If you track customer service contacts for your company, you've probably seen more consumers contacting you through mobile devices. Mobile has been leading desktop as thepreferred consumer web tool since early 2014, according to Search Engine Watch.
Look at Your Site With Different Devices
Google began ranking sites for being mobile-friendly several months ago, and most web theme designers made mobile-friendly design a priority a couple of years ago. But there are degrees of mobile friendliness. How does your site stack up?
Take a look at your site using different mobile devices. Depending on how it's designed, it may look quite different on separate devices and operating systems. For example, Website designer NetSolutions notes that Android and iOS display lists differently. Android's menu default has the description on the left and a selection button on the right. It's opposite on an iPhone.
Mobile sites must be optimized if you want to continue to deliver a positive customer experience. Here are some factors to keep in mind as you work on your mobile options.
· Content: Marketers understand that mobile sites aren't great places for content-heavy descriptions. Instead, they are better served by sharp, well-defined images and precise content. Don't make the mistake of dumbing down mobile content and only copying a couple of sentences from your desktop website, urges content experts Nielsen-Norman Group. Customers will have the same question or service request regardless of the equipment they are using.
· Navigation: Mobile users are now using their fingers over a computer mouse. Get familiar with HTML5, which programs for tapping and swiping. There are also numerous packages to help you program touch for both operating systems.
Choose Between an App and a Mobile Site
Apps are customized for a specific operating system. They gives users the power to help themselves, such as calling for an Uber ride or booking a restaurant reservation through "Open Table." If you have an app, this means you need to find your market of users. Google offers App Indexing to help app designers ensure their apps are found in a Google search.
However, if your website is largely informational, you might be served just fine with a website that adheres to responsive design standards. These sites send queries back to the search to see what device is being used and downloads the appropriately-sized format and layout. Again, you want to check how this looks on different devices because some mobile templates are more adapted than others.
You can also create a separate mobile site, which Google supports in searches from mobile devices. These sites let you essentially re-create your website for a mobile audience and customize it as much as you like. Keep in mind that it cannot parrot the desktop site, otherwise Google may ding it for duplicate content.
Ben is an accomplished and experienced freelance writer who has featured in a number of high profile publications and websites. If he’s not reading the financial times you’ll find him listening to live music or at the coast surfing.