The most effective small business websites are mobile-optimised ones. In fact, one report suggests that over 13 million Australians actively browse websites on smartphones and 7.5 million on tablets.
If your website is optimised for mobile, your business is much more likely to gain those sales and repeat visitors. Yet many Australian small businesses have yet to develop online presences that work as well on mobile devices as they do on desktops.
Here are five tips which will help you make your business website easier for customers to find you:
#1. Optimise your content
Mobile devices don’t do so well with large images, lengthy volumes of text, or any form of content that takes up high amounts of bandwidth. And if you’re a consumer browsing via your smartphone or tablet, the last thing you want is to have to keep scrolling down and clicking between sections to find what you need. Keep your site content simple and to the point to make it easier to find you and to make purchases on your website – for on-the-go visitors.
#2. Put what matters first
When visitors arrive on your site from a mobile device, they’re often looking for basic information like opening hours, location, contact details, or pricing. Make this information clear and upfront on your site – ideally as the first thing your customers will see on your homepage – and you can be poised to gain more leads, inquiries, and hopefully more sales.
#3. Keep functions simple
Animated menus, navigation bars, and forms may look great on desktops, but they often cause irritating glitches or stop working altogether when you’re trying to use them on mobile. Simple designs are more likely to load and function properly for mobile audiences, while shorter sign-up forms are more likely to capture leads than those with any more than 3 or 4 fields. Remember: simplicity trumps style when you’re on the small screen.
#4. Responsive design
On mobile devices, your website’s call-to-action buttons and key information should be larger than normal, while menus and rich media (like photos and videos) should scale down to fit the screen. A lot of this has to do with something called “responsive design”, where the website automatically recognises the dimensions of the user’s device and adapts the site to fit. While this sounds complex, a lot of website platforms already do this for you: most WordPress templates, for example, are built to be responsive without you having to touch a single setting or line of code, while GoDaddy’s own Website Builder creates a mobile version of your site by default.
#5. Put your site to the test
Not sure if your site is mobile-friendly? Submit it to Google’s free Mobile-Friendly Test and you can not only find out, but also see how your page appears on mobile according to Google’s search engine bots. While you could always load your page on your own smartphone, using this tool is particularly important because Google gives higher SEO rankings to mobile-friendly sites. If the search engine doesn’t think your site works well on mobile devices, you might be losing out on valuable traffic.
You can also use a range of other online tools like Screenfly to test how your site loads on a range of different devices, which can be useful if you know your customers typically use a certain operating system or device model.
Optimising your website for mobile doesn’t have to be complicated: rather, it’s a case of keeping things simple and testing them out for ease of use. With many hosting platforms now offering automatic optimisation for mobile, it’s easier than ever to give your customers a delightful experience no matter what device they’re on.
Tara Commerford is the GoDaddy Country Manager, Australia and New Zealand