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    Comprehensive SEO APR 24, 2014  

    Mobile Device Websites

    Websites formatted solely for PCs are experiencing declined usage

    Nearly all businesses today maintain an active website which represent their products or services online in some form or another, whether aiming to sell directly to consumers or only to get their brand out there. Without a doubt, quality websites are essential for most businesses, what is not as well known is that its share of the overall online usage is in decline! How is that? A recent survey shows most businesses do not have a properly formatted mobile website. As PC sales are relatively in decline, so is their share of clicks by all users. Various types such as ultra-mobile devices, Chrome-books for example, have also added to the expanded mobile usage. Tablets are becoming less and less expensive while still evolving with newer technologies still being developed.

    Differences of mobile device developed websites

    Many business owners do not have a clear understanding of the differences a mobile formatted site contains, or what it really does in comparison. What is the difference? Why is a PC formatted website not read well on mobile devices as long as they fit? The technical aspect of developing for a smaller screen is obvious, what is less clear is that mobile devices are also designed for a different type of user and purposes. Take in consideration that tablet and smart phone users do not have a full keyboard and mouse, this has a large impact on the design. Links which are too close to each-other are not a problem for PC users, but on mobile devices this can cause inadvertent wrong links being clicked. Or causing your visitors the frustration of having to scroll left and right to see all your webpage’s content?

    Here’s an overview of the differences and tips about the optimization of mobile formatted webpages.

    Home page and navigation

    Most websites have tabs and other methods to navigate located near the top of the pages. While very common for PCs, not friendly for mobile users. One remedy are drop down menus. They work better for smaller screens and you can fit more without having the user scroll up or down. You will only need to have a back button and home page in the navigation portion, many of the other functions are already built in and will only crowd the page. The proper design uses the least amount of space as possible.

    Less content more calls to action

    A mobile device user, specially with smart phones, are less likely to be engaged by a lot of content. By minimizing the text, the user will have a better experience by having large call to action spaces, icons, tiles or boxes to click on as opposed to reading one paragraph after another. Your page should be designed in a single column, not more, eliminating the need to horizontally scroll.

    Optimize for touchscreen users

    Considering that some people have larger fingers, the design should make it easy by leaving enough space between links and have large enough text in efforts to make it easier for anyone click on. When designing a mobile use website from the start, there’s a great deal of consideration which goes into the usage of a touch screen instead of a mouse.

    Minimize the need for the user to type

    Mobile device users do not like to type. The less the need to type, the better the mobile user will like your site. Offer the user ways to take advantage of the mobile device’s built in functions. One example is by getting to your physical location using a mapping app, or directly calling your business from your site with a click.

    Mobile download speeds are different outside the U.S.

    If you are an international company, you must consider the slower download speeds abroad. Different countries have varying download speeds, many being much slower than the United States. When this issue is not addressed with the properly formatted website, it can greatly affect a large portion of business coming from regions outside of the U.S. A separate mobile site designed for countries with slower speeds would be beneficial when relying on overseas business.

    There are too many other factors which go into developing a mobile website to list, many of which pertain to the specific type of company and its business. A large number of business owners are not even aware of why their website is not performing as well as it should. The answer is simple and familiar, a site needs to have properly optimized webpages to acquire the growing number of mobile users.

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