Mobile Websites: the Dos and Don’ts

Zoho Sites | August 8, 2012 | 2 min read

Mobile devices are catching up so fast that it is predicted that mobile web usage will surpass desktop web usage by 2015. It has become so important, a regular website that was doing great deal of good to a business, will no longer be as yielding without a complementary mobile website. Regional businesses in particular, have something to worry about, because more than 50% of local searches are made on mobile devices.

Regular websites, resized for smaller screens, don’t make good mobile websites. So, how is mobile websites different from regular websites? What accounts to a great mobile website? Before you begin working on a mobile website, one needs to understand how Mobile Internet is different.

* Mobile phones and tablets use a relatively slower connection than conventional wired ones.

* The arena is very small; but the audience is the same.

* Mobile devices are most used on the verge of decision-making, so the experience influences the decision.

Only the essentials:

The best mobile websites are ones that deliver the best navigation experience, despite the limited real estate. So the first thing to do is to prioritize the content that would make it to the small screen. What essential can be put in, without a horizontal scroll bar, and without making the page too long.If it is fairly long, have a link on the footer to take the visitor to the top of the page without having to scroll back.

Consistency:

Your mobile website should match your regular website in appearance. This makes it look familiar to returning visitors, and establishes a connection immediately. It could be the color schemes, logo and other trademark visual elements.

Readability.

Mobile devices are most likely to be held at arm’s length. So smaller text and too many links are going to make it all the more difficult to find a speck of information. Interaction is going to be “touch”, rather than point and click. So the interactive items like links need to be touchable icons.

And Writability too. Text input fields on forms can be a pain if there are too many. It is not so easy to type using an on-screen keyboard on hand-held devices.

Speed:

Having too many images as in your regular website can seriously slow the page down on mobile devices. Use very few, compressed images.

Mobile-Specific Features:

Smart phones offer features like “Tap to call” or “send an SMS”. A visitor can touch the contact number on your website to initiate a call instantly. Features like this ensure seamless navigation, resulting in higher conversions.

These mostly are the visual elements that enhance the mobile browsing experience of visitors. There is more to this; the search engine’s side of the story. Stay tuned.


Or, get a mobile-optimized version of your website, automatically, with Zoho Sites.