Is Your Website Responsive?
As the pandemic has shifted more sales to online platforms than brick and mortar sales, your website is a very important part of your business. What you might not realize is that more than half of all web traffic originates from mobile devices. Experts predict that in the future, nearly two-thirds of the total population will be accessing the internet primarily through phones and tablets in just the next few years. You might not know just how important mobile compatibility is to Google's search algorithm.
Many of the merchants we work with are already aware of these facts, but they don’t really incorporate them into their online marketing strategies. In fact, most merchants do the bare minimum to make their website mobile-compatible but don't really take the steps needed to create a better and easier experience for their customers. If you are using your website for selling products, you don't just want people browsing. You want to convert the shoppers into buyers.
By failing to optimize a website for a mobile-dependent world you can actually drive shoppers away. If customers are using mobile devices to find you, then it makes sense to provide a better mobile experience. Give your customers more of what they want. Here are three steps you can take to determine whether your business website is mobile-compatible or mobile-friendly:
Step 1: Make Your Website Responsive
A responsive business website is one that can automatically change shapes and appearances depending on customer's screen size and browser type. Someone using a laptop computer might see one version of the site while a person using an iPhone would see another version. This represents the most basic method to achieve mobile compatibility. Check your website on a smartphone, a tablet and desktop to make sure the look and feel is the same on all devices.
Step 2: Optimize Your Website for Mobile Viewing
Once your website is determined to be responsive to different devices, look for ways to optimize your content for mobile viewing. This might mean changing image sizes and resolutions, replacing unusual fonts, and ensuring that plug-ins are coded correctly for mobile operating systems such as Safari. These are small steps that don’t necessarily have a noticeable affect of the website, but these changes can speed up the screen delivery time and reduce on-screen errors. In other words, they are the secret ingredients that improve things for customers using a mobile device.
Step 3: Provide Mobile-Friendly Functionality
The final level of creating a great mobile experience involves changing the interactivity of the business website. As an example, you might have a "call-to-action" button such as a "click here" button. Those buttons should be made bigger and more finger-friendly. The same for any navigation tabs, or forms that rely on drop down menus instead of typed responses. These are not big changes that require a lot of time or money. If you pay a web developer to make these improvements, you might not even notice them. However, mobile users will notice and appreciate the effort. It makes it far easier for mobile customers to use your website. That, in turn, encourages them to remain on your website longer and possibly buy more stuff.
Is Your Website Helping or Hurting Your Business?
The three different ideas presented are suggestions we offer as we roll into the holiday shopping season. We want to help you improve your customer's shopping experience and thus, help you sell more goods or services. We encourage you to check your web analytics and see if the majority of your website visitors are using mobile devices. If they are, you should be making sure their visit is so pleasant that you set yourself apart from your competition. Implementing a responsive web design is a good first step, but you can take additional steps.
Use a Professional
While you can save a few bucks by using something like GoDaddy's website builder, or hiring your nephew to use a generic template, if you want your website to look and behave professionally and represent the look and feel of your unique business, hire a professional website developer that provides web design advice and online marketing practices. Most will give you a free consultation that includes a review of your current site. As the trend toward mobile shopping continues, make sure you are on the train as it leaves the station.