25% of Americans gravitate toward their smartphones—not a computer—when they want to browse the Web, according to the Pew Internet Project. Of those surveyed, a striking 87% of smartphone owners check the Internet or email on their phones in addition to using their computers.
Factor in that 20% of U.S. smartphone owners use their mobile devices to make purchasing decisions (according to Internet Retailer’s research), and we’d say it’s high time you made your website smartphone-friendly.
Here are some tips to consider while planning your mobile website:
- Rethink your content. Smartphone browsers want to get useful information on the go—they don’t have time to muddle through pages of teeny, tiny text or wait for huge graphics to load.
- Write with a small screen in mind. While our PC screens are getting bigger to accommodate watching DVDs and online streaming, mobile screens are not. Think small, fast, and efficient. Use your words wisely—you have very little space to get your message across and keep your viewer on the page.
- Use short forms with drop-down menus. If you’ve ever tried to type multiple paragraphs in a text message, then you already know why short forms are so important on mobile-friendly websites. Replace text fields with drop-down menus and multiple-choice buttons. The less your customers have to actually type, the more likely they are to actually contact you and make a purchase.
- Minimize clicks and keep it simple. Pay attention to how often your site requires users to poke, click, and redirect to another page. And remember, a lot of internal links will make your mobile site cumbersome.
- Think vertically. Structure your site so that copy and pictures are organized vertically, with pictures on top of articles. The desktop horizontal design doesn’t translate well on a mobile screen.
- Link back to your homepage. Give your mobile users a quick way to return to the home page and to previously visited pages. You’d be amazed how many companies forget about this option!
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