Five Key Components of a Mobile-Ready Online Presence
Mobile is here to stay. This is the song major Internet companies such as Google and Amazon are singing and it’s time businesses picked up and learnt the tune. But mobile isn’t easy, especially from a business perspective. It’s not easy to get developers who can do this really well and when it comes to agencies, well, we are talking about having to fork over large sums of money for this. Nevertheless, with a good developer and clear understanding of what a great mobile-ready experience is, any small or mid-sized business can pull off mobile. Here are five essentials of a mobile-ready experience that your developer absolutely must include in your project.
Less is more
When it comes to mobile, it’s not about shrinking everything on your main website to mobile size. This creates an information overload for your customers. Mobile has precious little real estate so you don’t want your customer wading through lots of information to find one piece of text. There are a few general guidelines on what to include and what to not include. If you are an ecommerce business, you will know a customer needs product information, your store location and contacts and checkout. Leave out the newsletter, galleries of your last PR event and so on. If your website is simply informational, have the most relevant and important information for someone on the move such as location, phone number, and email.
This brings us to another very important aspect of a mobile-ready user experience; clickable elements. Contacts and directions must be coded to take advantage of the mobile device’s features. Phone numbers must be click-to-call, email addresses click-to-email, and location/directions click-to-map. If a customer lands on your mobile page and tries to click a phone number and it won’t budge, they may leave without trying further. So the more tightly integrated it is with mobile functionality, the better.
The number of bytes transmitted to load your website matters a lot. Most mobile users will not wait patiently for your website to load if it’s too heavy. They won’t risk maxing out their data either. So it’s better if your mobile website is lighter. Optimize everything for mobile: images, video, text, code; everything. If your website take less than five seconds to load, you are in the green, any more and the probability of visitor flight heightens.
Many of the large players have made it possible to visit either the mobile or desktop version of their website without the URL changing. This is great but not always the best way to do it. It’s often easier for your customers to key in a URL like m.yoursite.com as opposed to going to the main URL and not knowing whether it is mobile friendly. Having a dedicated mobile URL notifies your customers that the website they are visiting will be mobile-ready.
Now that you have everything in place it’s time to tell the world about your new mobile-ready website. Display the link prominently on your main website, in your business premises and marketing material. Basically, everywhere your business exists, a link to your mobile website should be displayed. This informs potential customers that they can still reach you even from their mobile device. Don’t be shy to toot about it either, the more people know about it, the more you’ll drive mobile traffic to it.
If you have these five essentials down, your business is now ready for the 75% of all Internet users in the world accessing the web through their mobile phones.