As more consumers surf the web with their mobile phones, is your website designed to reach the majority of web-surfers who are on-the-go?
By the myBusiness techblog team
Your website has been carefully and professionally designed, and has many features that cater to your visitors. These may include very clear and high-resolution images, video streaming, and all of it displayed with the use of Flash technology. When viewed through a computer, it’s sure to hook a potential customer.
However, mobile browsing is constantly on the rise, with a 1000% increase in worldwide browsing activity recorded from 2009 to 20111. In light of this, it is likely that many mobile visitors to your site are likely to have a less than pleasant experience if your website isn’t optimised for mobile devices. The resolution of your website would likely end up too small or too big when displayed on the device, or appear disjointed and cumbersome for your visitor to browse through. It gets even worse if the visitor is using an iPhone or iPad. Without Flash support, your visitor will not see most, if not all, of your site’s content.
It is therefore crucial to have a website that is optimised for mobile devices, especially now that it seems like the number of mobile users will overtake their desktop counterparts who surf2.
So how you can optimise your site for mobile users? Here are some tips that you can follow:
1: Simplicity is key. Your content will have to be viewed on screens much smaller than a computer screen, and your mobile visitor is likely to have limited bandwidth (using mobile broadband to surf the web if there is an absence of Wi-Fi). You can work around this requirement by:
- Choosing a font that is simple and legible – this allows your visitor to easily understand your content even when browsing through briefly and quickly.
- Lower the resolution of images used – this facilitates shorter loading times on mobile devices.
- Structure your content while keeping in mind the size of the mobile device screen. For example, the iPhone screen size is only 640×960 pixels, so you need to work within these constraints to deliver a smoother browsing experience
2: Create a mobile subdomain. By automatically re-directing mobile visitors to your mobile-enabled website, you can ensure that they will enjoy the best experience on their devices – without compromising the integrity of the experience on a desktop.
3: Use the right keywords. People search for your website on their mobile devices just like they do on a desktop, so you should create a site with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in mind. One important thing to note is the use of an “m-dot” web address (eg: m.abc.com.), which will help search engines recognise and index your mobile site separately from your standard one.
4. Provide a choice for your viewers. You should always provide mobile visitors with the option to view your website in either the mobile or default versions. Popular websites like Yahoo! and YouTube have this feature, and serves as a bonus to tablet users.
Once your mobile-friendly site has been optimised, all that’s left is to promote it. In its new and improved form, your mobile site should be able to reach more people a lot easier, and bring greater traffic to your website. So try creating and/or optimising your mobile-friendly site today, and you could see an increase in your site’s popularity.
Do you currently have a mobile version of your website? Let us know of your experiences in the comment box below.
This article is part of a series about bring SME businesses onto the mobile platform. Click on the articles below to read more.
- SMEs go Mobile: Should you create a mobile app?
- SMEs go Mobile: How do you optimise your website for mobile visitors?
- SMEs go Mobile: Why a Mobile Presence Just Might Save Your Business (Infographic)