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4 things to think about when designing a mobile website

(This is a guest post by Emily Green)

Ready to increase consumer experience and want to optimize your website for mobile use? If so, there are some things to consider before developing a mobile-friendly site and some of these considerations are directly related to consumer demand.

1. Why Do You Need a Mobile Website?

Before you delve in and find a company or developer to make your website mobile-friendly, what are your goals behind going mobile? Goals will help you determine the features you need most.

Make a list of the most important reasons such as:
• Do you want to offer the ability to sell and allow consumers to pay from their cell phones?
• Is your goal to reach locals, nationwide or global?
• Do you want to drive foot traffic into your retail establishment?
• Do you plan on offering coupons, discounts or promotions to mobile users?
• Are you advertising with QR codes in traditional ad mediums and are seeking more scans?
• Is it your goal to teach, inform or offer a service?

Answering these questions will help you determine the best features to make your mobile site useful to consumers and to keep them coming back.

2. Ensure You Reach All Operating Systems

Because two out of every three people access the Internet every day on their mobile phones, it’s extremely important your site uses the right tools to ensure your mobile site is viewable and works on all operating systems such as iOS, Android, RIM and Windows phones.

Tools to build mobile websites include RWD or responsive web design that allows for optimal website viewing no matter the device—PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Another tool is CSS or cascading style sheets that offers consistent viewing on a variety of devices. HTML5 or hyper-text markup language makes mobile sites easy to see and use without installing plug-ins.

Make sure you choose a mobile developer that possesses knowledge on all these tools to aid you in building the best mobile website based on needs and goals.

3. Ease of Use and Reliability Are Essential

Since four out of every five mobile users make purchases from their smartphones and the average person spends approximately 13 hours searching and reviewing products on cell phones, your mobile site must be easy to use and possess reliable features.

Those who skip DSL and opt for wireless services such as clear home internet that provides PC, laptop and mobile phone service, also seek out websites that are mobile-friendly making access on-the-go easier and a pleasant experience.
Consider how your mobile site will load and what it will look like based on average Internet speeds.

4. Users Will Be Tapping, Not Clicking

Mashable reminds businesses looking to get a mobile site up and running to remember that people will be “tapping” on their smartphone screens and not “clicking” on a link or using the mouse to click on a shop here or buy now radio button.

This means bigger buttons for easy tapping and be sure to check all of them once your mobile site is live. 57 Percent of users will skip a mobile site with a poor design or one that doesn’t work.

Going mobile with your website is a must-do because today’s consumers don’t just desire these types of websites—they demand them. Making a list of goals and utilizing these tips will ensure your mobile site is a success.

“Emily Green is a freelance writer for copyforbylines.com with more than six years’ experience in blogging, copywriting, content, SEO, and dissertation, technical and thesis writing.”