We’ve discussed the importance of businesses optimising their websites for mobile devices a few times in the past, but it’s increasingly important that SMEs pay attention and don’t just assume that this kind of web design and optimisation should only be reserved for larger companies.
A huge 1.08 billion mobile phones across the world are smart phones, which enable people to browse the web and researchers predict that by 2014 mobile internet usage will have overtaken desktop usage!
So here are three of the key considerations when thinking about optimising your website for mobile and tablet devices:
1. Screens are smaller
The main difference between browsing a website on a computer and browsing a website on a mobile device (and even on larger tablets) is the screen is much, much smaller. Although this may seem obvious, it’s something you need to bear in mind when you and your web team are doing anything with your website.
If people have to zoom in to see things, then chances are they’ll quickly move on. Therefore, large, easy-to-read text in small chunks is key. The same goes for images, people need to be able to scroll past them with ease. Finally, links need to be obvious and not too obscured by their font, colour or background so people know where to click to get to different sections of your website.
You’ll also find that with tablet devices there are different browsers that render differently computers, so although the screen may not be as small as on a mobile, it still behaves differently to what some people are used to.
2. People are more impatient
As people are browsing the web using their mobile or tablet device they generally get more impatient and expect results quicker, particularly if they’re trying to look at sites with a dodgy 3G connection!
Therefore, search is more important than ever. If people are looking at a smaller screen and don’t want to waste time, chances are they’ll click one of the top links regardless of if it doesn’t look 100% right for them. This means that ensuring you have the right meta titles and descriptions is essential, as is your overall SEO strategy.
You also need to make sure your website is loading quickly too, as people are more likely to click away and look elsewhere if they have to wait around for it to load up.
As mobile and tablet users are often in a rush, it’s tempting to really par down everything on your website to make it as simple as possible. However, remember you shouldn’t go too far, people still need access to important pages and information, like a contact form or terms and conditions, so never be tempted to leave out potentially valuable sections.
3. Certain sites need even MORE consideration
Obviously there are certain types of businesses and websites that need to put even more thought into their mobile and tablet-enabled website, like ecommerce sites, as people aren’t going to buy anything if they can’t properly navigate the page. When you’re considering what your mobile site needs to achieve make sure you apply your business needs and don’t just go with a web team who are going to do the same thing for you as they do for every other client.
Also, if you depend on Flash on your normal website you’ll have to bear in mind it doesn’t work on mobile and tablet devices and discuss with your web team how to make changes accordingly.
Here at Codastar we’ve helped a number of different businesses successfully optimise their websites for both mobile and tablet devices. If you want to talk to us about how your website is performing at the moment and how it could be improved, then get in touch with one of the team today.
[Image via Sean Macentee’s Flickr]