By the year 2013, forecasts predict that there will be 1.7 billion mobile internet users.
And it’s a pretty safe bet that at least a few of them are visiting your site, and seeing it on a screen that takes up just a few inches.
So what happens when readers feel cramped or have to work hard to navigate your site or read your content?
Connection speed can also frustrate readers. A lot of the time, people are trying to access your site on slow cellular data connections. And despite the attempts by providers to increase capacity, it still feels “slow,” since the more they add, the more we consume.
You want both regular and new readers to have a great experience with your site, whether it’s at home on a nice large screen or while they are mobile and seeing it on a tiny device.
Many folks spend a lot of time working on the design of their site for modern browsers, but fail to realize the ever-increasing percentage of site visitors that come by way of mobile devices.So how can you make sure your site is up to par for all those mobile readers out there?
Not only is having a great site design important, you also need to prioritize usability and a quality user experience.
Well, as luck would have it, there are some fairly easy things you can do to assure a more mobile-friendly site.
Here are some quick improvements you can make, starting today.
Create smart navigationHow’s your site navigation? Creating smart, thorough navigation for your website is a key aspect to making your site mobile friendly.
Make sure you offer readers clear and distinct ways to get to your most important content.
For example, do you see the red tabs along the top of this site? Those are examples of links to cornerstone content. Not only are they great ways to attract traffic, but they are perfect examples of clear navigation.
Write clear contentNow more than ever, you need to grab reader attention instantly.
When your site is being viewed on a much smaller screen, make sure you have compelling headlines that let the reader know she’s going to have a great experience reading this content.
Clear content that gets right to the point also assures readers can digest your material on their mobile devices, even while they’re distracted and busy.
Don’t use too many imagesI’ve been guilty of this one. And I’ve also noticed in my analytics that when I include a lot of images in a particular article, I get less traffic reading it on mobile devices.
Lately, I have been limiting my use of images to one or two, and now my articles are getting read more by those with mobile devices.
Images are a great way to get a point across or break up text, but just try to imagine someone reading your content on a really slow connection with a tiny little screen. It might mean you don’t need that 20th image after all.
Even if they do, it tends to be an extra step or two to actually view the content. The best practice is to stick with plain (X)HTML/CSS standards.
Practice good designIn the non-mobile web version of your site, it might be easier to get away with a few design problems that are far more visible and obvious in the mobile version.
Keep in mind the whitespace around paragraphs and words. If your content is so cramped that it makes readers physically uncomfortable, they might not hang out for very long.
Making your content scannable and breaking up long blocks of text is great for all readers, but even more so for mobile readers.
And cluttered, visually busy sites are hard enough to read on a large screen. Don’t ask mobile readers to go there!
So there are several ways you can begin making your website content more mobile friendly. Get started on a few of these and you will be way ahead of the competition.