5 Superior Practices for Mobile Websites

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With more and more consumers on the go and accessing information through mobile devices, it is becoming increasingly necessary for businesses to have a mobile website. It’s much trickier than taking the desktop version and slapping it to the phone. So, here are five superior practices businesses should follow to ensure that their mobile site is a hit with customers:

  1. Mobile Website Usability – Keep It Simple: Don’t even try to replicate the full online experience on the mobile site. Instead, have a mobile website centered on a few mobile offerings. This creates a mobile-optimized experience that’s easy and convenient to use. A good example is YellowPages’ mobile website. It’s specifically addressing what customers would be doing on the mobile site: searching for a location. And that’s it. NikeLab’s site is a good example that has multiple mobile-optimized offerings.
  2. Address Customer Problems: Over 80 percent of consumers expect a company’s mobile site or app to be as good, or better, than the traditional website or storefront. This means that if customers are having problems, they just won’t use your site, they won’t do business with you AT ALL. It’s crucial that you ensure your mobile site is easy to use, and that you address any customer complaints immediately for the sake of customer retention.
  3. Keep Images to a Minimum: No one likes a slow loading mobile site, and that’s just what you’ll get if you have too many images. Yes, there are times when a photo is essential, such as for your products or to illustrate a business concept. But, that’s about all the mobile site needs (if you do need images, keep them small). NikeLab’s site has three small images. Flickr and Facebook do the same on their mobile sites, keeping all those profile images teeny tiny.
  4. Address Core Users or Issues: Who are the people using your mobile site? What are the using it for? What type of mobile device are they using? If you know the answers to those questions, then your mobile site can target those users and their needs. For example, if you’re a restaurant, you’re mobile site should showcase the day’s specials, a link to the menu, and your business information. This is to target those most likely to be on your mobile site: consumers wanting somewhere to eat. Your mobile site then addresses everything they need while enticing a customer that’s ready to buy at that moment.
  5. Keep Text to a Minimum Too: Screens are small, on smartphones at least. Be mindful of your text as well. Plain or standard fonts like Arial, Trebuchet, and Sans Serif work best, as they are the easiest to read. Standard fonts are also available across all platforms, ensuring that your site can be read on an iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. There’s also little need to squish all the text above the fold, or to squish a ton of text onto the page, as that will only make it harder for the user to digest the information.

Overall, the user experience is very different on your mobile site versus the desktop or laptop. Make sure your mobile website takes those differences into consideration. If the user experience on your mobile site is less then par, then you lose that customer for good. It’s just way too easy at this point for them to go to a competitor.