It clearly shows the popularity of smartphone ownership. For the first time, more than one-quarter of the global population will use smartphones in 2015 according to eMarketer estimates. And those millions of smartphone users are not just using mobile devices to make calls, send emails and text messages. They are using their mobile devices to connect with their social networks, surf the Internet for news and information, shop and make purchases.
Google has been talking of this trend for a while now, and recently, Google ranks search results on smartphones takes effect. Users can now find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results optimized for their devices. So if your website or ecommerce site is not optimized for mobile traffic, you could be losing potential customers and sales. And following are top 12 tips for creating a mobile friendly website.
1. Does it display well on different devices?
There are many sizes and forms of mobile devices that it ranges from smart phones with 3″ screens to tablets with 7″ screens and beyond. To check whether your website displays well on all devices you can use one of these tools:
Instead of separating URLs for the mobile version of the site or serving different content on mobile vs. desktop access, using a responsive layout for your site seem to be the best option today.
2. How easily can mobile users complete common tasks?
The user interaction on mobile devices is different than on desktops because of the screen space. Beside, entering data into forms is more difficult when you’re trying to tap it out on a virtual keyboard with small keys.
So to make it easier for users to interact with your site on a smartphone or improve user experience, you have to using a font size that is clear enough to read on small screens, or making it possible for them to call you with a single click.
3. Make your Call to Action prominent
Increasing user engagement and revenue are the main goals of any website. This requires clear and actionable Call to Action (CTAs) placed strategically on your website. The CTA designed to be strategically positioned at the top-right of your home page may get re-positioned to screen 3 when viewed on a mobile device. Or worse, it may not resize correctly and have the crucial input fields disappearing below the fold. Double check your CTA’s position, layout and appearance on mobile devices.
4. Do you have deep multi-level menus?
Having menus three and even four levels deep is a great way to segment content but it is necessary to have a simplicity and elegance of having clean, uncluttered navigation on a mobile device. Users are unlikely to have the patience for multiple taps, or to scroll through a long list of options so keep the menus short and sweet. Remember, simplify the menu structure.
5. Make it easy to return to your homepage
Participants expected to return to the home page when they clicked on the site logo and became frustrated when it didn’t work. They could also tap to open the menu, and then tap on “Home“,but why use two taps instead of one? And linking your logo to the home page is the best sollution to save frustration, taps and also free up one space in your menu.
6. Make it easy to search on your site
Performing ‘smart-search‘ features like auto-correction and auto-complete to help mobile users find what they’re looking for quickly. Adding specific filters, especially for e-commerce sites, helps users find relevant products faster.
7. Make your forms suitable for virtual keyboards
Make forms for mobile devices as simple as possible beacause users don’t like filling in forms on small, virtual keyboards. Using the most suitable input method for each kind of field. For example, with dates, use a pop up calendar where the user can tap on a date, rather than having them type it out in DD/MM/YYYY format.
8. No pinch-zoom. Other than product images.
Nowaday, mobile users are savvy, and want instant access. They should not have to pinch and zoom your page for basic information. So make sure you use easy-to-read text on a small screen. On the other hand, it’s true for product images. Users want to able to zoom in and see the product at a more granular level then you need to balance image quality and image size.
9. Make your entire site crawlable
Regardless of what is the method you’re using, if Googlebot can’t crawl your site properly, it will impact your search results. Google recognizes three different configurations for mobile devices:
- Responsive Designs where the layout adapts to the screen size.
- Dynamic Serving where web servers send out different HTML depending on the device’s UserAgentString.
- Separate URLs that serve different code to each device, on different URLs
10. Does all your content play on mobile devices?
Some types of content, especially videos, cannot be playable on all mobile devices. For example, Flash doesn’t work on many mobile devices. If your content can’t play, it can be quite frustrating for mobile users and defeats the purpose. Instead, it may be a better idea to stick to HTML5 tags for all audio and video content.
11. Have you cross checked your redirects and cross links?
Remember, if you have a mobile site on separate URLs, you need to redirect mobile visitors to the most relevant page, not just to the mobile site homepage. Users do not expect or want you to redirect all desktop access to the mobile home page. The same holds for mobile to desktop, make sure to link to the appropriate page.
12. How do you handle complex tasks and sensitive information?
Desktops are still considered to be more secure than mobile devices. As a result, mobile users are not comfortable with performing complex tasks or those that require sensitive information to be inputted on mobile devices. Providing a ‘click-to-call‘ button makes it easier for users to complete the transaction. Or you can let the user carry over the interaction to another device. For example users browsing a job search site may appreciate the option of emailing a list of suitable jobs to themselves, so that they can apply later, perhaps from a desktop.
It may sound like a lot of work to guarantee mobile-friendliness, but it’s a vital part of keeping your visitors happy and maintaining your site’s search visibility.