Three Little Tweaks That Will Make Your Website More Mobile-Friendly
By now, you’re aware that your website needs to play nice on mobile devices. You’ve probably already done the lion’s share of the work - but there are always little tweaks, too.
At this point, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re behind the curve. Google has already updated their algorithm. Smartphones and tablets already define how we work, live, and play. The number of mobile users on the web continues to climb - even as desktop usage declines.
Websites that don’t play nice with smartphones and tablets lose traffic, customers, and revenue to competitors. As a webmaster, you need a solid understanding of responsive design. You need to know the necessary steps in transforming your website for smaller screens.
You need to know how mobile users interact with your site, so that you can optimize it for those interaction.
It isn’t just the big stuff that matters, though - the little things count too. To that end, here are a few tweaks you should apply once you’ve finished the lion’s share of the work. None of these are especially difficult or complex, but by applying them, you’ll make your website more mobile friendly.
And your customers will thank you for it.
Cut Out Needless Content
You’ve probably heard that smartphone users prefer short, snappy copy that they can digest quickly and easily. To some extent, that’s true - you aren’t generally going to see someone reading War and Peace on their iPhone. At the same time, just because shorter content is preferable, that doesn’t mean long-form content is completely on the outs.
As it turns out, longer stuff can actually work pretty well - but only if it’s written with mobile users in mind. What I mean is if you’re going to have to create content in a particular fashion. Mobile-friendly content should be:
Front-loaded. It should present the most valuable or important information first. Don’t bury the lead.
Broken up by images and headlines. Insert new headlines where it makes sense, and include images applicable to what you’re writing.
Written in short paragraphs. Three sentences each, at most.
Concise. No unnecessary words or phrases.
Eliminate Unnecessary Media
Speaking of the importance of being concise, mobile devices tend to have far less real estate than their desk-bound cousins - and mobile users tend to want to use less bandwidth. Factor in that older devices generally take longer to load pages, and websites that are overloaded with rich media can end up being near-impossible for mobile users to access.
For every piece of media you include in your site, you need to ask yourself: do I really need this? Does it make the user’s experience better or more unique? Is the website still navigable without it?
Use Smaller Images
Last but not least, think about how large your images are. Oversized pictures not only make a site more difficult to access, they’re also ugly on a small screen. Use image editing software to downsize before you upload - 960 pixels and 200-400 KB at most.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to make your site more mobile-friendly. Sometimes, all it takes is a few simple tweaks. The advice here’s only the start - if you have any tips of your own, feel free to share!