Mobile websites are quickly becoming the norm as more and more people rely on their smartphones to access the internet. In addition, all major search engines now favor mobile-friendly websites in their indexing algorithms, which means that if your website isn’t optimized for a mobile device, you may not be showing up when potential customers search for your products or services.
More than ever before it’s important to make sure you have a mobile-friendly website design. Here is everything you need to know about creating an effective and engaging site design for a phone or tablet screen.
What Is a Mobile Website? and Why Should You Care?
A mobile website is a specific type of website design that is tailored specifically for viewing on a smartphone or tablet. In other words, it isn’t the same as your desktop site.
In addition, search engines are now using your website’s “mobile-friendliness” to determine how well your site ranks in search results. Mobile-friendly sites will show up higher in the mobile results, whereas non-mobile-friendly sites often won’t show up at all.
To make matters more complicated, Google has started testing a new “app indexing” feature that will give priority to apps in search results when users search for something on their phones. This means that a mobile website is not enough to ensure a high search ranking—you need a native app as well, which can be quite expensive.
The Benefits of Having a Mobile-Friendly Site Design
Having a mobile-friendly website design offers several advantages:
Sites that are optimized for mobile devices will automatically be more accessible on smartphones and tablets. If your site isn’t optimized, it won’t be able to show up in search results when potential customers run a search from their phone.
Having a responsive website design (meaning it automatically resizes itself to fit phones and tablets) gives your site the benefit of appearing larger in search results, which can improve click-through rates by showing searchers more content on the first page of results.
Not all browsers are created equal—and not all of them are compatible with Flash-based content. Having a mobile website design ensures that your site will appear for customers no matter what browser they’re using.
Mobile Sites vs. Responsive Sites
Do you have to choose between having a mobile site or a responsive site?
The biggest difference between mobile websites and responsive sites is their display. A mobile site is a website that targets mobile devices, and it will likely feature larger images and font sizes to accommodate for the smaller screen size. Meanwhile, responsive sites look similar to desktop sites but they can resize themselves depending on the browser’s width.
How Do I Create a Mobile-Friendly Website?
Mobile websites and responsive websites both require the same basic setup:
Utilizing a Content Management System (CMS):
A CMS is the foundation of your website. It will be what you build everything else on top of, and it’s also where all updates to content and design will take place. There are several options for CMS, but the most popular are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
Designing the Structure of Your Site:
This is where you’ll determine what information will be featured on your site, how it will look, and how visitors will interact with it. Mobile websites often feature larger images to make up for screen size limitations, while responsive sites are designed to automatically resize depending on the browser width.
Choosing a Web Domain:
You can’t just purchase any domain that you want. Your website must be hosted on an Internet Protocol (IP) address that allows it to be viewed online. If your site is viewed through a standard IP address, this will result in lower search rankings because there are more illegitimate websites than legitimate ones.
Choosing a Host:
Your website needs to be hosted on a server so that it can be accessed by anyone online. This is what enables customers to view your site, and there are several companies out there that offer hosting services including Network Solutions, GoDaddy, and 1&1.
The rest of this article discusses some additional factors that you need to consider when creating a mobile-friendly design and describes how responsive web design works.
How to Create an Effective and Engaging Site Design for A Phone or Tablet Screen
When designing a website, it’s very important to have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. If you don”t have a particular goal in mind, you won’t be able to focus your content and design in a way that appeals to your target market.
Choosing the Right Keywords:
A big part of designing a successful mobile site (and site in general) is choosing keywords that are relevant to your business. This will help potential customers find you when they search for products or services like yours, and it will also give them an idea of what your company provides. You can choose the most popular phrases related to your industry, but it’s also important to choose words that your target market is likely to search for.
Choosing the Right Layout:
Once you have a list of keywords, it’s time to design the layout of your site. Mobile websites often feature larger images than their desktop counterparts because there is less room on mobile devices for bulky content. However, the images on your site should be relevant to its content, and you should avoid using gimmicky or distracting images just for the sake of getting attention. Furthermore, responsive sites are designed so that they automatically resize depending on the browser width.
