The use of mobile websites has exploded in the past few years. In the very near future, it is estimated that 50 of Internet activity will be conducted on a mobile device. At the same time, development of quality mobile websites is lagging. According to a recent survey, only 16 percent of marketers said they have created a mobile compatible website that seeks to engage customers. Creating a mobile website that will attract and retain customers requires a different thought pattern than that for designing a desktop website, but getting the site near the top of Google’s index is just as important as for a desktop website.

Today’s smartphones have web browsers that are just as powerful as a desktop computer. This has given people the ability to access the Internet from anywhere at any time. Whether on the go or sitting on the couch at home, users now have easy access to websites whenever the mood strikes. Due to their small screen size, it is better to have a mobile website optimized for use on a smartphone, otherwise you risk frustrating your visitors and losing them to a competitor. Read on to learn some important things to bear in mind when creating a mobile ready site.

*Make the site responsive – Design the site to automatically detect when someone is using a mobile device and then redirect them to the mobile site. Offer them the choice to come back to the original site. Google will analyze sites that are not responsive, but it prefers those that are, so it only makes sense to follow its recommendation if you want to rank highly in the search results.

*Understand mobile users – Most smartphone users prefer not to do a bunch of scrolling on a web site to find the information they desire. Rather than large chunks of text, break it up into smaller sections on different pages. Take the time to prioritize what is most important to customers and have that on the first page. Be sure to include the business’ information in a prominent position so it can be found easily.

*Speed is the key – Studies show that most mobile users expect a website to load on their device within four seconds. If it doesn’t, they’ll likely move on to the next one in the search results. This can mean loss of revenue for the business. Speed up load times by shrinking pictures and images on a percentage basis, rather than pixels.

*Keywords – Just as with normal web pages, keywords play an important role on mobile sites. Use an analytical tool to see which words customers use most when searching for your products or services and make sure to include them in the mobile site. This can include using them to name pictures, rather than giving them generic titles.

Mobile websites can provide a company with a huge advantage over its competition if the site is well designed. By following Google’s recommendations and knowing what your customers are looking for, a great fully-optimized mobile site can be developed that will be easy for visitors to navigate and will rank highly in Google, resulting in increased sales and satisfied customers.

Author Bio: Simon runs Touch Logic Ltd, a mobile marketing company based in the UK.

Photo credit Ian Lamont

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