A mobile-friendly website can greatly improve the user experience. Here are three simple ways to optimize your website for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Creating and maintaining a website can be challenging. With so many factors to consider, it’s easy to overlook the fact that your site might not work well for mobile users. This may damage your brand, or worse, your online sales.
Fortunately, you can easily learn how to make a website mobile-friendly and improve your customers' experience. With a few simple tools, you can enhance your site’s mobile versions of landing pages, forms, and even directories.
In this post, we’ll cover what makes a WordPress website mobile-friendly and why you'll want to prioritize this consideration. Then we’ll share three simple methods that can help your site rankings and performance on mobile devices. Let’s dive in!
Why you may want to optimize your website for mobile devices
Since more than half of website traffic worldwide takes place on mobile devices, you would be wise to prioritize these visitors. This is particularly true if you're using your WordPress website for professional reasons, as it could significantly affect your revenue.
A subpar mobile website can cause a poor user experience and customer churn, or worse. For example, image you run a restaurant website, with a ‘Get Directions’ button. If that button doesn’t work on mobile devices, potential clients may be unable to find to your business.
Surprisingly, 91% of small businesses are not optimized for mobile devices. Therefore, if your website looks great on a smartphone, this may give you an advantage. It may set you apart from the competition and even boost your revenue.
But perhaps the most important reason to make a mobile-friendly website, is to please the search engines. Google searches are moving towards a mobile-first ranking, which makes it a huge factor in search engine optimization.
What makes a website mobile-friendly
When a website isn't mobile-friendly, it doesn't work optimally or look good when viewed on a tablet or smartphone. If that's the case, you may lose a variety of functionalities and create a frustrating experience for your site's visitors:
As you can see on the above mobile website, pop-ups and banners can easily make your website cluttered. Other easily-broken website features include navigation menus, image sizes, and alignment. If your content isn't ready for mobile browsers, this can lead to a confusing experience for your visitors.
Ideally, you want your site to look elegant and user-friendly on any mobile device:
It's also important to understand the difference between mobile-friendly, mobile-optimized, and responsive web designs. A mobile-friendly website should create an experience that's almost exactly like the site's desktop version. On the other hand, a website that is mobile-optimized is designed for mobile users first (and desktop users second). Finally, a responsive model means that your site can adapt to any device that accesses it.
How to make a website mobile-friendly (3 simple ways)
In this section, we'll focus on how to make a website mobile-friendly or mobile-optimized. Let's learn three simple methods to improve your site's mobile versions!
1. Choose a responsive theme
A responsive page changes depending on the screen size. For example, sidebars don't fit well on small screens. So a responsive WordPress theme will hide or move elements as the screen size changes.
Any of the best WordPress themes are built with mobile devices in mind. If you're not sure if your theme is responsive, you can do a real quick test. On a desktop computer, go ahead and grab the edge of the browser window with your mouse. Then drag it to make the browser window as small as possible.
Are the font sizes big enough to read easily with space between elements? If so, your theme sounds perfect for mobile phones. You may also want to make sure the screen doesn't scroll horizontally.
2. Create mobile-optimized landing pages
Landing pages are standalone web pages that have a highly-focused goal. They eliminate potentially overwhelming pathways of exploration on your site. So this is where you'll direct visitors from any online digital marketing campaigns.
Typically, a landing page is built around a single clear Call-To-Action (CTA). This includes registration forms, promotional discounts, or ‘buy now' buttons. This targeted approach can serve as a highly-effective lead generation tool.
If you're looking for a trustworthy page builder tool to create mobile-optimized landing pages, Elementor is a strong choice. Both offer responsive editing capabilities in their free versions. If you opt for Elementor, you might consider using one of its editable Landing Page templates:
With landing pages, you only have one opportunity to get it right. So you'll want to make sure your message comes across crystal clear to mobile users. This page builder can help ensure that your CTAs are supported by the elements of a beautiful mobile page. This means size-appropriate images, text, buttons, and more.
3. Use mobile-friendly opt-in forms
Opt-in forms are a common feature on many WordPress websites, especially e-commerce stores. Typically, users are opting in to receive email communications. This may be a receipt upon purchase, a newsletter, or promotional materials:
These nifty forms can appear anywhere on your website. However, you don't want to abuse them, as this can increase the risk of poor mobile functionality.
Additionally, it's best to avoid pop-up forms. These can be confusing and damage the user experience on mobile devices. We'd also recommend keeping your forms simple and straightforward:
The best WordPress contact form plugins offer simple tools that can ensure that all your forms are mobile-friendly. With many, you also get access to an enormous library of form types that includes payment forms, registration forms, and contact forms.
4. Optimize your business directories
Directories are commonly found on websites of every kind. For instance, a school website may need to feature a directory of faculty and staff. Another example might be a directory of restaurants:
Due to the browsable nature of directories, they can be especially popular on mobile devices. Many of us can be found browsing a restaurant or hotel directory from our couch on any given day.
This plugin also gives you unlimited listings and control over your directory columns. The default single column is usually best for mobile users, because they allow for easy scrolling. Additionally, dedicated directory themes and mobile-specific templates can further simplify your site-building process.
Building a WordPress website that is mobile-friendly may seem confusing at first. However, with so many users accessing websites from mobile devices, it's worth your time to prioritize this aspect.
Fortunately, with the right tools, you can easily improve your website’s mobile functionality. Keep the following methods in mind and you’ll be more likely to keep your mobile users satisfied:
- Pick a responsive WordPress theme.
- Create mobile optimized landing pages.
- Use mobile-friendly opt-in forms.
- Optimize your directories.