Google’s long awaited update to its search algorithm that will make mobile friendliness a heavier ranking factor is here. This means that if your site isn’t mobile ready you could risk losing your rankings, making it harder for your market to find you. You can find out more about the update, and get a list of resources to help you prepare, in this blog post.
But, the technical aspect of site optimisation is only part of the equation. To make your site easier to use, encourage people to return to your site and convert visitors into customers, your site needs to be optimised for people too, not just for search engines.
As you convert your site into a mobile version, don’t lose your branding. Keep your colour scheme, logos, style and voice so people will associate the site with your business. If possible, create a mobile site design that is very similar to your full site design to maintain branding and create a cohesive user experience.
A Simple, Understandable Design
Avoid complicated menus, too many buttons, huge images and animations that make your site hard to navigate on a small screen. A busy design will also distract users who won’t be able to find what they are looking for or will miss your calls to action. Instead, go with a clean, simple design that is easy for visitors to understand and use.
Short, Readable Paragraphs
We’ve all been to those websites on our smartphones where we end up having to scroll up and down, left and right and zoom in and out just to read the text. Make sure your site isn’t one of these by using shorter paragraphs and large text. Your responsive site should keep all copy within the screen, so users don’t have to scroll all over.
A Front-and-Centre Menu
Make sure the people that come to your site for something specific have an easy way of getting around. Use a menu button that stands out and put it in an intuitive place, like the top of your page or on a sidebar. Also consider adding a link to your full site somewhere on the page, especially if you exclude some features from your mobile site.
A Mobile-Friendly Call to Action
Remember that people on their smartphones or tablets may not be in a position to answer your calls to action in the same way other users are. Make it easier for people to respond from their mobile device by using simple calls to action that ask people to do things like follow you on social media, visit your location, download your app or sign up for your email newsletter. Try using features like mobile apps, simple icons, click-to-call links and mobile-friendly maps.
While you update your site so it is optimised with mobile-friendly technology, make sure it is also optimised for your visitors. A clean design, branded elements, simple copy, a clear menu and an appropriate call to action will all help you make sure your site represents your business well.