We know that nine out of 10 of you are reading this blog from your mobile phone. It’s not that we’re mystics or fortune tellers. Our research found that 92.3% of Internet searches are done using smartphones. There are more than 4 billion users of mobile devices which accounts for 56.96% of online traffic.
It’s a mobile world we live in. And if your website hasn’t adopted responsive web design, you’ll have a hard time building the online presence of your business.
How Is Mobile Friendliness Related To Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design is an approach that primarily considers the user’s behavior and technological environment when developing a website. The goal of responsive web design is to create a website that conforms to the needs of its user.
Although the first incarnation of the smartphone was introduced in 1992, the jump-off point for smart technology was on 07 June 2007. This was the date the late Steven Jobs introduced the first iPhone from Apple.
Since then, the world has slowly transitioned into a mobile-dependent economy. Everything we need for work and life can be coursed through a mobile device, particularly the smartphone.
Thus, the shift in the user’s behavior toward a mobile lifestyle must be the focal point in responsive web design. Effective responsive web design is a website that’s mobile-friendly. This means the website can accommodate the technology demands of various types of mobile devices as well as support the user’s behaviors and preferences.
5 Qualities Of A Mobile-Friendly Website
While responsive web design has not been officially confirmed by Google as a ranking factor in its search algorithm, mobile-friendliness is. Likewise, how your website responds to the needs and preferences of its users will have an effect on your search rankings.
Mobile-friendliness is a key factor of responsive design. But what are the qualities of a mobile-friendly website?
Adaptability means the website must be able to accommodate various screen sizes. The website must set up properly on the screen of the mobile device so that the user won’t have a hard time viewing its contents and processing its layout.
A good example of a mobile-friendly website is Facebook. If you access Facebook on your smartphone, the layout will stack up vertically. You can read the contents clearly without having to zoom in or expand the images.
Facebook will set up differently on a laptop or a tablet depending on the size of the screen. However, the readability of its contents and the usability of its layout remain excellent.
2. User Experience
Would you go back to a restaurant where it takes forever to place your order and have your meals available? And when you do get your order, the experience was less than memorable?
Chances are you won’t and the same can be said about websites that provide poor user experience.
User Experience or UX is all about user interaction. As such, UX is a form of communication. It must be easy for the user to use, explore, and transact with.
To assure users of a mobile-friendly website, it must have the following characteristics of excellent UX:
- Fast download speed
- Effective Navigation
- Consistency of performance across a wide range of browsers
- Useful and easy-to-find forms
- Clear and compelling Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
The website is your way of communicating with your audience. A person who lands on your web page doesn’t want to waste time. He has questions and your website must provide the answers right away.
On a mobile device, UX will be a bigger challenge because of the screen size. But if you can assure the site user of a smooth and seamless experience every time he explores your website from his smartphone, he’ll be a regular visitor.
3. Eye and Thumb Friendly
Mobile devices use touch screens which means people who are on smartphones or tablets have their thumbs working overtime when searching the Internet.
A mobile-friendly website that’s responsive to user behavior must be designed to allow the thumb to navigate the page comfortably. For example, the buttons on the page must be large enough for the user to accurately click on.
Padding is a technique used by web designers to enhance the design of the button. This process is carried out using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and what it does is add space between the text of the button and its edges.
If you have blogs on your website they must contain hyperlinks to improve SEO. In order to be thumb-friendly, make sure the hyperlinks are spaced properly so that the reader won’t click on the wrong one.
Readability is one of the most important factors to consider when designing a mobile-friendly website. The size of the font must be large enough that the user can clearly read the text.
Having an eye and thumb-friendly website is of paramount importance for e-commerce websites because the shopping experience IS user experience. Shoppers will easily get annoyed if they’re having a hard time switching pages, reading product descriptions, and getting transactions completed.
4. Simple and Efficient Design
Unlike a PC desktop, you won’t have much space to work with on a mobile device because the screen sizes are smaller. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep the design simple and to open up spaces on the web page.
For example, when you’re viewing a website from a PC desktop, you can easily find the menu bar which is usually located on the top of the screen. But the smaller screen of a smartphone won’t give you that benefit.
With smartphones, a better option would be to hide the menu under a drop-down button. All the user has to do is click the button to access the contents of the menu.
The hidden menu can also be located on the left side of the web page which is a good idea because the reading orientation of users goes from left to right.
Simple design also refers to usability. According to a survey by the Baymard Institute, 28% of respondents reported that dealing with a complicated checkout process is the primary reason why they abandoned their shopping carts.
