— March 5, 2018
If your small business has not yet optimized the mobile user experience for your site, the time has come. Mobile-friendly sites are no longer an option, but a necessity whose need is continuing to grow. Currently, mobile usage accounts for 71% of all online time in the United States, which means your small business must accommodate mobile users to stay competitive.
Mobile sites are especially important for small businesses, as consumers typically search for local results from mobile devices. The user experience of your site can make the difference between gaining a customer and losing one. Consumers are faced with an abundance of options for choosing a business, so make sure that your site is easy to use and navigate. It will enhance customer engagement.
Understand AMP Markup
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open-source collaborative project that uses existing online technologies to make mobile pages load at lightning-fast speeds. During this modern age of increasingly short consumer attention spans, decreasing page load time is the first way to optimize your mobile page and keep customers engaged on your site. To partake in this modern speed improvement, modify your page with AMP markup.
The AMP Project site has online tutorials as well as a YouTube channel to help upgrade your site. To accomplish this, choose the publishing platform your site uses and follow the provided tutorials. If you do not know what platform you are using, there are several ways to find this information. One method is to search the page source code, using your browser menu. Other simple ways to retrieve this information are to ask your web developer or check for a notice below the footer on your web page. The entire process will take a few hours to complete but will be rewarding for your site. If you are not tech-savvy or are short on time, there are also reliable companies available for hire to help.
Keep Functionality in Mind
Functionality on a mobile site is innately different from a desktop site. Most consumers are on their smartphones, trying to find information as quickly as possible. For this reason, contact information and location should be readily available as two of the first bits of text a consumer sees. A search box located on the homepage is also essential, enabling consumers to find items they’re looking for as quickly as possible.
Additionally, functionality also requires that a mobile site be designed for navigation by finger, not mouse. A mobile site is most user friendly when there are large buttons and easily accessible search bars. A user shouldn’t have to pinch the screen or zoom in to use these functions. Small navigation tools on a site can be discouraging for a consumer and prompt them to find a more user-friendly site.
Engaging visual content is a must for digital marketing, so do not skimp on pictures. The best way to include them is to compress .jpeg or .png files using EWWW Image Optimizer, smush.it, or jpegtran. Compressing the images won’t hurt quality but will enhances page load speed.
Make All Content Available to All Users
Mobile sites sometimes short users on information compared to what is available on desktop sites. Developers may provide mobile site information sparingly to decrease load time or cut content down to an attractive size. The major drawback to doing this is that mobile users lose out on potentially valuable information. If new customers search your site but cannot find the information desired, they will likely skip to a competitor’s website to find better information.
Rearranging the content so that it’s still available may require the use of drop-down menus, search boxes, and different image placement. Whatever way you decide to arrange it, just make sure the information is available and can be accessed easily by mobile consumers.
Understand How People Read on Mobile Sites
Mobile site users do not read the information on their screens in the same pattern that desktop users do. Desktop users scan information on a computer screen in an F pattern, concentrating mostly on the left side of the page. Mobile users, on the other hand, primarily focus on the center of the page’s content in what can loosely be described as a diamond pattern.
Mobile users also scan the pages more quickly than they would on desktop, so the use of short paragraphs, whitespace, sub-headers, lists, and bullets are all great examples of catering to their skimming style. Focus important content in the middle of the page and use multiple images to break up the text, possibly as much as every 100 words.
Spend Time on Your Mobile Site Content
Implementing these steps will change the user experience for your mobile page viewers. It will ensure they stay on the page long enough to find what they are searching for and will increase the likelihood that your business will be the one they choose for purchases. Optimizing your mobile site is essential to increasing revenue in 2018, so if you don’t have the time or inclination to make changes, be sure to hire someone who can.