On April 21st, 2015, Google made the announcement that it would start using mobile (human) friendly websites as a factor in search engine ranking. Consequently, businesses finally realized that they can’t continue to ignore stepping up to a mobile web design that best serves their prospects and clients. With the dominance of mobile search and today’s consumer’s focus on their mobile devices, this is a trend that can’t be ignored.
The following are the essential principles of a game-changing mobile web design that will give you the ability to ideally address the needs of today’s “mobile” consumers.
Invest in Perfection
Not all responsive (mobile friendly) websites are created equal so don’t go cheap with your design. The foundation of a responsive website design is that their consumers won’t need to pinch in and out, just to be able to read your content. A professionally designed responsive site will also look as good on their smartphones as it does on a desktop, adapting to every device’s size, ensuring that your message is effortlessly visible across all platforms without weird wrapping issues, etc.
Easy to Navigate Menus
Besides the fact that complicated navigation menus are a turn off for website visitors, there simply isn’t enough room on a mobile device’s screen to process complex menus. The optimal menu will have no more than 6 or 7 navigation links (you can add a drop down menu if necessary under each). As you consider your site’s menu, focus on your key products and services, with an eye on making it easy for visitors to quickly find what they’re looking for.
Keep Forms Simple and Non-Intrusive
With regards to filling out contact forms on mobile devices, as with any platform, most users aren’t interested in filling out multiple fields of information. Instead of asking them for too much info, just require what’s absolutely necessary and nothing more. The last thing you want to do is turn off potential leads. In most cases, all you really need is their name and email address, skipping the phone number because most people have a real aversion when it comes to giving it out.
Include an Eye Catching Call to Action
A good, visually stimulating call to action (s) is an important part of any website design, even more so with a mobile web design. This is true because, unlike desktop users, mobile consumers usually have a better an idea of what they’re looking for when they visit your site. To get the most bang for your buck, place your call to action in a prominent place, using a different font and/or color tones to help them stand out but avoiding a “carnival barking” look. Your call to action message should be straight forward as well, so that the visitor knows what they’ll be receiving if they respond to the call to action. Most important of all, don’t try to oversell it by adding distracting, flowery language – think short, sweet and compelling.
Load Time Considerations
Some things never change, including our impatience with website load times. This is especially the case for mobile users. Since so many are accessing websites on the go, you sure don’t want to drive them away because yours is taking so long to load. To truly compete today and keep people on your site, it needs to be able to equally support both non-WiFi and WiFi connections, and in a perfect world, loading a page in under 4 seconds. More than half of mobile users today expect a site to load this amount of time, and approximately 80% are dissatisfied with browsing speed on their smartphones in general. That’s a whole lot of potential clients leaving your website if you don’t make it a fast and easy experience. A couple of things to keep in mind are, first, optimize your visual content (reduce the file sizes without affecting the image quality) and keeping your site’s overall size to less than 1MB.
Make It Easy to Contact You
Whether you’re selling widgets or real estate, giving consumers a quick and easy way to contact you is key, options that are easy to access from every page of your site. For mobile users, “click to call” tools like QR codes, prominently features on your website. This option, along with a visible email address, phone number and contact form, gives visitors plenty of opportunities to reach you. You should also embed a Google map on your contact page, providing visitors with the option of clicking on the map and finding directions to your brick and mortar location if applicable.
If you haven’t done it already, it’s time to step up to a mobile web design and capture all of the traffic and revenue that you’ve more than likely been missing out on. As a marketer, it’s essential to focus on serving mobile users or risk having your website disappear from the search results, which also means “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to consumers.
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