Over 50% of Canadians now own a smartphone according to new research from Catalyst and GroupM Next. We use our phones at home, at work and on the go for everything from getting directions to checking the weather to social media and online transactions. With so many people using smartphone, your website has to be mobile friendly.
Why Mobile Friendly?
A mobile friendly website allows visitors to easily navigate and interact with your website on both their smartphones and tablets. And a mobile friendly website will impact your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – the fancy behind the scene stuff that a website design company does so you find your website on the first page of a search engine. Google has a Mobile Friendly Test that analyzes your URL and reports if the site is mobile friendly: Google Mobile Friendly Test
There are two options for a mobile friendly web design: a responsive website or a mobile dedicated website.
A responsive website is designed to reformat based on the needs of smaller sized screens. A responsive design means:
- Objects repositioned. On a desktop, sections that are side by side will appear vertically, one on top of the other, on a smartphone to allow for easy scrolling.
- Menu relocated. On a desktop, menu items frequently appear across the top of a page but on a smartphone there is a menu button drops down a vertical list of menu items to allow for easy navigation.
Mobile Dedicated Website
The second option is a mobile dedicated website. This is a completely different website that visitors are redirected to if they are viewing your site from a smartphone or tablet.
You should consider a mobile dedicated website if:
- The majority of your visitors will be using a smartphone to view your website.
- The purpose of your website is e-commerce transactions.
- You have a specific mobile website design that cannot be achieved using a responsive website.
What you can expect from a dedicated mobile site:
- More succinct. Responsive web design means shorter titles, shorter sections and fewer options which make it even easier and quicker for visitors to decide what they want. Visitors are more likely to take actions if they only need to look at one or two screens on their smartphone.
- Less text. A responsive website design has less text than a desktop site. Text typically doesn’t exceed 2-3 screens of information so visitors can find what they need quickly.
- More action oriented. Visitors using a mobile device are WAY more likely to take action than visitors on a desktop. Actions included a phone call, purchase or directions to get to your business location.
- Ultimate user experience. Everything including content, design and images are created to be viewed on a smaller screen. This allows visitors to easily locate and navigate the exact information they need.
The best website design is one that achieves your business objectives. A mobile friendly website is a must given the number of Canadians using smartphones throughout their day for all kinds of activities.
This is the first of five articles on how to design an effective website. Here are all of the articles:
- Your Website’s Purpose
- Mobile Friendly
- Increasing WebSite Visitors
- Simple + Engaging = Effective
- The Checklist