basis. Open your website on your phone and browse for a while and see if there’s something difficult to see or do. Request that the staff do the same, and recommend recruiting users to help with research.
- Focus on your audience: Polgar offers a contrasting finding suggesting that many customers are still opting to browse the brands from a desktop. But still, many enterprises of various industries fail to conduct behavioral targeting, learn about their users and integrate the gathered info in the website building process. Before you launch into a website redesign, first of all, you’ve got to concentrate on the pre-launch research process: find out what devices your audience prefers i.g. how users choose to interact with their site. Once you know the exact ratio of mobile and PC users, you can establish an appropriate amount of website flexibility. Nevertheless, it is important to not lose the edge with a website’s optimization. In case you put too much emphasis on bright lightning design, and you risk losing the portion incapable of interpreting information fully. Remember to make your visual and written content accessible to all readers — from color contrast customization for colorblind people to attaching screen readers to make the content available to visually impaired people.
- Ask for customer feedback: The director of LA-based skincare service Blu Skincare says that customer’s comments prompted greater awareness of her site’s inability to retain mobile users.
Zonda Wilson recalls that whenever she asked her customers’ opinion about her service, she would usually be knocked down with answers like “I could not find it”, “there is no comment box”, or “my phone doesn’t read your site”.
She would then ask them about her blog articles and they had a struggle searching for them either. Zonda’s clients were accessing her unoptimized website via smartphones and therefore, had trouble viewing any content at all. This also applied to new customers that would search for a product page to ensure the brand’s credibility. Unfortunately, they would give up very quickly after a few seconds of scrolling. Naturally, it has impacted the amount of the site’s conversion rates as well as business goals. After a setback with the business’ site, Wilson has become a tech-friendly entrepreneur that cares about her clients and has already reported phenomenal results in online activity rates.
- Think small: In terms of mobile optimization, the “KISS” or “keep it simple” approach will be effective in this case. Based on the fact that mobile phones require less internet power compared to PCs, ensuring fast traffic won’t be a big deal. First and foremost, check your web host for speed limit restrictions to make sure your site can load quickly. For a web design to perform its unique intricacies, the best strategy would be to filter any trivial content out. If you decide on optimizing your website for mobile, you need to visualize design from a small perspective. This involves weeding through lengthy content, large-size images, and animation, etc. Once you’re finished with the mobile version of the website, the rest of the fuss would seem unnecessary and fall away. To the point, small enterprises have such a strong rivalry because each of them creates minimalistic yet captivating business web pages. In today’s small business market, you have to be aware of the latest tech trends and actual conditions of user behavior, as their net worth has gone down lately. Chief executive at Modern Place Lighting says that once they have turned to a modern approach of mobile-friendly design, their internet leads soared with reciprocal payback. Name;y, the website’s conversion rates have increased by 30% compared to those generated from desktop usage. One of the greatest benefits of mobile optimization is the possibility to discern clearly what you need to get rid of – excess database queries, plugins, and popups that slow down your website’s load time, and consequently, result in low engagement and poor Google rankings. Vinogradov’s team of digital professionals has filtered out a few trivial SM plugins that took up a valuable amount of display space needed for content output.
- Think Social: Today, we find out about reliable and consistent blogs from social media networks. We also use this medium of communication to share our thoughts on a particular website’s product or service. To give you an idea, every post on your feed is based upon someone’s opinion and very often, users tend to back it up with relevant sources of information. These are consumer reviews, ratings, product overview, colorblind, and so on; the truth is that everyone is sharing info they’ve found in some blog. This is a case where you’d want your website to be mentioned in that blog. To gain high recognition in social media, one should have an SM presence across popular platforms, so that the business can accomplish its target market objectives. For niche-oriented businesses, the best way is to analyze where your audience spends the most time online, and target social that has relation to their product. For some companies, Facebook may serve as an effective marketing tool for lead generation, whilst for others, this may be Instagram. Nevertheless, vast presence in popular social media gives the brand the ultimate power to educate potential consumers about their product.
In general, Even if you have all right now, the way mobile devices look and operate is still changing, so your mobile-friendly website today may not be enough tomorrow. Keep checking, improving when required, and keeping the smartphone users in mind as a priority, and you’ll be acceptable.
BUILDING AN E-COMMERCE SITE FROM SCRATCH? OPTIMIZE IT FOR MOBILE USERS
CEO at lawn care service Bryan Clayton claims it took him nine months to create his company’s website from scratch. “At the beginning, we realized there’s much work to be done for us to reach vast audiences online”, he says, “Our auditors have concluded that the majority of our potential clients are computer users. However, it became apparent very soon that their clients are using smartphones to access the company’s website – 4-to-1.”
Bryan says that their original website was made up of tech-savvy features that create a delightful UI experience, including all kinds of animation buffs. “When developing a design strategy for our business web page, we used a full-stack design kit to best satisfy user needs,” he recalls. “The only challenge remaining was to apply this working approach to a mobile web browser”, and he adds very justly, “At first, we’ve been receiving multiple complaints about the unresponsiveness of our website. Users referred to pages’ inability to fit their phone’s screen size; they also struggled with navigation and had to zoom particular parts of a page”.
Before Clayton’s website was optimized for mobile, a very little amount of online leads was generated from mobile browsers – only 4%. This means that nearly 96% of new users that were linked to the company’s website decided to bail on the service during registration.
When the company finally redesigned the site for the mobile view, the stats of the website’s traffic generated from mobile phones have risen at an incredible rate. Particularly, around 82% of visitors to the site completed the process successfully.
for gaining more information read this article: WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEB DESIGN TO INCREASE SALES
We hope that our short guide on the benefits of mobile optimization was helpful to you in your research for a smart website redesign. Use these tips when developing new strategic plans for your business. Remember to put your audience first, and pay attention to every detail when creating a web design.
If you’re still looking for an esteemed digital agency to help your business grow and succeed, contact Dewzilla today! We develop powerful tech-savvy solutions that create a unique differentiation in your competitive market. Call our digital manager now!