10 Ideas for Better Mobile Web Experiences
Consumers are now using their mobile devices more and more to search the web for products and services. This is primarily why mobile-friendly websites have become the latest hot topic in the Internet world. As a business owner and/or Internet marketer, you need to ask if consumers can easily access your site from their mobile devices. Have you designed your website to be mobile-friendly? Better yet, is your website accessible from all types of devices?
In the case of most businesses, their website is accessible from desktop and laptop computers. What’s left is to improve site design to make it accessible from smartphones and tablets as well. So, how do you make your website more responsive to the current needs of your target market? Here are some of the possible approaches you can take:
Create a Mobile Website
This is perhaps the simplest solution. Just create a version of your site that’s optimized for mobile devices. There are tools like Mobify, Mofuse, and Wirenode that can help you with this task. This could also be your cheapest option with costs ranging from $9 to about $1000 per month depending on your needs. Of course, cost shouldn’t be your primary consideration, but your target audience’s needs.
Update to Responsive Design
If you don’t want to have two separate websites (which can be trickier to manage and can increase overhead), you could make adjustments on your existing site design to make it accessible to both computers and mobile devices. This way, you can focus all development efforts on just one site.
Create a Mobile App
Instead of a website, you could just create task-specific mobile apps for your target market to use, depending on what they want to do on your site. A travel agency, for example, could create an app where customers can manage their reservations. Custom apps can cost up to $25,000 and more, with an average of $6,453 depending on functionality and design.
You could also opt to create both a mobile website and mobile apps. This allows your customers to perform specific tasks quickly using an app whenever they need to, or browse your site on their mobile device when they simply want to look around. Needless to say, this is the most expensive option and one you’d want to consider if it’s absolutely necessary for growing your business.
You could take tips from website experts as to what the best approach is, but what’s most important is that the approach you take suits your situation best and is aligned with your overall vision for your business. Whatever approach you choose to take, you’d want to keep the following in mind when you go mobile-friendly:
Remember that when people do an online search on a mobile device, they naturally want to find what they’re looking for with as few clicks or swipes as possible. Check your site to see if there are screens that can be removed without sacrificing functionality. Make sure critical information are all placed above the fold and used larger fonts as well as bigger buttons. It’s also advisable to avoid placing too much content on a single screen page. Once you’ve redesigned your site for mobile, check it on a mobile device to determine if a visitor will have a good experience, or if further adjustments are needed.
Define the Context
Again, with the thought that mobile users are always in a rush, you need to determine what the most important aspects/features of your business are that consumers need to see first when they visit your site on a mobile device. Remember that the mobile version of your site cannot be designed in the same way a traditional website is presented because mobile users generally have different requirements. Step into the shoes of your target market for a moment to gain a better understanding of what they require in a mobile website.
If there’s plenty of information you need to share on your site, do your best to organize them in an easily digestible way. A single-column structure with collapsible navigation, for example, eliminates common glitches and makes it easy for visitors to browse your mobile site. Again, it’s a good idea to take the point of view of your target audience in this case. Pull up your mobile site version to see if information is easy to pull up and read or if you need to improve the structure.
Once of the things mobile users appreciate most is an interactive site. It will definitely be to your advantage if you made the mobile version of your site interactive. Whenever a user clicks on a button, the visuals should change to show that there’s a process currently in progress.
Define Your Brand
Earlier we mentioned the importance of defining the context of your mobile website. Of course, one thing you should also be sure to define is your brand. Whenever a mobile user visits your site, your brand should be showcased instantly on the first page that comes up. You could showcase your brand with the use of a logo or by incorporating your brand colors in the overall site design.
Test Your Site
Before you formally launch your mobile site, be sure to test it on several mobile devices with different screen resolutions and operating systems. If you don’t have access to some mobile devices, you could try using a web-based emulator. This will help you ensure that when users finally get to view your site on their mobile devices, they’ll run into as few problems as possible or better yet, no problems at all.
Other than the needs of your target audience, you should also make sure the design and functionality of your mobile website is aligned with your business goals and well within your budget. Surely, you wouldn’t want to sacrifice one for the others. And once you get the site up and running, start focusing on providing your audience with interesting and useful content. As a general rule, you’ll want to offer quick access, your contact details, videos and links to various maps and direction. These components should keep visitors on your site for more than a couple of minutes. Even better, it should keep them coming back for more!