Of late Smartphone and portable device usage has been on the rise across the globe, especially in the US. A survey conducted in 2012 revealed that of the total population in the US, close to 50% of them own a Smartphone and the ownership rate increases to 62% in the 25 to 34 age group.
With increasing number of people accessing the Internet through their Smartphones and mobile devices, online businesses are required to have a mobile website in order to cater to the mobile device users.
Certainly, the projections for the future are also bright. It is estimated that by 2015 every person in the world will own a mobile device. Another research revealed that by 2013 close to 75% of active Internet users will use their mobile devices to access the Internet.
If you run an online business then it is a mandate for you to manage a mobile website. As more people access Internet on their Smartphones, there is a four-fold increase in the number of mobile searches since 2010.
Search engines like Google have incorporated special algorithms in their search bots to highlight mobile websites in their search results.
Though the mobile web development arena is still in its infancy, almost all mobile device users expect their mobile search and browsing experience to mimic their desktop experience.
There are many issues reported when it comes mobile browsing, the most common of them being time to load a website and the response time of web pages.
With close to 40% of mobile device users turning to a competitor’s website due to poor mobile website performance, hence the mobile website experience is essential to attract and retain customers.
Mobile device users frequently use Smartphones to find information about local businesses and local hangouts.
All these stats point to the fact that if you want run a successful online business, then it is compulsory to develop a mobile website and implement effective search engine optimization strategies to increase that website’s visibility on the search engine results page.
Adhering to Publisher Guidelines
First and foremost, make sure that the content in your website and all your SEO practices comply with publisher and search engine guidelines. Google has suggested webmasters to either adopt a responsive design or device specific HTML strategy during mobile website designing. Responsive design involves having the same set of URLs for all devices, but only changing the style of the page using CSS. Device-specific HTML strategy uses the same set of URLs, but provides different layout based on the device.
Quick Loading & Simplified Navigation
While designing mobile websites make sure you include content and features that intrigue mobile users. For this purpose, use website analytic tools and refrain from using huge blocks of text, rather use images and infographics. Image compression also enables faster website loading. For simplified site navigation, design the website in a vertical-only layout, provide a hierarchy of menus, and include a search box on every page.
User-friendly & Search Engine Friendly Design
Most people who access websites from their mobile devices use their fingers to operate and navigate, so design your website such that even large hands can easily interact with it. And also use large and centered tabs with enough spaces so as to avoid accidental clicks.
As mobile device users access a website to gain information on the go, have your address or contact details with maps and directions on the site’s landing page. Post forms with limited fields and use check boxes, lists and scroll menus to enable seamless data entry. Have click-to-call and click-to-mail options for phone numbers and email ids. Maintain and highlight the key features of your website across all the pages and channels.
Use Mobile Site Redirects
Finally, the most important practice, utilize mobile website redirect code that alerts visitors using a mobile device and automatically redirects them to a mobile-friendly edition of your website. Use the redirect code to provide the best version of your website and also allow users to transition between the desktop site and mobile site seamlessly. Make sure that the mobile and traditional website does not vary much in style and layout.
This is a guest post by Dazzle Rogers of workwelltogether.com, a site that offers savings and current information on the best cable and internet deals. Click here to know more about the services.