Maintaining Consistent Branding:
Your mobile website is another method of promoting your company’s branding. If your site is designed well, it will reinforce the image that you are portraying on other platforms like social media or print ads.
How Does Responsive Web Design Work?
With so many different devices to consider these days (mobile phones, tablets, computers), it can be difficult to design a website that will work for everyone. Responsive web design is a method of creating a site that changes depending on the size of the browser and screen resolution.
Creating Web Content:
While designing your site, you need to determine which elements should be featured on all pages and put them in what’s called a “mobile” or “base” file. This file should include the main information on your site as well as a set of navigation links so users can easily access important content. The rest of your site will be created using a template-based system, and it will include the individual features that you want to include on separate pages.
Customizing Your Site:
When designing a mobile website, it’s important to realize that the template that you choose will only be partially customizable. While companies like Bootstrap and Foundation make it easy for customers to design their sites based on the same framework, you won’t have as much flexibility when picking a template. The good news is that many of them include customization options for the header, fonts, colors, and logo.
Choosing a Template:
There are several companies out there offering mobile-friendly website templates. However, finding the right one can be difficult because all of them vary depending on quality and functionality. Once you’ve designed your site using a mobile-friendly template, it will be ready for the HTML5 and CSS3 development process.
In this next section, you need to discuss how responsive web design is more effective than a mobile website. You also need to discuss some of your experiences with this type of design and why you prefer one over the other. Furthermore, you need to discuss the benefits of having a mobile website vs. just having an app. For example, most apps are not searchable via Google or other popular search engines like YouTube is.
Mobile Website Design Is Better than Building an App Because It Ensures that Your Site Will Be Compatible with All Types of Devices.
Additionally, you won’t have to worry about people losing interest in your app if their device gets an operating system update that breaks the compatibility with your app.
There are Many Benefits of Having a Mobile Website Instead of Just an App. For one thing, mobile-friendly websites are searchable via Google. Furthermore, you can update or edit them more frequently to ensure that your site is always up to date. You can also share links to mobile websites on social media, whereas only people with the app will be able to use it.
50 Tips and Tricks for Making the Process Easier on Yourself:
TIP #1 Start the development process with a responsive web design template that you can customize to fit your brand and style.
TIP #2 Keep unique branding elements separate from the design to maintain consistency across platforms.
TIP #3 Consider how people are likely to search for your content when deciding what content should go in the mobile file.
TIP #4 Make sure your social media profiles are updated with information about your new mobile website so that you can use them to your advantage.
TIP #5 Ensure that the image on your mobile website is optimized for faster loading times.
TIP #6 Include meta tags in your HTML code so that search engines like Google can better index your site.
TIP #7 Check how well your site works with different screen resolutions before launching it to make sure there are no bugs.
TIP #8 Add links to your contact page on the mobile site so that users can easily find your business address and phone number.
TIP #9 Use social media profiles to promote the launch of your new website, then use it as a landing page to funnel visitors into other parts of your marketing strategy.
TIP #10 Sync your social media profiles so that you can update them with the same information.
TIP #11 Use a product feed to ensure that your site is optimized for eCommerce purposes.
TIP #12 Include videos that summarize or supplement the content on your mobile website because they are likely to be watched more.
TIP #13 Make sure your social media profiles link to your mobile website so that people can easily access it.
TIP #14 Consider a redesign of your desktop site when you are designing the mobile version because they usually have similar goals and functions.
TIP #15 Create a plan for updating the design over time because typically, customers are not fond of drastic changes.
TIP #16 Place important and engaging content near the top of your mobile site because people typically do not like scrolling on their devices.
TIP #17 Create a mobile-friendly version of any eCommerce sites that you use to increase conversions and let customers make purchases from their desktop or laptop computers as well.
TIP #18 Use your social media profiles to promote anything related to a contest that you are running, then use the mobile site as a landing page for those who enter. This is a great way to increase traffic and conversions.
TIP #19 Test the mobile version of your website so that you can identify any issues before launching it fully.
TIP #20 Post a link to your mobile website on all of your social media profiles so that more people have the opportunity to see it and share it with their friends or family members.
