As the Internet continues to grow and evolve, it’s come to the point where it’s no longer a minor consideration: if your website isn’t mobile friendly, it has little to no chance of succeeding.
As sitting down to check emails, surf the web, and wait for pages to load recedes into the not-too-distant past, multitasking mobile users require sites that accommodate their screens, their attention spans, and the push to consolidate functions of the desktop or laptop into a pocket device. Nearly two-thirds of Americans have a mobile phone with Internet access and they’re opting to use these devices as a conduit to the online world. As a matter of fact, 77 percent of mobile searches occur at home or at work, despite the presence of desktops.
In steadily increasing numbers, customers are searching and shopping on mobile – to the extent that in many countries, Google searches on smartphones outrank Google searches on PCs. When it comes to your online presence, having a mobile-friendly website is a must. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Select a “responsive” template or theme for site design. By adapting and resizing the display to the visitor’s device (desktop, tablet, or mobile phone), responsive design will guide you in arranging existing sections of content into a pattern for optimal viewing. Otherwise, you run the risk of frustrating the majority of visitors with distorted visuals. Nothing turns off potential customers and followers like a struggle to view your site layout by pinching, zooming, and squinting through misplaced or buried content.
Boost your search results by going mobile. Last year, Google rolled out an update that increased the effect of its mobile-friendly ranking signal to better serve its mobile users. Without a site that can accommodate them, Google may erase you from its list of legitimate search results. A website is considered mobile-friendly if Googlebot detects text that’s readable without zooming, content that’s sized to the screen, and links placed far enough apart to avoid tapping the unintended one. On the other hand, software that’s foreign to mobile devices, such as Flash, may be penalized.
Optimize your site to reverse declines in business. A 2012 Google survey found that 74 percent of visitors were more likely to return to mobile friendly websites; on the other hand, 61 percent were likely to leave a mobile-unfriendly site. The best mobile-friendly site is clean, readable, and intuitive. Fast-loading pages, streamlined layout, and easy navigation will please the exploding number of mobile web users.
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