How often do you use your smartphone or tablet to access websites on the go? It’s no surprise that Google have come to the decision to rank mobile-friendly sites higher than those that do not consider their mobile visitors’ demands.
There are many elements to consider when building your mobile site, or making sure that your existing one is performing effectively. At the heart of a great successful mobile site is the ease of access to the information that your visitor needs.
The bounce rate on mobile devices is 9.56% higher than on desktops , making it all the more important to ensure the user experience is up to scratch.
Here are a few pointers to help keep visitors on your site.
Sorting your redirects
Some websites use separate URLs to serve desktop and mobile uses. You need to ensure that your mobile site is redirecting correctly in order to avoid visitors getting frustrated and leaving your site.
A faulty redirect is when a desktop page redirects smartphone users to an irrelevant page on the smartphone optimised website e.g.
www.example.com correctly redirects to m.example.com, but www.example.com/link incorrectly redirects to m.example.com
This interrupts the user’s flow, making it difficult for them to access the information that they want. This can be incredibly frustrating, particularly when a user has a weak network connection. Equally annoying is when a user is directed to an error page instead of the relevant mobile optimised page – if any of the pages on your site do not have a mobile version, then at the very least redirect to the desktop version of that page for the time being.
Simplifying your content
Less is more as the saying goes, and when a user is visiting a mobile version of your site, they are very likely looking to obtain the required information quickly, without having to sift through several pages or streams of text.
Keep the content on your mobile site simple. Consider the pages that the user will likely need on the go, for example the Contact Us page and a store locator if applicable, and minimalize the number of fill in text fields where possible.
It might seem detrimental to limit the content available on your mobile site, but the minimalist approach drastically improves customer service.
As with your desktop site, your mobile site will need to have your branding incorporated. Don’t forget that your mobile site is another marketing channel that not only is of use to your existing customers, but can bring in new ones too. Good branding means your customers will know the mobile site is a trusted source – especially important if you are using mobile ecommerce.
Videos on your mobile site are not entirely discouraged, but you need to consider that video will be very slow on a device with limited connection, if it works at all. Images of a high resolution too can take a long time to load on mobile devices, so make them friendly by reducing their size and only using when necessary.
Giving them the option
No matter how hard you have worked on making your mobile site user friendly and streamlined, some users of different devices will want to access your full site. Give them the option with a simple link at the bottom of every page which takes them back to the desktop equivalent. It might seem like a lot of legwork, but your visitors will appreciate it and spend longer on your site.