Does Your Website Design Drive Away Mobile Customers?

In our article introducing mobile website design we discussed how consumers are using their Smartphones and mobile devices to research products online. Some people are even purchasing products, setting appointments and looking up office hours using their phones.

If you don’t have a Smartphone you may be wondering how people can see anything on those small displays. That is a good question. Mobile phone displays are gradually becoming larger. There is, however, an important piece of technology the mobile phone designers and manufacturers can’t change – your website.

Recently, a friend of mine tried to purchase a product using her Android tablet. The experience was so frustrating that she finally asked me why this website was so contrary. The problem was that the website design was very computer friendly, but a mess for mobile users. This merchant is losing money because people can’t navigate or purchase products from them using a mobile device. {Mental note to contact them about a new mobile website design.}

Over the last couple of years, there have been so many changes in HTML, CSS, XHTML and other programming languages that even those who have long had solid proficiency in creating their own websites are throwing up their hands in despair, and outsourcing to full-time web designers.

Yet some principles apply to creating a mobile friendly website design. Below are some areas that we consider when reworking an existing website or for creating a fresh new mobile website desing.

Use of Graphics

Unless you’re an artist or photographer with a portfolio site, making your site graphics-heavy is likely to please no one except other artists (and your graphic designer).

Entry pages

Get right to the important content either by a list of menu items right on the “front page” that your mobile visitor can click on easily to see more or by putting the actual content just right there on the first page.

Consider the smaller display

Think in terms of how much space is on a mobile device and make your content more friendly to the device. Short drop down menus may be more useful than really long menus other types of menu options.

Review what browsers visitors are using

Install Google Analytics to learn what browsers people use when browsing your website. This will indicate if you are getting mobile traffic at all. Another option is to survey your customers to determine what types of mobile devices are used most often.

The Bottom Line
When you create a mobile friendly website or blog you will open up a totally new way to market your products to your potential customers. For instance, if you normally bookmark your new blog posts to Twitter, maybe your visitors would enjoy getting a text alerting them to new content as well. However you do it, the time is now to design a mobile website and add mobile content marketing to your overall marketing strategy.