The need for having a website that displays properly on desktop computers, tablets, and mobile devices is becoming increasingly important. Long gone are the days where one surfs the Web or completes searches on just one device. When searching for a product or service, a large portion of Internet users actually start their search on one device (i.e. smartphone), but end it on a different device (i.e. laptop). For example, if a user is looking to make dinner reservations, they may complete a search that morning on their smartphone for nearby restaurants. Maybe something interrupts the booking process, such as an incoming phone call, and ultimately, that user ends up making the reservation on their work computer during a lunch break.
The point here is that while more Internet users are relying on their smartphone, and less on their desktop computer, you want to make sure your website looks good on all types of devices. You cannot predict which device a potential customer will ultimately convert on, and as such, you should be sure to cover your bases when it comes to the design of your website.
For most businesses looking to optimize their website, start with mobile as that is the direction that the industry is trending. For smartphones and tablets, there is one piece of advice that applies to many industries: keep it simple. When potential customers are browsing your mobile site, you want to give them what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. For local businesses, this is usually a phone number. Since the website is, after all, being viewed on a phone, it is imperative that the phone number is not only visible but functional when a user taps it.
Along the same lines, less is more when it comes to mobile. You don’t want to overwhelm (and bore) potential customers with too much text. While content is still king with regards to SEO, taking a minimalist approach to designing your mobile site is often the best play. To borrow the restaurant example again, while it’s great to talk about where your ingredients come from and the history of your restaurant, it’s probably more important to give potential customers quick and easy access to your menu and daily specials. For a museum, it’s a best practice to display eye-popping photos of current and upcoming exhibits in order to encourage more visitors. You have plenty of opportunities to talk about your business on your desktop website – on mobile, be sure to keep your customer and online marketing goals in mind.
Lastly, Google continues to award an advantage, albeit a very slight one, to mobile-friendly websites. When it comes to digital marketing, you want to be sure to take advantage of anything that may give you an edge over your competitors.