How to Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly (and Why This is Crucial for Small Businesses)

COVID-19 has had a brutal impact on businesses worldwide, but McKinsey research reveals that firms with fewer than 100 employees have been hit the hardest

Companies specializing in hands-on services (beauty spas, barbers, nail salons, etc.), hospitality, and food & drink have been made particularly vulnerable. And the pandemic has forced companies relying on in-store sales to try e-commerce instead, adapting to an entirely new business model within a short space of time. 

As a result, online sales in the U.S. reached $73.2 billion in June 2020 — an increase of 76.2 percent on June 2019’s total. Online shopping is expected to account for $845 billion of the U.S. retail market by 2022, with around half of purchases completed on a mobile device.. 

The bottom line?

It’s never been more important to make sure your small business’s website is mobile-friendly — and here’s how you can do it.

6 Ways to Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

1. Streamline content to help users find what they need... fast

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Every website should be designed to give visitors the information, products, or services they’re looking for as quickly as possible. 

But this is even more important on mobile-friendly sites, when customers could be looking for details while they’re on the go or buying a last-minute gift before they sleep. And that means content has to be concise, especially on product pages or booking forms. 

Tell visitors what they need to know and help them take the right actions, whether that’s buying goods, scheduling a delivery or making an appointment. Put crucial information at the top of the page and less-important details further down. 

Provide plenty of white space and keep paragraphs short, with no more than five lines of text max. Pages will be easier to scan while scrolling and users will be able to quickly scan to find what they need.

Hey, presto! — your site will be more engaging, convenient, and scannable - which is exactly what’s needed for mobile users. Happy customers will likely choose your business again and again. 

2. Take advantage of responsive design

Thanks to mobile-first indexing, Google uses a website’s mobile version for indexing and ranking, rather than the desktop site. What this means in practice is that if your small business is operating without a mobile website, you will struggle to rank as highly on search engine results pages as you’d like.

A responsive website presents users with identical content no matter which device they’re on, but rearranges the format to suit the screen’s size. This ensures your customers always enjoy the most convenient experience. 

Anyone who’s ever struggled to make sense of a site on their smartphone, even though it worked fine on their laptop, knows how frustrating non-responsive sites can be.

A professional designer will be able to create a fully-responsive mobile-friendly website for your small business, catering to every user across every device. This can help improve your SEO ranking and reduce the risk of alienating visitors with clumsy, slow layouts.

3. Make buttons big enough for user-friendly interaction

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Small buttons might be easy enough to click when you’re wielding a mouse or tapping a touchpad. But they’re a nightmare when you rely on fingertips and a five-inch screen.

Make buttons large enough for users to tap easily. If two tiny buttons are clustered together, there’s a real risk that a prospect will hit the wrong one and be directed to a page they don’t want to visit. 

In the worst case scenario, they could even buy the wrong product, leaving them frustrated and faced with the burden of cancelling an order. 

One simple but effective way to determine if buttons are too big? Try them yourself! You should be testing your website regularly to spot issues anyway, so if you struggle with clunky buttons, chances are your customers will too. 

4. Compress images to increase page speeds

Mobile-friendly websites have to load quickly — in fact, Google recommends a page’s content should display within less than three seconds. Bounce rates jump to 90 percent for pages that take up to five seconds to load. The slower your site, the higher your risk of losing sales.

One of the most important things to do when reducing page load times is compressing images. This reduces the size of the file but retains the quality, so visitors can still see gorgeous pictures of products without waiting for them to display in full.

As speed is a mobile ranking factor, compressing visual content across your site will boost its performance and help your ranking.

5. Avoid intrusive pop-ups

Pop-ups can be irritating enough on desktop websites, but on mobile? They’re intrusive and can be hard to remove if you can’t reach the ‘x’ button without zooming out or rotating your phone.

Yes, inviting visitors to register for your newsletter is vital for generating leads and yes, your 50-percent discount can stop users leaving, but on mobile, they can be a deal-breaker. 

Most pop up tools will allow you to disable them on mobile view: make sure you do this unless the popups are impeccably optimized.

6. Deactivate autocorrect to make form-filling easier

Finally, autocorrect is a big no-no in the best mobile-friendly websites. Even completing the shortest forms can be a major pain for users when they keep having to edit their street name because their phone keeps trying to “fix” it.

The last thing you want to do is give customers any reason to try a competitor, and that’s a real risk if your site prevents them from entering their shipping address at the point of sale properly. Switching autocorrect off is fast and simple, and can provide visitors with a more engaging experience. 

Is your mobile site costing you sales? It’s time to act, now.

These simple tips will help you reach and convert visitors on any mobile device. That brings your small business more opportunities to retain customers, boost revenue, and increase your ranking. 

Not sure where to start? GoSocial’s Mobile-Friendly Custom Business Website package is the ideal solution to maximize your performance. Get in touch now and we’ll deliver your custom website within just 14 days (yes, really)!

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