5 Ways to Make Your Mobile Site Shine on Phablets
With last week’s release of iPhone 6 and 6+ and the scheduled October release of Samsung Galaxy Note 4, it is clear that bigger mobile devices are more than just a fad. Dubbed “phablets” to describe cell phones and tablet functionality, these large devices reflect the fact that more and more people are consuming content on their smartphones.
For viewing everything from emails to videos to news, mobile is beating desktop computers as the platform of choice for accessing the World Wide Wed. In fact, Convince & Convert reported that by 2014, mobile is predicted to take over desktop Internet usage. No longer a trend, mobile is the norm now.
Which makes it even more critical that your website be optimized for view on mobile devices.
Adapt or Die
If you apply the theory of evolution to your mobile website, you have got to either adapt to the changing times (and adapt quickly!) or miss out on revenue-generating opportunities for your business.
Seventy percent of mobile searches lead to action on websites within one hour, according to iAcquire. That’s huge opportunity you could be missing out on if your website is not optimized for mobile users, especially if your competition has already embraced the idea.
So how can you make your website more mobile-friendly?
Start With Mobile Design
There are two options when creating a mobile website. You can either build your site to be responsive or adaptive, meaning your site will be able to detect the size of the device being used to view the site and will resize accordingly for an optimal viewing experience.
You can utilize sites like WordPress, GoDaddy or SquareSpace to access mobile-friendly designs for your site.
IMA's website is responsive to display on iPhone 5s
The other option is to create a mobile version of your website. For example, on your desktop, you would go to the address www.facebook.com. But on your mobile device, you would visit m.facebook.com (assuming you aren’t using the app to access the site instead).
If you don’t have the designing or coding experience needed to create this yourself, sites like bMobilized will convert any existing website to a mobile-friendly version for a nominal fee. Check out their site for an immediate view of what your mobile-optimized site would look like—it’s pretty cool!
Mobile-ize your Content
If you opt to build a new mobile site, there are some important design elements to keep in mind to increase the user experience (UX):
- Simplify the Content: It’s true that screen sizes are getting larger. But even the largest phone screens are still less than a quarter of the size of the average laptop screen. Provide content in short, easily digestible blocks instead of long paragraphs of text. Remember, most users are reading while on-the-go, so help them out by reducing the clutter and amount of content on your mobile site.
- Incorporate Your Brand: Don’t pare down your content so much that you render your website unidentifiable. Incorporate elements of your brand into your mobile site by using the same fonts, color schemes and icons that would appear on your full site. And, of course, include your logo!
- Keep Text Entry to a Minimum: If you suffer from the proverbial Fat-Finger Syndrome, you know what a challenge it can be to type the correct letters on the tiny digital keyboard. Limit the amount of required text entries and opt for drop-down menu or checklist options instead.
- Include Your Phone Number: Most mobile users are searching your site on their phone with the intention of calling your business. They are searching on a phone, after all. Yet, many businesses forget to include their phone number on their mobile site or they make it too difficult to find. Place your phone number prominently or include a click to call button.
- Link to Full Site: As great as your mobile site might be, sometimes your visitor may still need to access you full (desktop-version) website. Include a link to access the full site directly from the mobile version instead of making them type in your site address again.
Mobile Sites Impact Your SEO
Having a mobile-friendly site does impact your overall SEO. Google and Bing seem to prefer all-in-one responsive design when scoring websites.
Also, mobile feeds on local search. Most mobile users are performing web searches to find somewhere to eat, shop or play near where they are currently located. Local searches are going to be the primary results, so your mobile content will need to focus on ranking for location when possible.
Don’t overlook the social media component, either. Mobile users are much more likely to engage on social platforms than desktop users. So take advantage of this for your business! Not only should your content be shareable on social, but your mobile site should also include opportunities for users to recommend you online and on social sites.
Remember, the majority of mobile users want quick, easy-to-consume bites of content. Mobile users are generally surfing the web while watching television, tweeting while they cheer on their sports team or vote for their favorite contestant on The Voice. By optimizing your website for mobile use, you can be sure your site doesn’t turn away potential customers.
You wouldn’t expect customers to walk into your storefront if the lights were off or the store was so crowded they couldn’t shop, would you? The same applies to the mobile version of your website. If you make it too difficult for your viewers to find information about your business, you will lose customers before you even have a chance to tell them about your product.