The faster you can clinch the sale the better. If your forms or sales flow is too cumbersome, you’re giving the prospective buyer time to change his mind and back out of the purchase.
5. Accommodate Smartphone Features
Put yourself in the shoes of the site user. If you’re using a smartphone to explore a website, how would you want the features to appear on your screen?
Again, site visitors prefer to patronize websites that are easy to use and simple to get around. Think about how a mobile user would react to your website from his device.
- If he wanted to share content on his social media page, where should the social sharing button be located for quick identification?
- If the site visitor wants to contact you, where would you place the contact form button to make it highly visible and easy to fill out and send?
- What would make it easier for him to learn about the products?
- How can you make it easier for him to make a purchase? Should you consider adding a QR code?
- Assuming your website offers subscriptions and requires the user to sign up, you might want to consider incorporating a photo or biometric ID feature.
- You have a potential customer on your website… and he has a few questions about your product. The sooner you can answer the question, the more assured you are of getting the sale.
Chat support must be readily available, situated on key web pages, and visible on your website from a mobile phone.
Because mobile technology is consistently evolving, it’s not possible to have your website adapted to the latest smartphone features. What’s important is to keep your website technology updated and usable for today’s smartphones.
5 Benefits Of A Mobile-Friendly Website For Your Business
When you build a website, you build it for your customers. If your customers are happy with their experience using your website, they will patronize your business.
Because more than 90% of people use their mobile devices for searching the Internet, you must build a mobile-friendly website for your business. And if your customers are happy with your mobile-friendly website, your business will reap the following benefits:
1.Brand Loyalty – Customers are less likely to risk doing business with other online businesses because they have a great experience transacting with you.
For investing in a website that’s mobile-friendly, customers know you care about their enjoyment, satisfaction, and convenience.
2. Better Results for Your SEO Efforts – Although responsive web design isn’t a ranking factor, all Google cares about is that its users are happy.
A mobile-friendly website will keep users of Google and Google Chrome happy. In exchange, Google will reward you with a boost in the search rankings.
3. Effective Lead Generation – Mobile-friendly websites will improve lead generation because people prefer to use websites that give excellent UX. And they won’t keep the experience to themselves.
They might post about your website on social media or recommend your website to their friends. Of course, if Google does reward you with a push in the search rankings, your website will be more visible.
4. Competitive Advantage – Believe it or not, 20% of websites operating online aren’t mobile-friendly. 61% of consumers never return to a website that isn’t mobile-friendly.
Don’t be part of the 20%! Make use of every competitive advantage and invest in a mobile-friendly website.
5. Enhance Your Online Reputation – People who are able to conveniently explore your website from their smartphones and other mobile devices will be impressed that you’re updated in technology.
They’ll appreciate that you considered their preference for using mobile devices when scouring the Internet. These people might be future customers or clients.
Having a mobile-friendly website professionalizes your image as a brand that cares about its users.
There are some businesses that spend for a PC desktop website and a dedicated mobile website. Sure you can go that route… but why? You’ll have to manage 2 different websites and your branding efforts might take a hit if customers think these websites aren’t one and the same business.
Do it right, do it once. Invest in a mobile-friendly website for your business from the get-go.
As we shared in our introduction, more than 90% of Internet searches are carried out via smartphone. That’s how people conduct actions on the Internet – via mobile devices and the smartphone is the preferred tool of technology.
Mobile technology is moving at warp speed!
As of this writing, cellular networks are transitioning to 5G technology which is 100 times faster than 4G technology. Connectivity will be faster, there will be fewer latency issues, and the capabilities for streaming, video-conferencing, and transferring data will go off the charts.
Will the move to 5G technology have implications for web design? Of course!
Web developers will have to upgrade their techniques, processes, and methods in order to fully harness the power of 5G technology. You can expect websites to have more interactive features that further enrich the overall user experience.
In a future article, we’ll share our thoughts on how 5G tech will shake up the web development landscape and bring about websites that break open the barriers of science and creativity.
The key takeaway that we’d like you to have from this article is that websites have to be mobile-friendly to assure users of excellent experience all the time and wherever they might be.
As such, because mobile technology is in a constant state of evolution, the process of developing a mobile-friendly website is progressive. It won’t end. You’ll have to adapt the capabilities of your website to the latest innovations in mobile technology as they come around.
A good strategy is to outsource the care, maintenance, and update of your website to a professional web design agency and simply sign up for one of our Extreme WordPress Care packages.
In addition to protecting your website from cyber-attacks and ensuring that it performs in peak condition every time, we’ll take care of all the updates and upgrades it needs to be mobile-friendly for your customers.
Sign up now!
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