Key Elements of a Social Media and Mobile-Friendly Website …
With mobile now the dominant form of personal computing, if you don’t nail the key elements of a mobile-friendly website, you’re going to cripple your business in a huge way.
If nothing else, you should ensure your site conforms to the tenets of responsive design. While this sounds highly technical, all it really means is your site adapts to whatever screen it inhabits. In addition to making your existing site somewhat mobile friendly, responsive design also maintains the overall look and branding you’ve established.
When viewed on a mobile device, your site should focus the homepage on ensuring your users are directed to the content they’re seeking. Calls to action should always be front and center where they can be readily employed. While the most commonly used tasks should be easily available, secondary tasks can be relegated to menus, or accessed by scrolling.
Speaking of menus, these should be as short as possible. Vague calls to action should be eliminated in favor of definitive ones. Returning to the homepage should always be as simple as touching an icon. Promotions should be enticing, but don’t let them dominate the screen.
Search should be afforded the prime spot across the top of each screen, so it can always be readily accessed. When search results are returned they must be as relevant as possible. Use filters to make the results as narrow as they can be. Remember your users won’t have a lot of space and must scroll to find what they need. Focusing your results narrowly minimizes this as much as possible. Look for every opportunity to guide users to better search results. Offer hints, make suggestions and implement autocomplete wherever practical.
When looking at any type of site design, it’s important to consider the many different responsive web design sizes you will need to consider as well. Most of us are already well-aware of desktop and mobile device viewing, but there are many different varying devices and viewing factors out there as well. For example, will your site look and operate the same way if a user takes their mobile device or tablet and flips it on its side?
Here is a complete visual of the many different responsive devices to consider when reviewing how your site looks to all audiences. You can also use any of these tools to test the look and feel of your site as well.
Your site should encourage users to explore and investigate items more thoroughly. When they find an item they want to purchase, let them buy without registering. You can always ask them to do so after booking the sale. Cache patrons’ key information so subsequent purchases can be made with less effort. Leverage the device’s telephone with click-to-call buttons so shoppers can ask questions when they need more information.
Forms should be streamlined as much as possible. Avoid asking for extraneous information, especially on checkout pages. Provide shortcuts to make entering information easier. Offer autocomplete so users can minimize keystrokes. Visual calendars make entering dates easier, while real-time validation catches errors on the fly to reduce the frustration users might experience when they make mistakes.
In short, the shorter and more simple the sign up form, the higher the conversions you are going to see. This is why so many websites and brands will start off with a simple email or site url submit, instead of offering a super long form process that will scare most users away.
Social Media Platforms
As we all know, not all social networking platforms are the same. In fact, lead generation and connecting with users is much easier on Facebook, versus its counterparts like Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest.
It’s not just the way your website looks, it’s also how your ad copy is delivered as well. You can see an example of different ad copy sizes in the screenshot below.
If this is something you haven’t already prepared for, no worries! There are plenty of free online design tools that will allow you to quickly create new ad copy, or simply change the sizes of your images without much technical knowledge.
A lot of site owners optimize their homepages for mobile but let the rest of the site go. Your entire website needs to be afforded mobile consideration. All images should be expandable to make it easier for users to investigate details. Maps and directions should be provided, leveraging the navigation capabilities built into the device. While opening a new tab upon clicking a link is standard practice on desktop devices, mobile users should always be kept in the same tab to minimize navigation issues. If a shift in orientation will make more information available, advise users to rotate the device.
Tips for Responsive Web Design
Creating a social media and a mobile responsive website doesn’t need to be hard. In most cases, a simple WordPress plugin can often do the trick. A reference on WebDesignTeam.com recently highlighted how this can all be done in four simple steps.
Planning– One thing to always keep in mind is to plan before producing your work. A good web design firm knows and understands this. You have to sketch out the results that you wish to achieve and prepare a way to success so that you will know when you are on the right track.
Engineering software– Using engineering software, a web design firm knows how to utilize the best aspects of technology to create the perfect site. So the key to achieving this is to focus on getting the best design firm.
Responsive Design– Responsive design can be achieved through a variety of techniques that will help you achieve your goals through your website.
Focus on Navigation– Navigation is important within your design because it makes your site more usable and accessible, no matter what type of device users come in on.
These key elements of a mobile-friendly website will enhance your customer’s user experience. At the same time, with over a billion active websites and blogs online, it’s important for your site to follow all of Google’s recommendations and standards as well. This can also help with outranking your competition in the search results as well.
And, while each of these methods might not immediately be recognized after all the effort you put in on their behalf, it will show in reduced bounce rates, longer browsing sessions and best of all, higher conversion rates.
Run through each of the recommendations in this review guide, and take a look at your current site stats. Then take some time to implement each of these methods into your own site, and review your stats again in a week or two. You should see an overall improvement in site usage, time spent on site, and maybe even your search rankings as well.