How often do you use your smartphone to surf through the Internet? We aren't psychics or mind readers but we can already guess that the answer to this question is "frequently". Over 80% of Internet users use their mobile phones to watch YouTube videos, read articles and search for anything they need.
For instance, as an essay writer, it's pretty convenient for you to use a smartphone for research while you use your PC to do the actual typing.
This only goes to show that if you're building a website, a huge percentage of your traffic will be coming from mobile users.
As such, if you aren’t making sites mobile friendly, you're definitely missing out on a huge amount of traffic. Optimising your website (and content) for mobile use is an essential part of web design. Sure, it may seem like an unpleasant chore but you'd definitely be glad you did it.
What Is a Mobile-Friendly Website?
Now, you probably already know what a mobile-friendly website is but in the unlikely event that you don't, here's a quick breakdown of what a mobile-friendly site entails.
Just like the name implies, a mobile-friendly site is one that's easy to navigate both on a computer and a mobile device.
Mobile users can easily read any text, view pictures and click on both internal and external links when surfing the website.
If you already own a website, you can put it through a litmus test to find out if it is mobile-friendly or not.
You can start by using Google's mobile-friendly test tool which scores your site's mobile-friendliness. All you have to do is enter your page's URL and see how easy it is for mobile visitors to navigate the page.
Alternatively, you could use a mobile phone emulator to see what your site looks like on different phone models.
Is Responsive Design the Way to Go?
When it comes to making sites mobile-friendly, there are so many strategies you could try out and responsive design is just one of them.
Responsive design simply means that as the screen size changes, the content on the site immediately adjusts to match the screen size.
Let's assume you have a user whose screen size is 320 x 480 pixels and there's another user with a screen size of 240 x 320 pixels.
Even if the two users visit the website at the same time, the content of the site will automatically adjust to suit the different dimensions of their screen.
This way, they'd both have an optimised, satisfactory experience. So, in response to the question that this subheading poses, yes, responsive design is definitely the way to go.
How to Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Optimising a website for mobile devices is definitely one challenge a lot of web designers face. If you aren't sure how to achieve this, you can check out some web design services.
On the other hand, if you'd like to optimise your site yourself, here are a few tips that let help you:
Simplify your menus
Here's the first thing you need to know: the screens on mobile phones are way smaller than the screens you'd find on any desktop or laptop. So, even though an extensive menu isn't really a problem on a desktop site, it can be really problematic for mobile phone users.
Imagine if your visitors had to constantly zoom in and out just to select a navigation option or scroll through the site.
That's definitely not a pleasant chore. To avoid your users groaning in frustration and leaving your site in less than ten seconds, you need to simplify your menu.
Make sure that everything is concise and fits perfectly into one screen.
Keep your forms very short
How many forms do your site visitors need to fill out? Two? Four? If each form requires a lot of information from your visitors, then maybe you need to re-evaluate your strategy.
Ensure that each form is short and straight to the point. Wondering why you need to do this? It's simple. Typing information and filling out a form on a computer is pretty easy and seamless. However, with smartphones and tablets, it's a little harder.
Evaluate each line of your form and decide if it really needs to be there. For instance, do you really need to know your visitors' favourite food?
If you don't, then scrap out that line immediately.
Display CTAs very clearly
It's a no-brainer that your website needs a CTA. Whether you're asking users to subscribe to your mailing list or order a product, CTAs often help to boost conversions. If you're trying to utilise this conversion tool effectively, then you need to make your call-to-action buttons very obvious.
Your CTA button should not take users more than three seconds to identify or else it'd have lost its purpose.
Keep it clear and easy to spot.
Add a search function
No mobile user wants to spend minutes scrolling down a site just to find a menu option. If you're running an e-commerce site, then you definitely need to add a search button. This makes it it easier for users to find whatever they're looking for in no time at all.
Size really does matter
You've heard the phrase "size matters" a thousand times but never in the context of web design. When it comes to mobile optimization, size really does matter. Browsing and scrolling through a site with your thumb isn't so seamless.
As such, you need to ensure that buttons are large enough to be tapped at once with just a finger. This way, your users won't have to tap the same button over and over again just to get it to work.
In the same vein, don't keep buttons too close to each other to avoid users accidentally clicking the wrong one.
Get rid of pop-ups
The general consensus is that pop-up notifications are super annoying. But you know what's even more annoying? Pop-up notifications on a mobile device. These buggers are harder to close on any smartphone or tablet.
The small "X" button that closes pop-up notifications is so tiny that users may even accidentally click on the pop-up instead of closing it.
As such, it's better to simply eliminate all pop-ups so that your users can have a better experience.
Making your website mobile-friendly is one of the hardest web design challenges out there. However, one tip that would make your mobile optimization journey easier is the use of responsive design.
With responsive design, you'd get to give your users the seamless experience they love and deserve. Why not try it out now?
About the Author:
James Baxter is professional writer, editor at write my essay and blogger, who loves sharing his experience and knowledge with readers. He is especially interested in marketing, blogging and IT. James is always happy to visit different places and meet new people there.