Best Practices for a Mobile-Optimized Site-Feature.jpg

Best Practices for a Mobile-Optimized Site

These days, it’s far more common for people to have a mobile phone than a desktop computer. There are billions of smartphone users out there. Meanwhile, rates of desktop and laptop ownership have fallen in the US. These numbers make it easy to see why having a mobile-friendly site is more important than ever before.

It’s essential that your website is designed to provide the best possible experience regardless of what device it is being viewed on. No matter whether someone finds the site on a laptop, desktop, tablet or mobile phone, you want your site to be equally as functional and accessible.

One of the most important aspects of a mobile-friendly site is responsive design. With a responsive design, your site will automatically reconfigure itself for the optimal experience on any device, and you’ll have no need to have a separate site for mobile.

Responsive design is the first step toward mobile-friendliness, but it’s a mistake to believe that it’s the only aspect of mobile optimization. In fact, there are a number of other best practices to consider when optimizing your site for mobile.

How to optimize your site for mobile

#1. Choose the right web host

The first step toward success when building any type of website is to choose the right web host. The type of web host you use can make a huge difference in how your website performs, as well as how long it takes for your website to load.

A lot of small businesses try to save a few bucks by using a cheap web host, but when it comes to web hosting, you often get what you pay for. And, if your web host is unreliable, you won’t be able to fix site speed and performance issues, no matter what you do to your website.

You want a web host that will ensure that your site’s performance is at the top of its game and help to eliminate the risk of downtime or a slow-loading site.

Site speed is one of the key differences between a site that performs well on mobile and a site that doesn’t.

These days, the average internet user’s attention span is even shorter than that of a goldfish, and a slow-loading website will almost certainly lead to a high bounce rate and hurt your site’s performance on mobile.

#2. Keep your menu simple.

Screens on mobile phones are much smaller than screens on laptops and desktops, and it’s important to keep smaller screens in mind when designing a mobile-friendly site, especially when it comes to the design of your site’s menu.

Navigation on a desktop computer can get complicated, and there’s room for a ton of different options, but there’s no point in having so many options on mobile if no one can see them or easily get to them.

The last thing that you want is for your visitors to do a lot of pinching or scrolling to fully access your menu. After all, it doesn’t exactly create a seamless user experience.

Every option on your menu needs to be clearly visible on a mobile device, as well as easily clickable and with a clear destination.

Keep in mind that people are using their fingers to navigate your site on a mobile phone rather than a mouse, which means that every option needs to be big enough and spaced appropriately so that it’s easy to access with fingertips.

#3. Rethink your pop-up ads

Pop-up ads tend to have a negative reputation, but as far as grabbing the attention of your viewers goes, it’s one of the most effective weapons in your arsenal.

As such, there’s a strong possibility that you use a pop-up ad or two on your website in strategic places.

Pop-ups are all well and good, but if you’re not careful, you could be penalized by Google for using them. In an attempt to ensure that its users are getting the best possible experience, Google has implemented penalties for sites that have pop-ups that frustrate mobile users.

Here are a couple of things you can do to make sure your pop-ups stay on Google’s good side:

  • They should be non-obstructive - If your pop-ups are overly large, they can frustrate mobile users. Make sure that your pop-ups are small enough that they only cover just a fraction of the screen.
  • They should be easy to close - If a mobile user can’t figure out how to close a popup, or if the smaller screen makes it impossible to do so, it can lead to a negative user experience. Make sure that your pop-ups are easy to close on any device.

Keep in mind that these guidelines don’t apply to pop-ups that display essential information, like age-verification forms.

#4. Format text for mobile

Creating content is one of the best ways to ensure that your website will rank organically in the SERP (search engine results pages); however, when you’re creating content for your website, it’s essential that you keep the mobile experience in mind.

A smaller screen size means that there’s not as much space for text, so when you’re creating titles, headings, etc., you’ll want to ensure that the text is short, to the point and easy to read.

It’s amazing how large even small paragraphs can look on mobile sites. You’ll want to format your text for an optimal mobile experience by breaking it up into small paragraphs. This is one of the reasons why lists can have such a powerful impact on mobile.

#5. Make your site easy to search.

If the navigation of your website is done right, your users should have no trouble getting to where they need to go. But, you should never assume that your menu covers all of your bases.

It’s important to give your users an alternative to your menu for finding the information they need, and one of the best ways to do this is by including a search bar.

This will allow people to search specifically for what they’re looking for, and it’s an especially important feature for e-commerce stores.

Whether you’re building your own website with the Websites 360® website builder or you’ve hired a professional to build it for you, it’s always important to keep mobile-friendliness at the top of your mind.

Originally published on 2/5/20