Your mobile site strategy will determine how successful your online presence is. Google is now penalizing websites that aren't mobile responsive, and customers are quick to leave a website that's hard to navigate on their phone. As a result, your mobile site performance is critical to growing your online presence and attracting and retaining customers. Here's a 3-step strategy to optimize your site for mobile.
1. Determine If Your Site Is Mobile Responsive
The first step in understanding how your mobile site strategy stacks up is simple: Take a close look at how your website performs on mobile devices. There are two ways to do this, and it's smart to spend time doing both. The first is to use Google's tool, which will tell you immediately if your website is mobile friendly. If the tool determines that your site isn't optimized for mobile, it will highlight issues such as "clickable images too close together" or "content wider than the screen."
Next, spend some time looking at your website on a variety of devices, including both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets. These steps will provide you with a clearer understanding of your current mobile performance and inform your action plan for revisiting your strategy.
2. Get to Know Your Users
Every business should have a customer-based mobile strategy that takes their needs into account. Who are your customers, and how are they using your site? It's a good idea to audit your website history and data to get a better idea of your customers' demographics, the percentage of traffic that comes from mobile, what users are doing on your site and the devices they're using to access it. From there, it's possible to develop a set of priorities anchored around your customers' needs.
3. Work With a Professional
Depending on how your website was designed, you may already have a version that's optimized for mobile on the back end. Programs such as Wix, for example, allow you to enable a mobile-friendly design with just the flip of a switch on their templates. WordPress sites and custom-designed websites are more variable. Consider hiring a designer to evaluate your site and determine what steps you'll need to optimize for mobile devices. There are three different types of mobile-friendly design:
- Dynamic serving, which senses which device a customer is on and then serves up a specific version of the site that's optimized for that device. This approach becomes more complex as smartphones and tablets become more diverse.
- Responsive design, which is probably the most popular approach, uses a single version of your site code that can be modified depending on what device a user is on.
- Separate URLs, which have different landing pages and versions for desktop-based computers and mobile devices.
A responsive design often provides the most flexibility over time. Depending on your goals and current site design, a designer can help you determine what's right for you.
Optimizing your website for mobile is the next step many business owners need to take. As mobile traffic increases, responsiveness will ensure your site ranks well in search results and customers have a positive experience, whether they're searching for information or ready to make their next purchase.