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How to Create a Mobile-Friendly Small Business Website

Google says 60% of mobile users discover a new product or company while browsing from their phones. With mobile users spending an estimated five to six hours daily on their phones, a small business must have a mobile-friendly website.

So, how do you know if a website is mobile-friendly? Simply put, a website optimised to perform well on mobile devices, like tablets or phones, is "mobile friendly." Unfortunately, implementing the strategies to make a website mobile-friendly takes a bit more work than the definition makes it seem, as there are a few crucial factors you have to nail to make sure your website is fit for mobile phones.

What are the Features of a Mobile-Friendly Website?

1. Seamless User Experience

People expect the same quality level from a website, whether on a phone or a desktop. More than half of all website traffic comes from mobiles, so a smooth experience and excellent mobile viewing are expected. 

Websites optimised for mobile come with simple, straightforward designs to allow users to access information quickly and conveniently. If web users can't easily navigate a site via their phones, they abandon it in favour of a competitor's site.

To create a seamless user experience, you must check that your site has a responsive design, meaning that the layout and content adapt to the device on which it is being viewed. The site's design has to adapt to different screen sizes automatically, meaning it will look like you want it to look on mobile screens, desktop versions, and tablets. 

You'll need an eye for detail to make sure every last bit of your site's content is responsive, from the basic layout of the title, subtitles, headings, subheads, and the web copy down to the action buttons, images, and contact forms. Your calls to action must be clickable, and you must watch out for crowded text that would make it difficult for someone on a mobile device to click on a small screen with their finger.

2. Easy Navigation

Well-organised, clear, concise navigation is essential for your small business website. After spending your time, energy, and maybe even ad money to get a person to visit your site, you want to make your website as easy as possible to navigate once they get there, or you risk wasting that visit. 

A straightforward navigation menu and internal linking helps users access various pages and sections. This is helpful to sites with a lot of content, as users might get frustrated if they can't find results that answer their questions but it's also needed for smaller websites, as the content you have on your site has to serve a targeted purpose as there's not as much content to reference on other pages.

An easy-to-navigate website helps visitors understand the hierarchy of a site and its overall structure, so make sure your menu options are clear, easy to click on small device sizes, and include an easy-to-use search function. 

People find it easier to engage with sites that are easy to navigate. Think of how frustrated you feel when trying to use a site that makes it nearly impossible to find what you want. You get frustrated and leave, and your visitors will likely do the same! If you have a website that offers a great mobile experience with a responsive web design, easy-to-click hamburger menus, and a fast load time, your site visitors will spend more time exploring your content. They will also be more likely to return to a website that's easy to navigate!

3. Keep it Simple

While it's tempting to make an all-singing, all-dancing site full of awe-inspiring videos, images, forms, pop-ups, and calls to action, if that site doesn't look great on mobile, all that work will be for nothing and can damage your brand's image instead of improving it.

You want a site that's easy for mobile users to view and interact with, which means you should check your site has the following:

Clear navigation: Pare down the menu items for mobile! Giving users too much choice when you may only have 3-5 seconds of their time can lead to visitors leaving quickly. Also, check that your URL structure isn't confusing to your site's visitors.

Big buttons: Remember, these buttons are clicked by big fingers on a small phone! A tiny bit of text might be fine for a desktop with a mouse but can be annoying on a mobile phone.

No popups: This isn't a rule to live and die by; however, if you have a popup, make sure you put a lot of thought into its purpose and what you want from it. It may sound obvious, but make sure people can click off of it. Too many sites have popups with click-off buttons that are invisible or off-screen on mobiles, leaving visitors no choice but to close the tab and start over. 

Complementary colours: While a fuschia background with white text looked killer on SEOWTF's first home page design, it was sure to give mobile users a migraine! Make sure your colour scheme makes your site easy to read for all people. Also, watch that you're not overlaying text on busy graphics. While it may look fun, you're impeding your success if it impacts your site's mobile experience.

No massive graphics: On your site's mobile version, videos, graphics, and other interactive elements should not interfere with your website's user experience. If the mobile version of your site is jammed with large videos and busy graphics, people will want to avoid staying around. It looks spammy, and it's not fun for the user to be visually assaulted by over-the-top messages, so make sure your images are optimised

Fast loading time: According to Google, 53% of web visits are abandoned when a mobile site takes over three seconds to load, which means you lose potential customers if your site isn't optimised for mobile devices. Test your page speed using our guidelines below to check loading time, file sizes, responsive design metrics, and more.

