Google has come right out and said that to be competitive in the race for the mobile consumers within your target audience, a device-friendly website is a must.
If your company’s website isn’t based on a mobile friendly website design, then you’re falling behind the curve. With more people using smartphones and tablets to research services or buy products, ignoring the mobile user means leaving a huge number of potential consumers to your competitors. With content as king, Google has their own suggestions to attract and engage mobile users through device-friendly websites optimized for mobile viewing.
Responding to Mobile with Responsive Design
Google’s top recommendation when it comes to developing device-optimized sites is to utilize responsive design. Responsive design is programming code used in a website’s pages to detect a consumer’s device and respond to display on the device fitting to their screen size, resolution, and orientation. The consumer is then no longer forced to zoom or scroll to see your content or navigate through your website. This device friendly website design will display effectively on any desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Mobile Web Development Using Responsive Design
Responsive web design uses CSS (cascading style sheets) to determine what device is being used and how to display a web page. It also makes it easier for Google to index your content, as Google’s bots won’t have to crawl different versions of your web pages to retrieve your data and your consumers won’t be redirected to a different URL created for mobile devices.
With the right media queries in the CSS, various adjustments are made to effect the way your website displays including:
- Automatically resize graphics and content for the device and size of screen
- Make changes to the layout to allow the menu to automatically consolidate and allow customers to browse page content without excessive scrolling
- Resize widgets and other features like search bars and product browsing easier without the need to zoom in and out of pages
Common Website Mistakes In Device-Friendly Design
Whether you are creating a new site or updating an old one with responsive design techniques, there are some common issues that will cause a consumer to get frustrated and pass up your site for a more mobile-friendly site.
Videos cannot play. Not all video playback software will work across on all devices. Be especially mindful that Flash often doesn’t display properly on iPhones and iPads.
Content that requires a plug-in. The best user experiences do not force the user to go elsewhere to download a plug-in in order to view your website’s content.
Redirects to the wrong URL. Many common redirect issues stem from your server’s configurations, specifically if you have incorrect redirects between desktop and mobile URLs. Faulty redirects can also occur if redirects are not consistent across device types.
Content distractions. Pop-up windows and ad banners are difficult for mobile-users to close causing frustrations and an inability to interact with your actual content.
Streamline the checkout process. For mobile e-commerce websites, if it’s difficult for users to view products, add them to their cart, review their order, and navigate to the purchase checkout, you’ll see your cart abandonment rate go up as people leave your site.
Untested devices. There are an increasing number of mobile devices to support, so test your website design during development to avoid inconsistencies between screen resolutions.
The Complexity of Being Mobile-Friendly
To be successful at drawing in mobile consumers, there are a number of pieces to get right in your website’s development. Professional inbound marketers such as Scale maintain expertise in all of the relevant areas, from web development and SEO to blogging and social network engagement. Our web team follows Google’s best practices and knows how to avoid losing mobile consumer conversion opportunities. If your own staff doesn’t have the expertise or time when it comes to web development and implementation, contact Scale to learn more about device friendly website design to make sure your website is ready for the new mobile consumer.