7 Tips for Creating a Mobile-Friendly Website

<p>Consumers are going mobile, using their smartphones and tablets to do everything from looking up hot restaurants to comparing product prices in-store. But if your business website isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be losing out on traffic, visits and sales. Here are seven simple tips for creating a mobile-friendly website.<br> </p> <ol> <li><b>Think simple. </b>Small mobile devices require paring down your desktop-oriented website. For instance, if you have an ecommerce site, streamline the layout by using short product names and small images. When users click, you can deliver expanded product descriptions.<br> <br> </li> <li><b>Go visual. </b>Icons such as arrows or gears save space compared to words. Just make sure your icons are universally recognizable—don’t try to reinvent the wheel.<br> <br> </li> <li><b>Use smaller images.</b> Photos load more slowly on mobile devices, and customers in a hurry will give up in frustration. Use fewer or smaller images (keep in mind that most<b> </b>mobile device screens are under 200 pixels wide).<br> <br> </li> <li><b>Test legibility.</b> Mobile users will access your site outdoors, in dim lighting, in their cars—who knows where? It’s important that your typeface, design and colors be readable in a variety of settings. Test different fonts and color combinations with users of different ages.<br> <br> </li> <li><b>Avoid auto-refresh.</b> Often, websites periodically auto-refresh. However, this causes problems on mobile devices because it makes downloading take longer.<br> <br> </li> <li><b>Don’t forget the fat-fingered.</b> It’s harder to click on buttons or icons on a small mobile device than it is to use a mouse or keyboard. Make sure your clickable links, buttons or icons have enough white space around them to allow for fat-fingered fumbling.<br> <br> </li> <li><b>Try single columns. </b>If your website has lots of type or images, you probably use multi-column layout. For a mobile device, a single-column layout is much more readable becuase users don’t have to scroll side to side as well as down.</li> </ol> <p><br> <br> When you’ve got your website mobile-friendly, register it on local search engines such as Yahoo! Local, Bing, Google+ Local and <a class="vglnk" rel="nofollow"></a><a class="vglnk" rel="nofollow"><span>Local.com</span></a> so customers on the go can find you when they’re doing online searches for businesses to patronize. Don’t forget about the major in-car GPS navigation sites, as well as any niche sites relevant to your business, such as restaurant review or search sites.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Photo by&nbsp;<a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/ObeolO659NQ?utm_source=unsplash&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText" target="_blank">rawpixel</a>&nbsp;on&nbsp;<a href="https://unsplash.com/search/photos/mobile?utm_source=unsplash&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText" target="_blank">Unsplash</a></p> <h3>Author information</h3> <h4>Rieva Lesonsky</h4> <p>Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship.&nbsp;</p> <p>|&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/Rieva" target="_blank">Twitter</a>&nbsp;|&nbsp;<a href="http://plus.google.com/+RievaLesonsky" target="_blank">Google+</a>&nbsp;|</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>