What Does Mobile-Friendly Mean?

“Your website needs to be mobile-friendly!” You’ve probably heard those words before. You want users to be able to have a good experience when accessing your website on their phones. However, what exactly does mobile-friendly mean? What does a mobile-friendly website look like? Let’s take a look at the answers to these and other questions.


What Does a Mobile-Friendly Website Look Like? 

To be honest, it may be easier to approach this question by describing what a mobile-friendly website does not look like. Have you ever gone to a site on your smartphone only to find that navigation was awkward? Perhaps you had to scroll a lot to see everything. Maybe you had to enlarge the text to be able to read it. Perhaps you were completing a form and had to enter a lot of information. These are all traits of a website that is not mobile-friendly. 

A mobile-friendly website, on the other hand, is one that you will be able to use effectively on your smartphone. It will be easy to navigate and user-intuitive When you are using a mobile-friendly website, you likely will not even realize it is mobile friendly because you simply won’t need to think about the experience. 


Benefits of Being Mobile Friendly

It is incredibly important for your organization to create a mobile-friendly website. While this may seem like a time-consuming task that requires lots of research, the reality is that your site can likely be optimized for mobile relatively easily. Additionally, you will see many benefits of making a mobile-friendly site including the following. 

Increased Purchases. Data from Google has consistently shown that many customers use their smartphones to find information nearby to them. Typically, when engaging in this behavior, they are ready to make a purchase. Thus, having a mobile-friendly website will increase the likelihood of them purchasing from you. 

Mobile Is the Norm. The way we use the internet has changed greatly. Currently, mobile traffic makes up the majority of internet browsing. It has increased at such a dramatic rate that Google has now begun putting a greater emphasis on mobile-friendly sites in search rankings. If you are not considering how to optimize your website for mobile, you are falling behind. 

Mobile Is the Go-To for Searching. While mobile traffic comprises a slight majority of internet traffic, it also is responsible for a much greater amount of web searches. Typically, when someone needs to search for something new online, they will pick up their phone nearly 80% of the time. Thus, for new customers to discover you, mobile is a necessity. 

Characteristics of Mobile Friendly Websites

Understanding the importance and benefits of generating a mobile-friendly website is one thing. However, it is incredibly important to be able to know exactly how to optimize your website to make it more mobile-friendly. Thus, let’s take a look at the characteristics of mobile-friendly websites. 

Responsive Navigation. This is the most significant characteristic of a mobile-friendly website. If you do not have responsive navigation, visitors to your website will simply see a small version of your desktop website. This is not effective for mobile browsing as it requires extensive scrolling. Instead, responsive navigation can be created to enhance the mobile experience. For those not wanting to create their mobile site, many templates can be used instead. 

Touches Not Clicks. Websites have traditionally been created to navigate by clicking on links. However, mobile users do not have a mouse; rather, they utilize the touch screen features to navigate. Traditional links can be very difficult for touch screen users. Thus, ensuring that clickable areas are large enough to easily use is an important feature of a mobile-friendly website. 

Shortened Distances. Websites optimized for mobile use will implement ways for users to navigate the site without having to move through layers of links. Typically, mobile-friendly websites provide core information to users in only one or two clicks. Creating an app can be an effective way to do this. Even apps without many bells and whistles can provide customers with an excellent experience on this front. 

Speed. Mobile-friendly websites need to offer speed as many viewers will not be visiting over Wi-Fi but rather over a cellular connection. It is critical to ensure that you have a web hosting service that quickly loads pages and utilizes a design that minimizes the requests a user’s browser makes to your site. These are both critical aspects for ensuring you can provide speed to your customers. 

Minimize Data Entry. Data entry on smartphones is not a very effective tool. If you can recall being frustrated at trying to search only to have autocorrect and autofill complete information incorrectly, you understand this problem. Rather than requiring customers to search for products, create seamless ways to find what they are looking for through clicking links. 

Optimize Text Formatting. It is important to keep text blocks fairly short. After all, our eyes are not efficient at reading lots of text close together. Instead, take advantage of white space by using short paragraphs. This makes it much more likely that your visitors won’t bounce off your website right away. 


Final Thoughts

Mobile friendly is a term being thrown around a lot, and it is certainly important for web design. However, it is important to know the components that can be leveraged to create a mobile-friendly website. If you are wondering if your website is mobile-friendly, compare it against the criteria listed in this blog. You will likely find several ways where you can improve your site. With increasing numbers of people preferring mobile devices, the importance of having a mobile-friendly website will only increase over time. Utilize these tips to help improve your website for your mobile viewers. 

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