What are the Benefits of a Mobile-Friendly Website?

1. Increased Reach and Engagement

You've probably visited a website with informative content, but the design needed to be clearer to navigate. Like you, people stay longer on websites that are easy to navigate.

Google says 74% of users are likely to revisit a mobile site, so you'll reach more people and have more repeat visitors when your site is mobile-friendly. This statistic shows that a mobile-friendly site equals higher engagement and an increased reach. In simple terms, this means that people are more likely to visit your website multiple times before becoming a closed sale, which can lead to increased revenue. 

Web engagement is measured by various metrics that indicate user interaction and participation, such as CTR, bounce rate, and time spent on a page. High engagement suggests that visitors can access information quickly and find it relevant - a win for you and them!

2. Positive Ranking Signals

Mobile-friendliness is one of Google's ranking signals, which means Google gives better rankings to mobile-friendly sites. Google says, "Getting good, relevant answers when you search shouldn't depend on what device you're using. You should get the best answer possible, whether you're on a phone, desktop or tablet."

If you have a mobile-friendly site, your ranking will be better than a site that isn't because search engines want to help web users find relevant websites to answer their queries and fulfil their search intent. A site that's difficult to use on mobile devices doesn't offer a good user experience. Ranking higher demonstrates that your site is relevant and buyers can trust your service or product. And, ranking higher means your site will typically get more traffic than sites lower down on the search results, so, better ranking equals more traffic. A positive mobile experience has a direct, positive impact on your traffic!

3. Better Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Investing in a mobile-friendly website is an indispensable strategy for sustained growth and visibility of your small business website. It adds more fuel to the fire of your SEO strategy. When your site is mobile-friendly, your SEO practices will be more effective since Google's algorithms favour websites optimised for mobiles. This means your site will rank higher on SERPs, resulting in more traffic.

A website that appears on the first page of search engines and Google receives about 42% of website traffic on any search. Users perceive websites at the top of SERPs as authentic businesses, giving your small business a significant advantage: a better business image that enhances your business's relevance, credibility, and trustworthiness.

How do I Test the Mobile-Friendliness of my Website?

Now that you know what features make up a mobile-friendly website and its benefits, it's time to test your site to see how it stacks up. The easiest way is just to check your website with a smartphone or tablet and see how it looks, loads, and responds. Check if the web design is attractive and easy to navigate. Keep an eye on the quality of videos and images uploaded. Another thing to consider is the loading speed of the site. Remember, an effective website should have less than three seconds of loading time, or you risk losing visitors.

Ensure content is viewable on a small screen. The forms and buttons of the website should also be easy to use to ensure that users can click buttons and submit forms seamlessly. Refer to the sections above to cross-check the mobile-friendly suggestions we've made.

Aside from checking yourself, you can check if the website is mobile-friendly according to Google by using Google's Mobile-Friendly Test, Page Speed Insights. This free tool allows you to analyse your site's mobile performance.

Page Speed Insights

Screenshot of PageSpeed tool

PageSpeed Insights is a free tool offered by Google to check your pages' speed and performance. The versatile tool evaluates page experience and site performance using key metrics, such as resource utilisation, loading speed, and images.

Go to PageSpeed Insights, insert your web page's URL in the text field, and click the “Analyze” button.

Screenshot of PageSpeed tool

You will get instant page performance results. Page Speed Insights (PSI) assigns scores based on your page's performance on mobile and desktop. The scores range between 0 and 100, with lower scores representing poor performance and higher scores depicting better performance.

PSI also considers your website's speed index, a metric measuring the loading speed. The rating gauges the website's speed at which content becomes visible. This metric demonstrates how fast web visitors can view and interact with the content.

Screenshot of PageSpeed tool

Click the arrow on the right beside each warning under "diagnostics" to see details about the error and a link to more information on how to fix that specific issue. PSI will also give you website accessibility, best practices, and SEO scores. Have a look and identify any areas of improvement.

Wrap Up

Now you know the features of a mobile-friendly site, the benefits of having a mobile-friendly website, and how your small business website stacks up in Google's eyes with its PSI tool. If you want your website to benefit from higher conversion rates, get more traffic from mobile searches, and reach more people, mobile web usability is your ticket.


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