One in two Canadians uses a smartphone, and one in five uses a tablet.1 A whopping 80% of visits to websites are now made using mobile devices. That greatly changes how potential customers consult your website: they’re viewing your site on a smaller screen, using a virtual keyboard and clicking with their fingers. And most importantly, they’re not necessarily at home or in the office – they might be on the road or shopping.
Here are three tips for building a mobile site for your business.
1. Prioritize your content
If you’re building a mobile site that’s different from your regular business site, focus on the most important information for potential customers who are using a mobile device.
- Always include the following:
- How to contact you (phone number, email address)
- Directions to your location (address, including postal code, Google map, business hours)
- Review your website statistics to find out which sections are most popular. These sections must be accessible directly from your home page.
- Only keep content that’s useful to the web visitors you’re targeting. For each page, and each paragraph or list, ask the same question: How will this content help my potential customer? If the answer isn’t clear, remove the text.
2. Simplify your navigation and design
These two elements combined have a major impact on the design: one click with a finger covers a lot more surface than a click with a mouse; the screen of a mobile device is often small.
- Simplify navigation. Validate that your hypertext and buttons are large enough (test them yourself on a phone). And make sure the characters are large enough to be legible without needing to zoom in.
- In terms of the design, think simplicity: one column with left-justified text is generally the most effective.
- Pay close attention to forms. Typing is harder without a physical keyboard, so ask for essential information only.
- On the home page, avoid large images (which are typically used to create ambience), as one image alone might fill the phone’s entire screen. Plus, the download time could work against you.
3. Avoid technological errors
- Don’t use Flash. This file format is popular for programming websites because you can efficiently add video and interactivity. The problem? Many phones and tablets can’t display Flash.
- Avoid redirections (when visitors are automatically sent from one page to another page), if possible, as they often work poorly on mobile devices. If redirection is critical, test it on a few devices. If you send emails to your customers, remember that nearly half of all emails are now read on a mobile device. So if you include links in an email, run tests to make sure they work properly from a mobile device.
- Include a link to the site designed for computers. Certain visitors using a regular computer might accidentally end up on your mobile site by using a link shared in social media or after doing a keyword search – they’ll prefer using the site designed for their device!
All of these tips are aimed at helping you make life easier for your potential customers. The goal is for them to be able to easily navigate your website to find the information they’re looking for rather than going to your competition’s site. You also want it to be a cinch for them to contact you when they decide to make a purchase. By regularly adapting your marketing to your potential customers’ new habits, you’ll have a clear advantage in your market.
Need advice on this topic to see how it can help your business thrive? Click here to talk to an expert.