These days, it’s more common to have a cell phone routine than it is to have a gym routine.
Your cell phone likely wakes you every morning, sits with you for breakfast while you read email and check weather or traffic patterns for your daily commute. It’s a routine, just like doing 30 minutes on the elliptical.
Research shows digital media consumption via mobile phones has surpassed desktop use. At the end of 2015, the average American spent 5.6 hours with digital media, a little more than half of that time was on a mobile screen. Having a responsive aka mobile-friendly website is essential.
Despite the growing addiction to smartphones and tablets, a lot of small businesses don’t have a mobile-friendly website. Research shows 60 percent of businesses have a website, and just 26 percent of those are mobile-friendly.
That could be a costly mistake. To help businesses get ahead of the mobile revolution, here’s a checklist to whip your website into mobile shape:
1. Test your site to see just how mobile-friendly it is
How mobile-friendly is your current website? Do a fit test. See how your site looks on mobile devices with MobileTest.Me. You just enter your web address and you can see how your site looks on various devices. Google also has a mobile checker that shows you how a Google bot sees your site.
Run your URL through both sites to see what improvements are needed.
2. Turn to a responsive design
One of the easiest ways to get your website into mobile shape is to opt for a responsive design. With this design, your website automatically adapts to the device that accesses it.
If your website was created before 2011, your site probably isn’t responsive, so you’ll need to upgrade. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you can use sites like WordPress or Squarespace to create a responsive site. Both platforms have user-friendly templates that even a website novice can use to make a professional website.
If you need some help, call in a personal trainer – or in this case – a website designer.
3. Adjust font and button sizes
Add a little muscle to your font and button sizes. You want easy-to-read fonts and easy-to-click buttons.
Set your font size to 14pt. It might seem a little big, but you don’t want mobile consumers zooming in to read product descriptions or store hours.
When it comes to buttons, opt for larger ones. Your button is likely a call to action that encourages the customer to shop, find more information, or book an appointment, so visibility is important. Specific sizes recommendations vary slightly, but Apple’s recommendation is to make buttons 44px by 44px.
4. Format content with mobile users in mind
As you write content for your website, you should format it with mobile users in mind. Here are a few tips to follow:
- Short paragraphs
A surefire way to turn mobile consumers off is to subject them to a wall of text. A paragraph with four or five sentences looks like an essay on a smartphone.
You don’t have to trim your text, you just have to format it correctly. Keep paragraphs to three sentences max.
- Put important information higher up
In addition to keeping paragraphs short, you should prioritized your text. Put the most important information in the first two paragraphs to increase the likelihood of consumers reading it.
- Use subheadings
You should also break content up by adding bold subheadings. Subheads give consumers the option to scan your content and select what they want to read. Research shows 79 percent of consumers scan a page, rather than read it word for word.
- Stay organized
If you have a list of items on your site, use a bulleted list. This gives a webpage a clean look.
5. Ditch flash
If you’re trying to get into shape, there are things you just have to cut out of your life. You’ll need to cut all flash-based content from your website diet. Some graphics or animations use flash, and it’s not widely supported on mobile devices. In other words, it works on some but not on others.
Aren’t sure if your site uses flash? No problem. Just run your web address through this Flash Test to find out.
If you do have it, replace it with a more mobile-friendly option like HTML 5. If you aren’t sure how to make the change, reach out to a website designer for help.
Eighty-one percent of consumers conduct research online before buying. Given the trend toward mobile use, more and more consumer research will happen on smartphones and tablets.
Make sure your business is cashing in on the mobile revolution with a “mobile-fit” website that caters to this growing niche.