The Future is Calling – Optimizing Websites for Mobile

The era of mobile is here to stay.  According to an eMarketer report, mobile sales for the holiday 2017 season are expected to grow, and will account for 57.8% of sales for the year in general.  Mobile phones have changed the way we shop, and often influence in-store purchases, so an optimized mobile website is critical.  Below are considerations to keep in mind when building yours:

 

1)    Make Loading Fast

We’ve come to expect our websites to load quickly – in fact, over half of consumers will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.  What’s known as perceived performance also comes into play, which is how the consumer perceives the website to load.  Usually perceived vs. actual performance coincide, but sometimes the consumer may think the website is loading slowly when that isn’t the case.  Things like progress bars and spinning wheels can actually make consumers think something is loading more slowly if used improperly.  A good fix involves the use of skeleton screens, which load a page’s basic structure while the rest of the content is loading.

 

Now that you’ve tackled the perception of how quickly your site loads, you can address actual load time.  Make sure to streamline your code, putting Javascript and CSS into external files if possible.  Also be sure to optimize your images – Google has a full developers guide on how best to go about doing so.

 

2)    Make Navigation Easy

If you’ve ever visited a web page on your phone that seemed next to impossible to easily navigate, you’re not alone.  Navigation design is an underappreciated element that makes a big impact when it comes to conversion.  Using SEO principles, identify what terms people are searching most often before you name the pages in your main navigation.  After naming, decide which pages are most important for users to visit and order them accordingly.  Keep your main navigation as short and sweet as possible – the fewer pages in your navigation, the better you’ll rank with Google.  And if you can, avoid using the popular hamburger navigation style (i.e. a hidden sidebar) for your main nav, as it’s been shown to make your content less discoverable.  If necessary, use this style as part of your secondary navigation.

 

3)    Make Design Simple

A great mobile website is designed with the screen space and user habits in mind.  We scroll and tap with our thumbs, so make sure clickable elements on your page are sized appropriately.  If buttons are small, make them bigger.  If header images look great on desktop but take up the entire screen on mobile, reduce the size.  Don’t implement popups that are difficult to click out of.  And if you are putting a physical address on your website, make sure it links to turn-by-turn directions.  Anything that a user would expect to be clickable should be clickable.

 

With these design considerations, you’ll be well on your way to a mobile website that encourages conversions.  Want to learn more about how Launch can help you on your mobile web design journey?  Contact us today.