Most people in Ireland now own a smart phone, yet only 46% of Irish SME websites are mobile friendly. This means that when someone tries to view one of those non-mobile friendly websites on their mobile or tablet, they will likely have a negative experience.
Content will be hard to view and they will need to pinch and pull the screen, moving the content around as they try and read the tiny text and click the tiny links. If this wasn’t enough to damage your business, Google recently decided to hit a further blow by penalising non-mobile friendly websites and boosting visibility to those that are optimised for mobile browsing.
Google’s Mobile Update
Google wants to deliver the best experience to their users and mobile accessibility is now top of their list. As of 21st April 2015 Google changed their algorithms to reward websites optimised for mobile. This means that where you may have been appearing in the top 3 search results you may now be pushed onto the second page, never to be found.
Test Your Site
You can test your website here. If your site passes then you can relax; your search rankings won’t be negatively affected. If your site doesn’t pass then you should consider talking to a web designer.
With Mobile Comes New Browsing Habits
How people consume media and search for information on mobile is different to how they use would on desktop. Because people carry their mobile phones with them at all times, they tend to search for information the moment their queries arise. The information you display and how you display it is even more important today than it was before.
53% of mobile searches have local intent
More often than not, when people search your business on a mobile, they want to know where you are and how to get in contact with you. Understanding this need becomes valuable when planning a website that is optimised for mobile.
Things To Consider
Here are some elements you need to consider if you want to succeed in the mobile era.
Your contact info should be front and centre. Your phone number and address should be on all pages and easy to find. Placing phone numbers in websites’ headers has become very popular lately and for good reason. When the first thing the users see is the phone number they are looking for then your website has just done it’s job.
Similar to contact info, you should make it easy for customers to find your place of business. Embed a Google map into your contact page and put a (view larger map) link above or below it that takes them to the Google Maps app. You could also consider adding a map to the footer of your site so it is visible on all pages.
Our fingers are bigger than computer cursors. With mobile screens squashing everything together it can be hard for site visitors to click on links in your site. Make sure all buttons are nice and big with enough white space around them. Hitting the wrong link and then having to click back is irritating to say the least.
Mobile devices have a limited amount of pixels, so choosing what is important and what isn’t is crucial to creating an effective website. During the planning stage you can focus on what is needed to convert visitor into customers and ignore elements that will prove distracting.
Responsive web design is where the content and overall layout responds to the devise it is being viewed on. Usually this means moving content that would be side-by-side on a desktop to lie one on top of the other so each section fills the full width of the phone. But it can include so much more: from changing text size for legibility, increasing button size for easy clicking, or most commonly to replace the navigation with one designed specifically for mobile devises to improve user-friendliness.
The benefits to Responsive design is that you only have one website. This significantly reduces both development and maintenance costs while allowing for a more consistent user experience. On top of that, Google has said that it prefers responsive design over separate mobile sites as content won’t be duplicated.
Before you race off to find a web designer, you need to think about your overall marketing goals for your business and how your website can play an integral role in attracting new customers and nurturing your current ones.
If you’d like more information on the importance of mobile web design for your business, contact us today.