A Comprehensive Guide to a Mobile-Friendly Website

Published 2020-09-21T06:00:52 by Bryan Miller

Whether you already have a website for your business or are thinking about finally taking your business online, it’s essential that your website is mobile-friendly if you want to bring in high amounts of traffic. A mobile-friendly website is one that has been optimized to work properly on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. When a website hasn’t been optimized for mobile devices, users who access the site from a smartphone will be provided with a zoomed-in picture that requires extensive scrolling. In this situation, most users who are accessing the website from mobile devices will choose to take their business elsewhere.

While there are times when mobile-friendly websites may not work perfectly on tablets and touchscreen devices, these websites will still be functional. Because of the sharp increase in businesses that are using mobile-friendly websites, you likely can’t afford to avoid implementing this design. Keep in mind that mobile websites are ranked higher for SEO when compared to desktop websites. Search engines like Google and Bing reward websites that effectively accommodate all users across all devices.

To understand just how important it is to outfit your website with a mobile-friendly design, more than 52 percent of website traffic is produced by smartphones and other mobile devices. More than 60 percent of customers also say that they are somewhat more likely to make purchases from sites that are mobile-friendly. This article offers a comprehensive guide that will allow you to understand the importance of a mobile-friendly website.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mobile-friendly websites are optimized to work on smartphone devices for easy accessibility.
  • Responsive Design websites are more flexible in terms of accessibility for users and are shown to be more effective at times in comparison to mobile-friendly websites.
  • To check your websites effectiveness and efficiency, we include numerous usability tests and tools available to consider.
  • Many research studies suggest that mobile-friendly websites rank higher for SEO, increase website traffic, and can lead to higher conversion rates.

The Difference Between Mobile-Friendly Vs. Responsive Design

Before you start working towards making your website mobile-friendly, it’s important that you understand the difference between a mobile-friendly website and responsive design. A responsive design is a website that has been developed with flexibility in mind regardless of the device that the site is being accessed from. Instead of taking the time to detect a device or browser, the site will immediately align itself to the screen size for the device in question.

The website is made to be responsive before it’s taken online. It’s also important to understand that the website will automatically switch to the appropriate screen size, which means that mobile users won’t need to wait to enter your website. When comparing a responsive design to a mobile-friendly website, the main difference between the two approaches is that mobile-friendly websites don’t change to fit the screen size for the device that’s accessing the website.

The site itself will look the same regardless of the device that’s entering the site. The only thing that changes is the scale of the website. Mobile-friendly designs limit features that don’t work well on mobile devices. For instance, navigation drop-downs are eliminated altogether. When a website is equipped with a responsive design, imagery and text will change from a standard three-panel layout to a layout that fits the exact screen resolution of your device.

While a mobile-friendly design will certainly be more effective than a website that completely ignores mobile users, it’s highly recommended that you select a responsive design for your website. Responsive designs are better than mobile-friendly ones because they switch to the appropriate screen size automatically without requiring you to pare down any features of your website.

With a responsive design, mobile users are provided with the exact same experience as desktop users, which should help you increase customer loyalty. Because of how many users access the internet via mobile devices, you will likely lose a significant sum of money by not taking mobile users into account. Despite the name, mobile-friendly websites aren’t actually that friendly to mobile users, which is why you should opt for a responsive design.

The Importance of a Mobile-Friendly Website

The majority of modern websites are being built with mobile devices in mind, which means that it’s likely your competitors have mobile-friendly websites. Mobile customers expect to be provided with a great user experience that mirrors what they would receive if they were using a desktop computer. If they find that your website is difficult to navigate or hasn’t been designed to take mobile devices into account, they will likely choose to go to another website that won’t cause them to become frustrated while browsing.

The importance of having a mobile-friendly website is also clear when taking a look at statistics. For instance, upwards of 91 percent of all mobile users believe that having easy access to content is essential. As touched upon previously, more than 52 percent of all web traffic occurs from mobile devices. A 2017 study by BrightEdge showed that around 70 percent mobile users are considerably more likely to purchase from websites that have been designed with mobile in mind. These numbers increase with each passing year. To expand your audience and keep them engaged, it’s important that you provide them with a website that meets their needs.

