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Re-thinking Your Website for Mobile Devices

By January 7, 2013May 13th, 2019


Mobile phones and tablets accounted for a combined 13.3% of total internet page views
in August 2012, nearly doubling their share of traffic in just one year, according to comScore Device Essentials.

PCs continue to be the dominate source of online consumption driving 86.7% of all page views in August, but have seen their share of total consumption declined 6.4 points in the past year as consumers are turning to a growing number of devices to stay connected. (comScore, October 2012)

Google predicts that searches from mobile devices will overtake searches from PCs this year. And according to research by the investment bank Morgan Stanley, the number of mobile devices like smart phones and tablet computers connecting to the Internet will, for the first time, exceed the number of web-enabled laptops and personal computers in 2013.

The number of mobile devices like smart phones and tablet computers connecting to the Internet will for the first time exceed the number of web-enabled laptops and personal computers in 2013. You need to re-think your mobile website design and make sure your website for mobile devices serves all the growing number of platforms and screen sizes.

Mobile IS your platform for 2013

I was doing some work on my tablet last night, and came across a site that had exactly the information I wanted. Unfortunately, it was all in Flash videos. Of course Flash is not workable on mobile devices.

Another site I research also seemed to have what I was looking for. . . but I gave up on that one due to a lot of horizontal scrolling and pinching/expanding to get the text to a read-able size.

Last chance! The third site I went to was packed with great information, but the website navigation sure wasn’t mobile-friendly. I gave up in frustration, went to my desk, and turned on my laptop. Aaaaargh!

This could have been YOUR website!

Want to know how your site fares on mobile devices? Go to the quick ‘n’ easy Mobile Grader at Blue Train Mobile. In about 5 seconds you’ll get a very understandable report about what’s right and what’s not right with your site for mobile.

I’m not going to suggest that you build a mobile app. . . just fix your website so that mobile visitors can enjoy it. And can find what they want. And can engage with you on your website.

Everything we’ve written about lead generation can be done on a mobile-friendly site, but you’ll have to re-think some things.

  • What’s the experience I want visitors to my mobile site to have? What do I want them to learn here? Should I give them the option of viewing my standard website?
  • What are the most important messages for them to get? Your pages will likely be shorter on a mobile device, so think about the most important thing to communicate on that page. Re-write your content to be very concise, while still retaining the tone that you want.
  • How can I provide an easy, non-obtrusive navigation system that has “thumb-sized” buttons? You can go multi-levels in your mobile navigation, but it better be easy to use and obvious. Remember, I’ll probably be walking somewhere while surfing on my phone — please make the navigation buttons big (about 40 pixels should do).
  • How big are my images? What are their dimensions, and how big is the file? The median mobile webpage is just 87kb (including images)! So we’re not just talking about making your images smaller, but also making them lighter. Put your images on a diet. Besides, do you need all those images to communicate your story?
  • Please, no Flash or Flash videos! Here’s a good basic rule: If it runs natively on HTML5 (ask you web developer), then it will probably be fine on mobile devices. And don’t auto-play. It’s annoying!

Check out Designing Mobile Websites and A Guide to Mobile Website Design for more ideas.

Here’s the kicker: Mobile technology is always changing

As I write this, the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show is on in Las Vegas. Dozens of mobile manufacturers will be showcasing hundreds of new devices. And if hardware isn’t your thing, these devices will run lots of different flavors of Android and iOS and Windows 8. Then there is screen resolution and don’t forget screen size!

Why do I mention this? Because it’s important in your mobile planning to consider how you’re going to adapt your mobile website to the constantly evolving specifications and capabilities of mobile devices. For that, you need not just a responsive website, but a hybrid site, built on a solid platform and supported with continuing R&D on new devices.

We build our mobile websites (releasing our own site soon!) on Blue Train Mobile for this very reason. In addition, their interface makes the design work easy and the final results provide for a great user experience. Learn more about how we can help with your mobile needs. Lead generation on mobile. . . the best of all possible worlds!

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Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.