3 Ways to Optimize Your Site for Mobile Today

3 Ways to Optimize Your Site for Mobile Today

Just a few years ago, it seemed like a distant possibility that people would spend so much time browsing the Internet from tiny smartphone screens, but this is the reality in 2014. Offering a mobile experience to website visitors is all but mandatory.

Within the next five years, more than half of all website traffic will come from a smartphone or other small-screen device, according to Business 2 Community. Additionally, mobile shoppers are more likely to spend more per purchase than desktop users.

Mobile websites are becoming a critical business tool. With all the different concerns - from search engine optimization to mobile landing page design - it's difficult to know where to start. Here are some considerations for building or improving a mobile-responsive site:

1. Understand When and Why People Use Mobile

Surfing the Web from a smartphone has a time and a place. Many mobile users are looking up business information, such as location, phone number or hours. This can also apply to researching a particular product.

Many product categories lend themselves well to impulse purchases from mobile devices, such as housewares, Search Engine Land reported.

However, people may be looking up information from a mobile device to buy from a desktop or laptop later. The article cited data from Google, which found that 77 percent of the people who researched products from a smartphone went on to buy them through a different channel later, whether from a desktop PC or offline.

2. Choose Your Configuration

Historically, most companies operated separate mobile and desktop websites. Google recently issued a major change to its search engine algorithm. Known as Hummingbird, the new developments place more emphasis on a high-quality mobile experience for users.

One of the key metrics in determining a good experience is load speeds, and sites will be penalized for not meeting Google's standard. The difficulty with separate mobile and desktop sites is redirecting users takes a few seconds.

There are three options for mobile websites: separate pages, dynamic pages that use the same URL but display different content based on the device and responsive pages, which utilize the same HTML and CSS.

Google's preference is responsive design, Search Engine Watch stated. However, dynamic pages work well if you want to show different content to visitors based on their devices.

Especially because mobile users often browse from their devices in a different context than desktop users, this may be relevant for your business. For example, you could display a different contact form for mobile visitors.

3. Mobile Landing Page

Mobile landing pages are an essential consideration for your strategy, but many companies struggle to get this right, according to Search Engine Land. Going back to the first two points, landing pages should be easy to read and have quick load times.

If it takes longer than five seconds for a page to load, visitors will likely leave immediately, potentially heading to a competitor's website.

Because so many people interact with their mobile devices on the go, they may not have the patience to read a giant block of text. Be cognizant of smaller screen sizes and use text that's large enough to read without the visitor needing to zoom in.

Bullet points and lists can make landing page content easier to digest.

Similar to desktop landing pages, you need a clear call to action. However, buttons and links are another major factor on a mobile landing page. Links need to be big enough to tap with a finger. Any forms should be limited to 3 to 4 fields, the article said.

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