This year more US consumers will use more mobile devices to access the Internet than computers. Despite this, only about a quarter of online businesses have already optimized their sites for mobile users. You need a mobile-friendly website. If your information cannot be easily found and viewed on mobile devices your business may be negatively impacted. Your potential customers are likely to search on a mobile devices and you cannot afford to risk not being found. Most users are unlikely to revisit your site if they had trouble doing so the first time.

mobile-friendly websitesTo find out what percentage of your website visits come from mobile devices review your website stats. You can find what percentage of visitors are using mobile devices.

Do you have an online store? Estimates are that 79% of smart phone consumers use their phones for shopping; to compare prices, find more product information, or locate a store. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re probably missing out on customers.

How do I find out if I have a mobile-friendly website?

If you don’t have access to a mobile device or you are interested in viewing your site on various devices, there are many online resources for testing how your site would look. Here are some of my favorites:

How do I add a mobile-compatible site?

Mobile users are expecting an entirely different experience from the one they would get on your standard website. The mobile version of a site has to be streamlined and easier to navigate. One of the most straight-forward ways add a mobile-optimize site is to create a separate sub-domain or sub-directory to show to your mobile users. When some of my website clients want a mobile version of their site, I create a simplified version of their full site as a sub-domain. This eliminates the need to register a new domain for the mobile-friendly site.

If you are considering a WordPress or other content management system for your website, the good news is most of their themes are responsive, meaning that they function and look good across various devices.

Tips to make a mobile-friendly website

It’s really annoying to scroll on a mobile phone, so minimize scrolling by keeping the layout simple and only having the most vital information. The display screen is much smaller, making it tricky to not only to see navigation buttons but also interact with them on a touch screen.

Avoid bulky images and ads on your mobile website as they may lead to mobile search engines ranking your site lower. Use only those pictures that are really important and remove the ones that are merely decorative. Keep your images to under 600 pixels wide and screen resolution to keep their size small, so download times remain short.

Quicker downloads on a mobile device are important because even though you would expect a site to load slower on a mobile phone, mobile users are just as impatient as regular Internet users. Mobile users are expecting a site to load in under three seconds.

It’s important to have a mobile-friendly website especially if you are selling products online. Make it a consideration in planning or updating your current website.