Did you know that there are more than 3 billion smartphone owners as compared to somewhere around 1.3 billion computer owners? Every year, mobile traffic has been increasing. Since smartphones are versatile and handy, phone usage will keep rising with the declining prices of technology.
That’s why, if businesses fail to optimize their websites according to mobile devices, they miss out on a lot of leads, conversions, customers, and revenue. Google has already introduced mobile-first indexing and it won’t rank your website well if it’s not mobile-friendly. So, in this article we are going to cover how to optimize website for mobile users perfectly and successfully.
Important ways to optimize website for mobile users
1. Start Designing With a Mobile-First Approach
Web design with a mobile-first approach the most important factor to optimize website for mobile users. There was a time when the entire build of the web solely focused on desktop users. But gradually, as the use of smartphones began to rise, it was common sense to keep up this segment of the audience in mind while designing a webpage.
Now, the mobile-first approach can save valuable time and resources. If developers and designers adopt the mobile-first approach, they won’t have to rebuild an already done website again to serve mobile users.
Ensure that you prioritize your content since everything that users see on a desktop might not be feasible for small screens. The navigation has to be easy for users and the color scheme should be such that everything is clearly visible.
2. Check for Responsiveness
Responsive design detects the screen size and resolution of the visitor’s device and tweaks image sizes, spacing, and other features dynamically. Before making your website live, it’s important to run responsiveness testing to ensure that a website is running smoothly on mobile devices.
For that, you need a tool to test your site on different viewports. Speaking of which, LT Browser allows users to create their own custom device resolution and test accordingly. Some common parameters include 50+ device viewports and resolutions to test on.
Another great feature of this tool is that you can check on two different devices simultaneously thanks to a side-by-side mobile view of the website. Some other perks of using LT browser include Live Debugging, hot reloading, lighthouse reports, testing on various network conditions, and one-click bug logging.
Patience is a rare virtue these days. So, people expect whatever interface they are browsing on to just cut to the chase and provide them the information they need. A simplified mobile design straightaway gets to the point without wasting the visitor’s time and they appreciate that.
Since mobile screens are smaller, menu options should also be minimalistic. Visitors don’t appreciate constant zooming in and out as well as endless scrolling to get to the navigation options.
Similarly, a sidebar is usually of no use on the mobile site. When users scroll on their smartphones, it appears at the bottom of the page.
4. Consider Clicks and Touch
Thumbs aren’t as pointy as a mouse pointer. This means that while people usually click at the correct place when they are browsing the internet through the desktop, it’s not necessarily the case for mobile browsing. Since the area of the thumb is larger, the chances of accidentally touching something you don’t want on the screen are more.
When the touchable area of a menu is small, visitors are likely to click on the wrong links. This can also pose a great deal of hassle if they are filling out forms or other contact information. So, make sure nothing on your website is hard to tap.
5. Optimize Different Resources
Illustrations, icons, pictures, and videos can consume a lot of bandwidth. Trimming extra bytes from these visual elements can lead to a faster load time.
Reduce pixels of your images and compress them in a way that doesn’t affect their quality. There are plenty of image compression tools available that keep the quality intact but reduce some colors in an image.
Don’t be afraid to explore alternative formats. For example, consider replacing PNG and JPG with SVG file formats. The scale according to screen size.
6. Easy Accessibility of Search and Customer Service
It’s a good thing to have detailed information on your website. But sometimes, users are only looking for a portion of it. This makes a search function useful for them in case they don’t find what they are looking for with menus.
For example, Amazon has millions of products. Without a search function, customers would have a really hard time if they are looking for a specific product.
The same is true for customer service. Support should be easily accessible so that visitors can reach out to your team as soon as they encounter an issue. The sooner you help your users work through their issues, the better relationship you’ll build with them.
7. Remove Pop-Ups
Pop-ups are the quickest ways to chase a visitor away from a website. Closing them on smartphones requires effort from the user’s end. We have already talked about the lack of patience in people nowadays.
If they accidentally tap on something on that pop-up ad, it will bring them to a totally different landing page completely unrelated to what they were looking for. When it comes to mobile usage, try to come up with a way other than pop-ups to whatever you want to promote.
8. Accelerated Mobile Pages
Prioritizing content readability is a must along with super quick website loading. In this scenario, AMPs are the way to go. However, keep in mind that is going to strip your pages down to bare essentials. Again, prioritizing can make things easier.
WordPress Offers AMP plugins that automatically generate mobile versions for different pages of a website. Designers can alter the appearance of these pages. This way, there is a balance between automation and offering control over how your website looks on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
9. Prioritize Customer Feedback
You need to know how visitors feel about your site interface to constantly improvise. Make it easy for them to provide feedback. For example, you can give users a quick form to fill which makes it easy to mark answers and gives them an option to provide additional comments.
10. Pick The Right Web Hosting Solution
Choosing a web hosting solution is one of the most crucial decisions for a website. Speed holds even more importance when your users are on mobile. Thus, all your efforts won’t be of any use if the host doesn’t keep your website running fast.
The downtime should be minimal and the performance of a website should be high. In fact, these are the two main parameters you should look for in a web hosting solution. This, in turn, makes the process of optimization of your website for mobile users easier.
11. Caching and Content Delivery Network
Caching saves some site files in the local device of visitors or some other convenient location. This eliminates the need to download information again and again while accessing a page every time. This decreases loading time and increases loading speed.
The same goes for a content delivery network. Since delivering files is no longer the sole responsibility of a central server, CDN reduced bandwidth. They enable the storage of copies of files in servers that are geographically spread out. This further balances out loading times regardless of the location of a user.
Summing It Up
The bottom line, you need to get more traffic and make the best use of existing traffic by optimizing your website for mobile. Even though it seems like an additional task, the SEO and ROI benefits are worth the effort.
Gone are the days people were glued to their clunky computer screens to browse the internet. It’s the era of smartphones and tablets. That’s why the odds of people visiting your website on these devices are always high. Make sure you don’t greet them with word jumble displaced text, or messy color scheme. If you invest to optimize website for mobile users, I assure you, your investment will bring profit for you.