It’s not enough for your small business website to be up and running, complete with useful content and eye-catching graphics. With statistics showing nearly half of all website traffic to be of the mobile variety, a website that is not mobile-ready can translate into a loss of interactions and potential business. Of course, that translates into lost revenue.
According to Tom Murzenski, chief technologist at Impel. Digital, a mobile-ready website “is sized to fit on a mobile screen without horizontal scrolling, the text is easy to read, images are the right size and the site is easy to navigate by touch.” Offering a mobile-ready website offers users “a first class experience for visitors coming from mobile devices,” he says.
Websites that are not mobile-ready are not as user-friendly as those that are. For example, when a user clicks on a business’s phone number on a mobile-ready website, the number instantly transfers to the phone. Just click on your “call” icon and the phone dials the number. No need to write the number down to then punch it into the phone.
Easier phone dialing isn’t the main reason for ensuring your site is amenable to mobile users. “Google's research indicates mobile visitors are five times more likely to leave a site that isn't mobile friendly and nearly half will leave if a site doesn't load within three seconds,” says Murzenski, adding, “You've probably fought hard to get a visitor to come to your site. Do you want them to leave right as soon as they get there?”
Another reason to go mobile is that Google analytics favor mobile-ready sites. That means a mobile-ready website is going to get a higher Google ranking than one that is not.
Making your site mobile-ready If a website was built more than seven years ago and hasn’t been updated since, it will probably be more time and cost-efficient to start from scratch than attempting to add mobile elements, says Murzenski. However, if your website was created using WordPress and was built fairly recently, it is already mobile-friendly and requires little, if any, customization. Services such as Wix or Weebly have mobile built in, but will likely require some tweaking, says Murzenski.
And, if your site does require tweaking to become mobile-ready, it might not be the best use of your time to do it yourself. Unless, of course, you’re an IT expert.
Murzenski offers three tips to know about mobile-ready websitea. They are:
Keep it slim
Watch your navigation
“Responsiveness design means your site will rearrange itself to make it easy to see your information, even on a small screen,” he says.
Keeping a website slim is imperative because it impacts the speed a website can be navigated. “Speed is a huge issue on mobile,” says Murzenski, who advises people to use a minimum of bells and whistles on their site so accessibility speeds won’t be diminished. He also says to use as few images as possible, and keep the ones you do use small, as graphics also impact a website’s speed of accessibility.
When it comes to navigation, Murzenski says to keep the visitor in mind when creating your site’s navigational buttons. “Your visitor may be holding their phone in one hand and trying to navigate with a stretched thumb,” so keep it all accessible, he says.
Another tip? “Keep your menu easy to use,” he says.
Tami Kamin Meyer is an Ohio attorney and writer who tweets as @girlwithapen.