These days, everyone has a smart phone. I have seen as more than 85% of the traffic coming from mobile devices to some of the clients of mine. The mobile traffic already surpassed the desktop traffic for most businesses. People are not only communicating on mobile devices but also looking for information on mobile devices, purchasing online or taking decision by using the information on their mobile devices. This has made necessary for the brands (for any online business) to give better experience to the user on their mobile website, not just focus on loading the website on mobile devices.
If you are not focused on the mobile friendliness of your website, it is something that should be done on a priority basis. Below are a few principles to follow when building a mobile friendly website.
- Keep the Call to Action clear: Featuring the primary call-to-action in the most prominent site space is must for every mobile website; this will help mobile users to act on the website easily. Prominent space doesn’t necessarily mean the first thing that the user spots. You need to put yourself in your users’ shoes when determining placement for any call to action. In most cases, mobile calls-to-action are probably different than on desktop, depending on the category of the business and the action that you want the audience to take.
Prominent space doesn’t necessarily mean the first thing that the user spots. You need to put yourself in your users’ shoes when determining placement for any call to action. In most cases, mobile calls-to-action are probably different than on desktop, depending on the category of the business and the action that you want the audience to take.
2. Keep Shorter Menus: Mobile users generally don’t have the patience to go through a long process to find what they want. Long-form menus might work in desktop versions considering the screen size is higher, however you need to find out the smartest way for the users to find the content easily on your mobile website. This is where menus play a very critical role. Try keeping the menus short and sweet.
3. Prominent Site Search: Users who are clear on what they want will look for a search option to find the specific thing they want on your website. Search button on the website should be one of the first things to be shown to the user. Try placing your site search near the top of your homepage via an open text field.
4. Give better Site Search Results to the Users: When a user is searching for something, it is important to show the relevant search results only. Try implementing autocomplete option, spelling corrections and allowing users to filter the results to narrow down to the specific requirement they need. This will make the life of the user easier considering they are searching on small screens and increase their time on the site. Make sure your first page of search results is the strongest.
5. Offer Click to Call Option to the Users: Offering click to call option will help the users to get clarity on any important queries. It will help reduce user drop-off, which may happen due to any reason during the purchase funnel. (It can be something as simple as asking them to fill up complex/sensitive information.)
6. Use Efficient Lead forms: If you are a brand which relies on the lead generation from your website users, you must follow a few basic principles to make sure that the information you are asking a user will encourage him to fill.
- Keep the Lead form fields as less as possible, ask only the information that is required.
- Offer number pad for fields requiring number entry (such as contact number, zip Codes, etc)
- Use toggle or dropdown menus for each entry on your mobile forms, and always make sure they’re easy for users to tap.
- Offer the date selection through calendars so that the visitor will not leave your site to check the date (weekends event dates etc), as this will help reduce drop-offs.
7. Make the Page Load faster : As per Google’s Page speed, a page which loads in less than 1 second is considered as a fast loading webpage. For instance, Google marked my website as an average rated website for page speed even though it loaded in 2 seconds on a 4G connection. It is clear evidence that users demand fast loading websites, making it the most important thing for any mobile website.
These are the same thresholds shown in Page Speed Insights (PSI). The thresholds for each category are as follows.
- Fast: 0-1 second
- Average: 1 second-2.5 seconds
- Slow: 2.5 seconds and up
8. Optimize your website for Mobile: It is not just enough to have a website that loads faster, it is also important to give a user a better experience after he lands on the website so that he engages with the website and takes the desired action. Here comes mobile Usability –
- Make sure that the site is easiest to use (it helps if all the pages are designed for mobile devices).
- Don’t expect users to zoom-in to see the website content. By zooming-in, the page visitors can miss calls-to-action. Never let it happen.
- Let the product images be expandable. This is an important feature for any e-commerce website. Make sure only high-quality closeups of key images like product photos are included.
For example: Above two images clearly shows that the compare feature is restricted to only 2 cars on mobile devices where as the desktop users can compare 4 cars. this is to give better experience to the mobile user so that they dont have to struggle zooming in and out every-time they want to compare any specific feature.
Bottom line: if you want to drive higher engagements on your mobile website, try testing multiple things and keep improving the website based on the feedback and user interaction on the mobile website.
Image source and content inputs from: PRINCIPLES OF MOBILE SITE DESIGN: DELIGHT USERS AND DRIVE CONVERSIONS: by Google and Answer Lab.