These days your standard mobile devices are capable of taking content created for much larger screens and scaling it down down to a mini version of itself that can be zoomed in and out of with pinches and taps to the screen. This functionality may have been enough once upon a time but with more and more people using mobile devices to access the internet, and online business becoming increasingly more competitive.
If a user can go browse your site on their mobile device without having to zoom in and out or scroll side to side and navigate through lots of unessential information, then they are much more likely to make a purchase, than they would otherwise.
You may ask yourself how can you make your site mobile friendly? The easiest way is responsive design. In the simplest terms responsive web design involves taking your current website and displaying it in a way that’s optimized for mobile devices. Responsive design is basically achieved using CSS media queries which tell web browsers to display and alternate style if the users screen size is within a certain range.
To me this makes a lot more sense than creating an entirely separate website for mobile users, the only person who may tell you otherwise is the person you’d pay to build an entirely separate website.
A responsive site can also save you from incurring penalties for improperly redirecting mobile users, which Google has recently started doling out. If you’ve ever been searching for something on your phone and clicked on myawesomesite.com/info only to be redirected to mobile.myawesomesite.com then you know how annoying this can be, and it creates a poor user experience and will have mobile users bouncing from your site at breakneck speed.
Mobile Use and Increased Conversions
Here are a view of things to consider when making your site mobile friendly:
Font from a desktop site that has been automatically scaled down to a mobile device appears very small on screen, you’ll want to be sure to increase your font size to one that can be comfortably read on a mobile device.
Avoid Side Scrolling
Most sites designed for desktops are created for landscape oriented monitors and use a multi column layout, most mobile phone users use their devices in portrait orientation so you’ll probably want to have your mobile layout employ a single column layout.
If your site has a lot of pages you’ll probably want to implement a collapsible menu to free up the limited screen real estate on mobile users devices
Calls to Action
You will want to make sure any calls to action ie “Buy”,”Subscribe”,”Submit”,”Email”. Are big, bold, stand out to users, and don’t go unnoticed on the small screen.
Hide Non-Essential Information
The less work your users have to do on a mobile device the better, this includes scrolling in any direction, so you’ll want to hide any information not directly related to your goals or that aren’t essential to the user.
If Google penalises websites for creating poorly implemented mobile sites it’s not hard to imagine sites having boosted rankings for creating a good mobile experience. Is your site mobile ready? Use this online tool to simulate what mobile users see when they visit your site.