Each year, we continue to see more and more people using smartphones. Having a presence on mobile is not only a valuable addition to a small business’s marketing strategy, but it’s also a priority for business success. According to a study conducted by SmartInsights, more consumers are accessing the Internet through their mobile phones than Desktop computers.
A recent CNBC article revealed that customers aren’t just browsing the web on their phones, but they’re purchasing too. Over the holiday season mobile shopping gained speed and is expected to rise more quickly than desktop purchases through 2018.
If you focus on mobile in 2018, you will increase overall traffic to your website and improve your SEO ranking in the process. Ultimately, you will get your business in front of more potential customers and improve your overall bottom line.
Take a look at these six tips to make your small business website more mobile-friendly.
1. Pay Attention to Font and Button Sizes
It’s important to make sure that your font and button sizes are large enough for mobile users to easily see. As a rule of thumb, the font size should be 14 px or larger. While that may seem large, it’s better to be on the safe side so users don’t have to zoom in to read your website content.
If you want to make sure that the buttons on your mobile site are large enough, you can simply pull the site up on your phone and try to click one of the buttons. Make sure that you can easily access the button on the first try. If not, you should increase the button size to make sure that users do not miss the button or inadvertently push the wrong one.
2. Do Not Make a Second Website for Mobile
In the past, many businesses created a separate “mobile website” in which they removed content to ensure that it fit easily on mobile. While this used to be commonplace, it now has a negative impact on SEO, as Google and other search engines automatically penalize sites that have duplicative content. With this in mind, you should just create one website that is optimized for mobile to ensure that you maintain your rank in Google search.
3. Use a Responsive Design
A responsive web design uses flexible layouts, with the goal of detecting the user’s screen size and changing the layout accordingly. With mobile usage on the rise, responsive designs are important for all small businesses. When a small business has a site with a responsive design, the site can identify whether or not a customer is using their smartphone to access the site, and adjust the layout as needed.
With a responsive design, you only have to maintain one set of code but can offer users a consistent design across all devices. If you already have a site up that is not responsive – do not worry! There are a variety of ways that you can transform your existing website and theme into a responsive design.
4. Use High-Resolution Images
The newest models of many smartphone devices have large, high-definition screens. These types of screens need an image that is double the resolution of that on a desktop computer. With that said, it’s important to ensure that all images on your website are high resolution. If you use images that are blurry or distorted, your site on mobile may come off as unprofessional.
5. Utilize YouTube Videos
Using videos on your website is a great way to draw in and engage your users. Over the past year, video has become increasingly popular and is central to social engagement on many social platforms. If you decide to use video on your site, it’s important to embed them through YouTube. The YouTube embed code is already responsive, which ensures that all videos are mobile-friendly.
6. Use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test to Test Your Website Responsiveness
Google offers a mobile-friendly test that allows users to test how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device. All you need to do is visit the mobile friendly test website and enter a page URL to see how your page scores. Test results include a screenshot of how the page looks to Google on a mobile device as well as a list of any mobile-usability problems that the test finds. The mobile-friendly test tools can identify the all types of usability errors, which Google defines as the following:
Flash usage: Most mobile browsers do not render Flash-based content. Therefore, mobile visitors will not be able to use a page that relies on Flash in order to display content, animations, or navigation. We recommend designing the look and feel of the page and animations using modern web technologies. Read more about Look and Feel in Google’s Web Fundamentals guide.
Viewport not configured: Because visitors to your site use a variety of devices with varying screen sizes—from large desktop monitors, to tablets and small smartphones—your pages should specify a viewport using a meta viewport tag. This tag tells browsers how to adjust the page’s dimensions and scaling to suit the device. Learn more in Responsive Web Design Basics.
Fixed-width viewport: This google mobile-friendly test results shows pages with a viewport set to a fixed width. Some web developers define the viewport to a fixed pixel size in order to adjust a nonresponsive page to suit common mobile screen sizes. To fix this error, adopt a responsive design for your site’s pages, and set the viewport to match the device’s width and scale accordingly. Read how to correctly Set the Viewport in Google’s Web Fundamentals.
Content not sized to viewport: The test results shows pages where horizontal scrolling is necessary to see words and images on the page. This happens when pages use absolute values in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) declarations or use images designed to look best at a specific browser width (such as 980 px). To fix this error, make sure the pages use relative width and position values for CSS elements and make sure images can scale as well. Read more in Size Content to Viewport.
Small font size: The test results identify pages where the font size for the page is too small to be legible and would require mobile visitors to “pinch to zoom” in order to read. After specifying a viewport for your web pages, set your font sizes to scale properly within the viewport. Read more about font size best practices in Use Legible Font Sizes.
Touch elements too close: The test results show the URLs for sites where touch elements, such as buttons and navigational links, are so close to each other that a mobile user cannot easily tap a desired element with their finger without also tapping a neighboring element. To fix these errors, make sure to correctly size and space buttons and navigational links to be suitable for your mobile visitors. Read more in Size Tap Targets Appropriately.
With these simple tips, you can easily optimize your website for mobile and as a result, increase your overall web traffic.