Why your website needs to work across multiple devices
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
The majority of today's users consume media on multiple screens — smartphones, tablets and TV. From checking email to surfing to tweeting about a TV show or finding out about a product, your customers are mobile and spend a considerable amount of time on these screens, away from the desktop computer.
Building a website that showcases your business and products across multiple devices is the new norm. Mobile access to company websites has either outstripped access from PC Web browsers or will soon. Thus, businesses with mobile-optimized websites will generate higher user engagement. Your customers deserve a great online experience with your company, no matter what device they use.
Understand your current traffic — Analyze the traffic on your webpage to determine from where your customers visit your website. In addition, the number of times they visit, the devices they use and the content they consume would make for a solid analysis to help you optimize your website.
Content conundrum — A mobile website, needless to say, would be accessed on a smaller screen and on presumably slower Internet speeds. Thus, it is advisable to not just simply replicate your current website on mobile. Adding too much data would make it cluttered and affect the user experience. Analyzing your traffic would help you determine what content to prioritize for your mobile site. The key to effective optimization is to shortlist the necessary content required by users and not just subtracting content from the website.
Creating and testing
Need for speed — A consumer accessing your website on-the-go via a mobile device would spend less time waiting for your website to load as compared to desktop/computer users. The (presumably) slower mobile internet speeds don't help either. Check up on your current website loading time with the help of free tools available online, such as Pingdom's website speed test — this will help you optimize better. Also, as discussed earlier, keep only the content that's necessary on your mobile site.
Responsive design and budget woes — Responsive design is a Web design approach in which the content and features of a Web page adjust themselves according to the screen size, irrespective of the screen size and mobile device. Building a mobile site is dependent on the budget. A responsive Web design is more expensive compared to building a basic mobile site. So you need to choose what suits best. But remember — keeping the user in mind while designing will result in a better design, improved user engagement and thus, better ROI.
Avoid these mistakes
- The mobile site not having necessary content
- Videos that don't play on mobile devices — some or all (use HTML5)
- Pop-ups and excessive ads which make for a bad user experience
- Slow load speeds
Optimizing is not and should not be a one-step process. Many business owners and Web designers have observed that the patterns of various aspects of mobile site traffic keep changing, across devices. Successful businesses keep analyzing and improving user experience — continuously.
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