Websites that look perfect and are easy to use on mobile devices is no longer an option. In fact, there is nothing much that will make your brand look out of touch than a site that doesn’t translate to people’s smartphones. Mobile users have very specific goals when using their phones. They are also generally on the go and looking to get their information quickly. Mobile design is also very important for search engine rankings. Here are a few of the key elements of mobile friendly web design..
This element is at the top of the list for mobile optimization. Responsive web design means that your website changes to fit whatever screen it is being viewed on. This means that your website looks the same whether it is being viewed on a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. Visitors will always see the same rendering. Today, responsive design is essential for any company with a digital presence.
Click to Call
It is important that your customers and potential customers can easily call you without struggling through a lot of clicks. A click to call button that is easy and obvious makes it seamless for them to get in touch with you. It is a phone after all. When people see your number, or a “Call” button, it instantly brings up the phone app and asks if you want to place the call.
Direct Link to Maps
Along the same lines, your mobile-friendly website should make it effortless to get directions called up on Google Maps or Apple Maps. When they are on the go, the last thing they want to be doing is adding extra steps to finding your business. Including a map is key if you are trying to attract customers to your location.
Clear Call to Action
One of the most important reasons to even have a web site is to get your customers to act. What exactly is it you want them to do? Give site visitors a clear call to action (CTA) to get the best results out of your mobile web page. Make your CTA engaging, so people are eager to click it. A few examples of good CTA’s include:
- Sign up for free
- Get started
- Join for one month free
- Send me special deals
- Go premium
- What’s next?
- Exclusive sale
Videos and Images
Make sure each and every video and image on your site is optimized for mobile. Old coding methods or an unresponsive video player will cause mobile users to be unable to view them. This is not acceptable to people these days, and they expect to be able to quickly and easily scroll through videos and images. Never use outdated Flash video. Make sure your video is at least HTML 5. Make sure your images are compressed to the smallest size possible while still maintaining sharpness.
Your mobile site needs to load immediately, as mobile users do not wait around for a slow site. Page loading speed is also very important to your search engine rankings. There are many ways to speed up the loading time of your site, including reducing the size of images, using reliable plugins, reducing the amount of extra content on your site, and using AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) protocols. Even a few fractions of a second can make a big difference to visitors on mobile devices.
Windows that popup may work on desktops and laptops, but they are pretty annoying on mobile. Intrusive popup ads that block the user’s experience are not appreciated. Find other ways to get your customers attention. If you can’t eliminate popups completely, make sure you keep them to an absolute minimum.
Make sure gestures that are familiar to mobile users is incorporated into your web design. Your web designer who is familiar with mobile friendly design knows the latest trends in mobile gestures, including:
- Tap – Briefly touching the surface with a fingertip
- Double Tap -Rapidly touching the surface twice
- Drag – Moving the fingertip across the screen without lifting it
- Flick -Quickly brushing the fingertip several times across the surface
- Pinch- Touching the surface with two fingers and quickly dragging them together
- Spread – Touching the surface with two fingers and then spreading them apart
- Press, Press and Tap, and Press and Drag – pressing the surface, then using another gesture
- Rotate – Press the surface with two fingers and then move clockwise or counter-clockwise
There is no need to confuse your customers by forcing them to try to read fancy fonts on their little screens. Make sure you choose fonts that are clear and easy to read. Test your fonts out for yourself to make sure they are easy to read on mobile and easily clickable. Some fonts that are proven to be mobile friendly include Open Sans, Arial, Helvetica, Times, Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, Verdana, Trebuchet MS, Old Standard TT, PT Serif, and Droid.
A key element in mobile friendly web design is that it is user-friendly. That is essentially the whole point of all of these elements put together. The easier your site is to navigate, the more likely the visitor will spend more time on your site. They will also be more likely to return. The site should feel intuitive and familiar, and navigation buttons should be large and easy to use. The best way to find out if your site is intuitive to use on mobile is to load it onto your own mobile device and see how it performs. Go through all your links and make sure there are no errors. It is a smart idea to rely on web design professionals who know exactly what to look for.
With Google’s new mobile-first policy, it is more important than ever to have a mobile friendly website. Not only will you attract and keep your customers, you will rank much higher in search results. The above list includes just some of the key elements necessary for the best mobile friendly web design. To find out more about how to optimize your website for mobile, talk to us today!