What does “mobile friendly” really mean?
When we talk about the importance of having a mobile friendly website, we are not really concerned about mobile devices.
What?! Hold on a minute. Aren’t there millions of mobile devices out there now? How can we say we’re not concerned about them?
Well, designing a mobile friendly website is not just about the devices.
Yes, we want them to look as good as possible on as many different mobile devices as possible. Yes, we want Google and other search engines to rank our clients’ websites as mobile friendly.
But the primary reason for developing mobile friendly websites is to improve the overall experience of real live website visitors. Certainly the design needs to look great on mobile devices as well as desktop computers. But a truly mobile friendly website will provide a positive experience for as many visitors as possible, regardless of the device they are using.
The fact is that now almost half of internet searches are made using mobile devices (USA stats). This makes mobile friendly website design more than just an added feature; it’s critical for the success of any small business website.
Additionally, most of us now access the Internet with more than one device. How often have you visited a website on your smartphone while travelling or looking for business contact information? For many of us, this is a daily experience. But then when we are home in the evening, we look up the same website on our tablets or desktop computers.
When we access the same website with multiple devices, we expect to find the same information, with a similar design and overall user experience. Sure, the information and graphics are arranged differently, but we expect to have a similar experience regardless of the device we are using.
That’s the essence of mobile friendly website design.
Develop a mobile friendly marketing strategy
Will DeKrey has written about taking what we know about how people access our website content and then optimizing the website for mobile users. Not just mobile devices – mobile users. DeKrey argues that you need to “infuse your marketing strategy with a ‘mobile mindset.'”
You can read his article, Beyond Responsive Design: How to Optimize Your Website for Mobile Users for details, but let me summarize the main points.
- Find out how people are actually accessing your information. What percentage of visitors are mobile? How many are desktop only? Are they finding you on their smartphones and then reading more later on a different device?
- Try to discover the “micro-moments” (a Google term) in visitors’ experience on your website. Use your analytics data to find out what content people are viewing on your website with what device. What are they searching for? Where are they coming from? What content are they sharing?
- Reconsider the value of your website to your potential customers. You might think that people are looking for long, engaging articles, but maybe they are looking for some small piece of information that could lead to a sale. Maybe they prefer to download articles or reports and read them later.
- Consider the fact that smartphones are more “intimate” than desktop computers. Because we carry our mobile devices almost everywhere we go, they become a part of our everyday life (for better or for worse!). Make sure your content is social sharing friendly.
Does your mobile friendly website design translate into a truly mobile friendly experience for existing and potential customers?
Lighthouse Marketing Inc. specializes in visually appealing, mobile friendly website design. We are an independently owned 18 year old Canadian company based in the Lower Mainland of BC, and are not affiliated with any company bearing a similar name in other areas of North America.
In addition to our existing website services, the past 3 years has seen dynamic growth in the area of SEO services, particularly with regard to local search. Our evolution to a full service SEO company means that we now offer complete online business solutions that involve Google local search as well as an effective social media strategy.
Lighthouse Marketing services the Surrey, Langley, Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, White Rock, Delta, New Westminster, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and Abbotsford areas, as well as other locations throughout the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley.