The increase of smartphone and tablet usage poses a challenge to anyone with a website in 2012 and beyond. When was the last time you attempted to access your website from either of these devices? What was your user experience? Is it something your customers would enjoy? If you know the answer is “No!” you need to rethink your mobile strategy.
Canada will have 28 million mobile subscribers in 2012. According to the latest figures in the US, 234 million Americans age 13 and older use mobile devices. With these numbers only expected to grow, it is imperative that businesses begin to think in mobile terms when designing their web presence. Mobile accessibility is no longer is a nice-to-have for any business that truly wants to be at the fingertips of their customers. This year will mark the rapid descent of the static, desktop-friendly website.
If you are going to be building a website this year, you would be wise to design it with mobile functionality top-of-mind. If you already have a website, you would be wise to investigate how to make your website mobile and functional for what you need it to do. While some websites have mobile versions and desktop versions available, inevitably users will find there is a lack of full functionality. Granted all features might not be appropriate to offer on a mobile site, but do a user experience audit and determine why customers come to your website. Keep the features that drive traffic and keep visitors on your site.
Top 3 Tips for Mobile Websites
- If you must redirect users to a mobile version upon landing on your desktop version, notify visitors that a mobile-friendly version of your site is available AND give them the option of either the mobile version or normal version.
- Make it easy for users to read and access content. Maintaining text size and image quality improve the user experience and drive web traffic from mobile devices.
- Enable easy sharing across social networks. Present ‘follow’ buttons that direct to your various social media platforms. Allow users to “tweet” or link to your website content with one click.
Still can’t decide if your website needs to go mobile? Ask yourself: Who are my customers? Where are they coming from? And what are they looking for? If your business credibility depends on being cutting-edge and demonstrating a command of technology, a mobile version of your website will be a worthwhile investment for 2012 and beyond. If your clients are tech-savvy or known for their affinity for mobile use offering users your own mobile-optimized website will serve as a quick demonstration of your abilities for prospective clients and put you ahead of your competition.