Mobile websites are meant to cater to your customers who would like to have access to your service on their mobile devices. Once you decide to make your website mobile friendly, it must effectively cater to the needs of your mobile customers.
You may have a great main brand website and think it is ok to pare it down and make it smaller to facilitate your mobile users. But you need to be cognizant of the fact that your mobile users may want to achieve different results when they visit your mobile website than they would when using your desktop version.
Your mobile website should take advantage of both the small screens of mobile devices as well as the behavior of the users. Here are a few tips to help you create an effective mobile website.
1. Remove Flash Content from Your Landing Page If You Opt In
Flash currently enjoys limited support on Android and other high-end devices while it gets no support on iPhones and iPads. Once Google’s system detects that your landing page contains a lot of flash it will automatically block your ads so they do not run on high-end mobile devices.
2. Publish Only Relevant Content and Ensure Your Website Loads Quickly
Assess the content on your brand website and select only that which is vital to meeting the needs of your customers. Present the information with bullet points instead of large blocks of text as these will slow down the loading time of the website.
The same is true for your images. Compressed images will help the site to load faster. For example Bucca Di Beppo does a great job at providing only the information that would be most relevant to their customers in their mobile website.
3. Use a Simple Design
It is best to use a simple design for your mobile website and avoid adding images that may increase the load time. If you would like the customers to access those images as is, use text links in place of graphic buttons. Smartphone users are keen on speed and are easily annoyed when the data they want to access does not load quickly on their device.
4. Reduce the Scrolling Requirement
The mobile devices used by your customers will range from feature phones to smart phones.
Scrolling on feature phones can be a hassle, so its best to limit the scrolling on your mobile website as much as possible. Allow your visitors to access the bulk of the information via text links.
5. Include Social Media Links
Avoid incorporating social media feeds into your mobile website, but include small buttons that will enable them to access links to your social media accounts.
Even though it’s not a good idea to incorporate social media feeds into your website, you may want to allow your customers access to your accounts on popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
For these special cases use buttons, but ensure that they are small and will not affect the loading speed of your website. To the right we can see how Kerby Lane Cafe does a nice job at incorporating their social media links onto their mobile website.
Creating an effective mobile website simply requires the implementation of key measures such as have been shared in this article. As a best practice, remember to always test your site on multiple browsers since what looks good on iPods and iPhones does not necessarily come off well on Androids.