Did you know that in both 2017 and 2018, more than half of all global website traffic was generated through mobile phones? As recently as 2009, that figure was less than 1%, which just goes to show how rapidly mobile has become absolutely central to Internet marketing for SMEs.
Or at least, mobile should play a central role – but does it? In truth, all too many website owners seem to be in danger of simply presuming that their firm’s mobile presence is up to scratch.
Does your own mobile site actually address the specific needs of those navigating your site with their smartphones?
Here are just five of the many ways to make sure it does.
1. Design with large fingers in mind
If your visitors were forced to navigate your mobile site with just their thumb, would they still be able to do it easily?
Take a look at your site now.
Are the navigational elements spaced out nicely, so that no one is likely to aim for one menu item and end up accidentally tapping another?
Also ensure your menus show in their entirety within a mobile browser, without the need to scroll down.
2. Look at what your competitors routinely do
There are certain items that consistently crop up on mobile sites, not least because they work. Your mobile site’s navigation system in particular, isn’t the best place to try to reinvent the wheel. ‘Hamburger’ menus, for instance – resembling three horizontal lines as a button – may be ubiquitous on mobile sites, but that’s because they’re brilliant for saving space on smaller screens and they’re widely recognised by users as representing a shortcut to the menu.
3. Use straightforward and prominent calls to action
Mobile users tend to be much less inclined than those browsing on a desktop computer to spend a long time on a webpage simply reading paragraphs of text. Instead, they’re comparatively goal-oriented, often with a determination to quickly find contact details, directions or other useful information.
Calls to action (CTAs), which instruct visitors to carry out a specific action, are particularly important on mobile sites. Ask yourself: are your CTAs large, clear and easy to find?
4. Streamline and optimise your forms
Online forms have historically been fiddly on mobile sites, but they don’t have to be in 2019.
Do your own site’s forms automatically scale to fill up the entire browser window?
Does the correct on-screen keyboard pull up – either numbers or letters – for each section of the form?
Is real-time validation provided using AJAX? In other words, is the user given feedback on what they’ve typed as they do so, instead of only after they have submitted the form?
5. Make your pages load quickly
So many elements of your mobile site – such as its images and videos – could hamper its loading times if you aren’t careful. It can therefore really help to take the time to properly optimise those elements for rapid loading, including by making images the appropriate size for their purpose. Large autoplaying videos should be avoided and are probably best replaced with something less burdensome.
Don’t neglect the critical importance of an attractive, easy to navigate and swiftly loading mobile site for your business! It’s certainly a key part of our own wide-ranging Internet marketing for SMEs here at PENNInk Productions, as you can find out more about when you call 020 8144 7931.
Edward Solomon has over 15 years’ experience in project management, technical education, computer networking, web design and development and is a Digital Business Consultant for PENNInk Productions Ltd.