TIP #21 Allow users to subscribe via email by including a signup field in the footer of your mobile site.
TIP #22 Include a search feature on your mobile website to make it more convenient for customers.
TIP #23 Post the launch of your new mobile site on all of your social media profiles so that people know when it is happening and what they can expect.
TIP #24 Update older blog posts that still contain useful information by making a brief mention of your new mobile website and linking to it.
TIP #25 Update the design on your desktop site at least once a year to keep things fresh and interesting for customers.
TIP #26 Use call-to-action buttons that encourage users to sign up for any newsletters or promotions that you may be running.
TIP #27 Update your social media profiles with information about contests, promotions, or any other news related to your mobile website.
TIP #28 Add a link for users to find out more about you in the footer of your mobile site because it offers another way for customers to find out who you are and what you do.
TIP #29 Promote your mobile website on any offline newsletters so that more customers have access to the information.
TIP #30 Add a link to your mobile site from any blogs or websites where you contribute content so that it becomes easier for people who are already reading them to easily find what they are looking for.
TIP #31 Consider offering your mobile website as a separate service because you might be able to charge more for it and reach a different set of customers.
TIP #32 Create two opt-in forms: one on the desktop version and another on the mobile version of your website.
TIP #33 Use your social media profiles to post links to the mobile version of your website at least once a week because that will ensure that it gets seen by more people.
TIP #34 Update the design on your desktop site to reflect any changes you make to your mobile site so that customers do not become confused about what is available where.
TIP #35 Post about how to use your mobile website on your social media profiles to help customers get the most use out of it.
TIP #36 Change up the design of your mobile site about once a quarter so that things do not become stale for customers who visit it regularly.
TIP #37 Promote any contests or promotions in multiple places so that you can increase conversions and ensure that people take advantage of the opportunity.
TIP #38 Add a call-to-action button to your mobile website that encourages users to sign up for your newsletter or mailing list so they will be updated about future promotions and events.
TIP #39 Include links back to your social media profiles on all pages of your mobile website so that customers can easily find them.
TIP #40 Include links to external websites on your mobile website if they contain information that is relevant or useful for any of your customers.
TIP #41 Use links within blog posts on your website to prevent people from having to scroll too far to find what they are looking for.
TIP #42 Update the text on some of your older blog posts to reflect how they relate to your mobile website.
TIP #43 Post about contests, promotions, or any news related to your mobile website on all of your social media profiles.
TIP #44 Include screenshots on your desktop site that show off what people can expect from your mobile website.
TIP #45 Include a link to your social media profiles on the home page of your mobile website so that people know where they can find out more about you and what you do.
TIP #46 Update the design of your desktop site with changes made to your mobile website when they go live so that both look the same.
TIP #47 Change up the design on your mobile website quarterly to keep things fresh for customers who visit it regularly.
TIP #48 Include multiple opt-in forms on your mobile website so that people have many options available when they are ready to sign up for something.
TIP #49 Promote unique features of your mobile website to increase conversions and bring in more money.
TIP #50 Add a link back to your desktop site on every page of your mobile website so that people can still find it even if they are browsing from their phone or tablet.
By following these fifty tips and tricks, you will be able to create a mobile website that provides value to your customers and reaches a larger audience.
In addition, you will be able to see your website traffic increase over time as more people find out about it and check it out regularly.
Whether you own a brick-and-mortar business or one that exists online, you need to take the necessary steps to ensure that your website works on mobile devices and tablets.
Otherwise, you will end up losing money because people who visit your site will not be able to easily navigate it or find what they are looking for.
However, if you use responsive web design, you can make sure that your website looks great on all platforms.
Alignment Online Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency with expertise in SEO, Social Media Marketing & Management, Reputation Management, Pay Per Click Advertising, and more! To see how they can help your business, visit their website at alignmnetonline.com
If you are looking for design inspiration for the new year head over to our blog on tips for new year’s resolutions for your business.
If you need some design inspiration, be sure to check out our blog on color psychology and its impact on marketing.
Remember that if you ever have any questions about mobile website design or any other type of advertising, we are here to help!
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