Step 6: Make It Mobile
Editor’s note: This is the sixth of eight installments for SUCCESS‘s 3rd annual Start Small Win Big entrepreneur challenge. Check out last week’s installment.
These days, mobile marketing must be part of any smart small-business owner’s action plan. The Local Search Association reports that mobile search has finally overtaken PC-based search—in other words, people are now more likely to use their phones or tablets than a desktop or laptop to do an online search for businesses, products or services.
Google has responded to the rise in mobile search by tweaking its search algorithm to place greater importance on a site’s mobile-friendliness. Mobile-friendly sites are even labeled as such (the words Mobile-friendly in gray placed before the site description) in Google mobile search results.
It all adds up to one thing: When consumers want to find out more about what you sell, they’d better find your mobile-friendly website. What does Google consider “mobile-friendly?”
• Offers well-spaced links that can be clicked without accidentally clicking another link too close
• Uses text that is readable without zooming in
• Sizes correctly to your device so you don’t have to scroll horizontally to see the page accurately
This week your homework is to ensure your business is website is mobile-friendly. Here are four basic principles to keep in mind:
• Simpler is better. Streamlining your website to the basics not only works well for mobile but is also the general trend in website design today. Think short instead of long and icons instead of words. Experts suggest starting out envisioning how your website will look on a phone and building from there, versus starting with a site designed for viewing on a desktop computer and shrinking it down.
• Use white space wisely.Plenty of white space around hyperlinks or buttons not only looks cleaner but also makes it easier for people to click these links on a mobile device.
• Strip down the photos.One big photo makes more of an impact than many small ones. However, keep photo sizes small enough to load quickly so you don’t slow users down. To do this, choose photos optimized for mobile.
• Make it easy to navigate.Users shouldn’t have to pinch and zoom to view content. It should be clear how to navigate the site. In addition, if your website users will be ordering products or filling out forms, it’s vital to keep the order process and forms as streamlined as possible. No one likes typing tons of information into a tiny phone screen.
Share in the comments below: Take this free Google mobile test to find out if your website is mobile-friendly. Then visit some of your favorite brands’ websites on your phone and/or tablet, see which ones do the best job of serving up mobile-friendliness. Take notes of what you like and don’t like.