What Makes a Website Mobile-Friendly?

Posted by Alex Kastanas on Jan 9, 2017 9:26:00 AM

What Makes a Website Mobile-Friendly.jpg

In today’s world, having a ‘mobile-friendly’ website is no longer a nice-to-have. If your website doesn’t look and feel great on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, you’re not only shorting your customers on user experience, your rankings are probably being penalized by search engines, too.

That’s a hefty price to pay if you expect any return from digital marketing.

What makes a website mobile-ready? Are there certain criteria that search engines look for, and that the savvy consumer has come to expect? You betcha.

First, you need to find out how mobile unfriendly your current site is. Google has a great free tool for this called the Mobile Friendly Test. Simply plug in your website and run the program. An analytical tool like this one (or, better yet, a competent web developer if you don’t want to deal with all the tech behind everything) is a great place to start.

A mobile-friendly website is immediately readable on a mobile device. This means users don’t have to pinch or zoom into the page when they land there in order to make out the text and images. Users find this annoying, and many will skip your site and move on to the next.

The good news is, if you have a relatively simple website hosted by a platform like Squarespace, you may already have what’s called “responsive design” built into your site. That means your site will “respond” when a customer switches from desktop to mobile. If you’re dealing with a larger, more complicated site, your web developer likely already has a mobile template in mind, so ask them first what they see for your mobile version. This will entail the rearranging, spacing, and sizing of most of the elements on your pages for mobile – the logo, the text boxes, and even the images.

Some of the technical aspects of a mobile friendly website include the following:

  • Input attributes (so a user’s phone doesn’t Autocorrect their name as they’re entering it into your contact form)
  • Preferred width (so the text doesn’t run off the edge of the phone or tablet, forcing your user to scroll to the left)
  • Fixed positioning (to ensure that when a user zooms, the header doesn’t stay put and obscure the whole screen)
  • Standard fonts (because you don’t want to make your user wait while their phone downloads large font files)
  • High res (because you paid a lot for those stock photos. Why would you want them to look blurry on mobile?)

 

We’ve all been there: Who doesn’t know what a frustrating experience it is to try to glean information off a tiny, pocket-sized screen from a website that doesn’t make it easy to do?

Don’t be that website.

Need help getting mobile-optimized? Call your friends at Synchronicity today to find out more about why mobile-friendly is really customer-friendly.

Topics: Web Design