5 key elements of mobile-friendly websites

Written on 22 February, 2016 by Lisa Shannahan
Categories: Web Design & Content

Whether or not your site is mobile-friendly can have a huge impact on several aspects of your website’s performance, from the overall user experience to your search engine ranking. Here are five key elements to assess when designing a website that can be accessed on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

Responsive design

These days, it’s hard to predict what size screen your site is likely to be viewed on. Your customers could access your site on anything from a widescreen monitor to a tablet to a mobile phone. Rather than creating several different versions of your site to cater to each, using a layout with responsive design means your site will automatically adjust and adapt to fit the user’s screen, while keeping user experience in mind – making sure that the text is large enough to read and that mobile users don’t have to scroll laterally, for example.

Button sizes

In the same vein, keep in mind that users accessing your site from mobiles and tablets will likely be using touchscreens to navigate your site. That means your buttons need to be large enough, and spaced far enough apart, that users don’t inadvertently top the wrong one, or have to zoom in to the page to click on a link. This kind of poor user experience could well cause a potential customer to give up and head to a competitor’s site instead.

Keep it up to date

Mobile users are increasingly using search while out and about to find local shops and services. If your website, search, and social listings are out of date, you could be doing yourself out of a lot of business – research has suggested that up to 80% of local searches on mobile phones convert to sales within days of the search. In particular, keep your address, contact numbers, and basic product/service information as up to date as possible.

Click-to-call functionality

Make it easy for mobile users to get in touch with you by enabling click-to-call functionality on your site. This allows users to simply tap your number to get in touch by phone, rather than having to write down the number to call it or flick between the keypad and browser. Everything about mobiles is geared towards customers wanting their experience with you to be quick and easy, so why not capitalise on that where you can?

Page load speed

Your page load speed affects more than just the mobile user experience – it is also a factor in Google’s ranking algorithm and affects your quality score for advertising, so it’s worth taking the time to get right and keeping an eye on it on an ongoing basis. It’s important on any device, but mobile users in particular are often on slower connections and wanting information fast. If your site takes too long to load, users are likely to bounce. Google recommends maintaining a site that loads above-the-fold content in one second or less.