Consumers make more than 50 percent of all local searches from a mobile device.

why responsive designAlmost half of these consumers won’t return to your website if it isn’t a mobile-friendly website.

Do you have a mobile optimized website? If not, you’re practically guaranteeing frustration for half of your potential customers, who in turn are probably eliminating your business from their list of options. Having a mobile-friendly website, believe it or not, makes a huge first impression.

For example, if you run a local restaurant, and a consumer finds your website through a local maps search, how does your menu appear and function on a smartphone? If you don’t have a mobile optimized website, searchers can’t learn about your fare and pricing quickly and easily, so they will move onto the next restaurant in their search results. That’s how much a mobile-friendly website matters.

Your Options: Why Responsive Design vs. A Traditional Mobile Optimized Website

To avoid this situation, most businesses choose one of two options – a mobile optimized website or responsive web design. A mobile-friendly website is a great quick fix – you can build a completely distinct, typically smaller, version of your website to operate solely for mobile browsers. The downside?

Because a mobile-optimized website is completely separate from your existing desktop website, you risk splitting and therefore weakening your online marketing efforts instead of combining and strengthening them.

This is why responsive design, from a strategic and branding perspective, makes sense for many businesses.

A responsive web design allows your website to function effectively and efficiently on all mobile devices. All the developer has to do is create a slightly different style sheet for each potential mobile device. The only reason why responsive design may be more difficult than just creating a mobile optimized website is that responsive design often requires a complete overhaul of your current website. (That might not be a bad thing.)

Elements of a Mobile-Friendly Website Checklist

If your business is ready to make the transition, keep the following mobile design requirements in mind to create an enjoyable browsing experience on your mobile-friendly website:

  1. Readable font size – Consumers would much rather scroll to consume your content than to pinch and squeeze to increase its size multiple times, or even worse, hold their phones three inches from their faces. Choose (and test) larger sizes, and don’t forget to break up your paragraphs. Two or three sentences each will suffice.
  2. Simple navigation – Mobile-friendly website navigation functions completely differently than typical desktop website navigation. If your users can’t figure out how to move through your content within 10 seconds, they will leave. Avoid creating a barrier for consumer exploration. Don’t get fancy. Keep it simple and intuitive.
  3. Attractive Imagery – Powerful pictures clue consumers into the overall tone and message of digital content. Choose large and simple images to evoke the specific message you’re hoping to achieve on each page.
  4. Branded Color Scheme – Mobile solutions must be visually-pleasing. Period. Choose colors that work well together and subtly inspire your intended message. These colors should carry through the entire mobile solution. Don’t stray too far from your branding on a mobile-optimized website. One reason why responsive design is a popular choice is because your branding will mirror that of your current desktop site.
  5. When your potential customers search for your products or services from their smartphones, make sure you’re prepared to give them the information they seek. Connect with consumers on the devices they prefer, and grow your business as a whole with a mobile-optimized website solution.

    Need a bit of help outlining design and functionality? Contact our mobile strategy team to get started on a mobile-friendly website that keeps your customers engaged and creates new customers.