What makes a website ‘mobile friendly’ and why is it so important?

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Is your website optimised for the mobile market?

I’m sure it will come as no great surprise to learn that we are a generation obsessed with our smartphones!

 

In a recent study, it was found that on average, we’re using our smartphones almost 100 times each day with some heavier users getting closer to the 150 mark. Between the plethora of tweets, status updates, games and selfies (and maybe the the odd phone call here or there), half of these daily sessions were spent on websites and online shops.

 

So, what exactly makes for a ‘mobile-friendly’ website?

 

Usability

Without a doubt, this is one of the most important things for me when looking to optimise a website.

When using our phone to browse the internet or make a purchase, we want the whole experience to be as quick and easy as possible. Rather than having a desktop webpage crammed into a 5.5” screen, we want a user experience that feels truly tailored to our chosen device.

This includes:

  • Responsiveness
    • Having a reactive website that adapts to a user’s screen size – reducing the need for panning across the width of your webpage.
  • Tap Targets
    • Buttons your users can actually click on! Whether it’s your navigation menu, footer or contact form, make sure it’s not too small for your visitors to comfortably use.
  • Text Size
    • You want a website that’s easy for users? This starts with resizing the content of your text so it’s clear and readable on a smaller screen.

Having great usability on your site won’t just make you popular with prospective customers, you’ll also be keeping Google happy!

All the features mentioned above are taken into account when ranking your website and you can see from the screen grab below that offering a poor User Experience on mobile devices can leave you falling short on Google’s Mobile Friendly Test and therefore, unable to reach your full potential on the search engines.

Mobile Friendly User Experience
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Speed

When it comes to building a relationship with your customers, every second counts. You may have an amazing website, but if it doesn’t load fast enough on mobile, you may find that you’re unwittingly turning visitors away before they’re even through the door.
 

On average, 25% of internet users will abandon a site that takes longer than 4 seconds to load. By 10 seconds, your audience (of those that remain) will also start to lose interest and may too leave your site in search of an alternative solution.
 

Webpage Loading Screen
 
 
 
 
 

Everything you put into your website will affect how fast it loads; from the basic CSS and Java to your images and videos. Therefore, every element of your web page should be carefully optimised for a fast load speed.
 

With Google having confirmed site speed as a ranking factor and sites being penalised by the search engine for not making the grade, you could now have a lot more to lose than just a few seconds of loading time!
 

google-pagespeed-score
 
 
 
 
 

Checkout

Mobiles are a great tool for researching potential purchases on the go but only 3% of us who add items to our shopping bag actually follow through with the purchase on a mobile device.
 
Whilst it’s true that a lot of us may follow up the purchase on a desktop or laptop, there are inevitably customers falling through the net which could be avoided with just a few simple amendments to the mobile experience…
 

  • Add an SSL
    • Understandably, we’re getting more wary about where we enter our personal details. Seeing that little green padlock in the corner of your screen is a green light to potential customers and gives them the confidence to shop knowing that your site if safe and secure.
  • Shorten the process
    • When buying on a mobile, we don’t want to be faced with page after page of details to fill in. We’re an impatient bunch and if we’re pushed for time, this could be the final straw! Don’t ask for unnecessary details and try to keep to a one-page process where possible.
  • Avoid pop-ups
    • Pop-ups can be a great way to get your customers attention and on desktop, rarely pose an issue. However, on mobile, pop-ups are pretty annoying. They often exceed the user’s screen and can be difficult to close – making for a much less enjoyable shopping experience and higher chance of abandonment.

Amazon offer a great checkout service for mobile users – even if you don’t have the app. As long as you’re logged in, you can opt for a ‘1-Click’ checkout.
Fast. Simple. Secure.
 
Amazon Mobile Checkout
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Features

One of my personal bugbears are mobile sites that don’t allow you to access all features of a page or don’t allow you to perform certain tasks. If I can make a credit card payment or book a holiday on my mobile, why can’t I update my Account Information on a shopping site?!
 
Continue to Desktop
 
 
 
Whilst Google won’t penalise you for this, users may take a different view – you are, after all impeding their experience.
 
Where possible, try to make all features of your site are available on all devices without the need to be redirected to another version of the page. If there are any technical limitations that stop this from being possible, at least try to prevent your users having to re-login to prevent customers feeling frustrated.
 
 
 

Need more help with making your website mobile friendly?

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