What Should You Include in Your Mobile-Friendly Website?

When designing a mobile-friendly website, it’s important that you include the right things within the design. For instance, speed is critical for the success of any website. Websites that are able to fully load within two seconds only have a bounce rate of nine percent. With an additional delay of three seconds, bounce rates increase to 38 percent, which shows just how important it is to provide users with short loading times. One way to improve load times is by compressing images. Multimedia can be intensive, which is why you should compress as much as you can to improve load times.

It’s also very important that you have a secure website that will keep your user data safe. Google automatically labels websites that aren’t outfitted with modern security features with a “not-secure” label, which can significantly damage your brand reputation while also reducing the amount of traffic that reaches your website. Whether using a desktop or mobile device, all users want a browsing experience that’s safe and secure. If your business sells products or services, your customers need to be confident that the information they provide to you will be secure from theft.

One notable change that you should make for your website when accessed from a mobile device is to make the CTAs larger when compared to a desktop view. Users will need to be able to click the button with their fingers when accessing your website through a mobile device, which is why this change is important. The font size on your website should also be large enough to be easy to read on smartphones and tablets. These screens are smaller, which makes larger fonts highly important. Easy accessibility is another must. When websites are made to be mobile-friendly, it will be much easier for all prospective customers to enter your website and be provided with a great user experience.

Where to Check the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Your Mobile-friendly Website

There are plenty of tools that will allow you to check the effectiveness and efficiency of your mobile-friendly website. With these tools, you can take a usability test, which is a simple test that has real people use your website and provide you with their thoughts. You can then use the feedback that you receive to improve your website and make it more mobile-friendly. There are numerous usability tests and tools available to website owners, which include Google Lighthouse, Google Search Console, Google PageSpeed, and Solidify.

Google Lighthouse is an automated tool that allows you to run numerous tests in order to improve the quality and performance of your website. This test will identify areas of improvement that are possible for your website.

Google Search Console is a popular web service that provides site owners with the ability to optimize the overall visibility of their websites.

Google PageSpeed is a collection of tools that aims to test the performance of a website and provide site owners with insights on various improvements that can be made to enhance overall performance.

As for Solidify, this app is a quick and simple tool that allows you to test prototype UIs that are looked at by actual users. These individuals will provide you with feedback and potential issues that you should look out for. They also support every platform, which means that you can test your website on tablet, smartphone, and desktop devices. Some additional testing tools to consider include:

  • Mouseflow
  • FiveSecondTest
  • Feedback Army

How Will a Mobile-Friendly Website Affect Your Business?

Having a mobile-friendly website is beneficial for your business in a number of ways. For one, customers expect websites to be mobile-friendly. When a website hasn’t been optimized for mobile devices, the functionality of the website will be poor, which ensures that mobile users are provided with a bad user experience. By using a responsive design, you won’t need to worsen the functionality of your website in order to deliver a great experience.

Keep in mind that many mobile users are relatively impatient and can have busy lifestyles. By providing these individuals with a mobile-friendly website, they will be able to browse your website without needing to suffer through long load times or extensive scrolling, both of which only serve to worsen the customer conversion rate of your website. When you provide customers with what they want from a site design, your brand reputation should improve, which can help you increase revenues and bolster customer retention.

Designing a mobile-friendly or responsive website is easy to do and should provide you with high returns. When you want to reach as many customers as possible, it’s essential that you provide your audience with a website that will work on every device. Doing so means that each customer has a great user experience when entering your website, which should also assist with increasing conversion rates and reducing bounce rates.

Bryan Miller

Bryan Miller

Bryt Designs

Bryan Miller is an entrepreneur and web tech enthusiast specializing in web design, development and digital marketing. Bryan is a recent graduate of the MBA program at the University of California, Irvine and continues to pursue tools and technologies to find success for clients across a varieties of industries.

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