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Go mobile or go home – it’s time for your website to get moving

4 Mins

Mobile devices are everywhere. Be they Android or iOS, consumers are using smartphones and tablets whenever they have a spare moment. 

The chance to catch their attention while they’re accessing the internet on the move can’t be ignored. 1.2 billion people worldwide already access the web via mobile broadband. Each one of them a potential customer ready to do some online shopping or find out about a new service, while they journey home or wait to meet friends. Fifty-five per cent of people even told The Guardian they use their phone on the loo.

Going mobile need not be expensive. If you work with a digital agency they should look at what might need to be done to your existing site first, before trying to get you to go through an unnecessary complete website overhaul in the name of being mobile.

Clean up your site

First you need to look at tidying up your homepage. Unnecessary clutter will make it load slower. Next, contact your current web hosts to see if the service they offer you is appropriate. If you’re a growing business it’s safe to assume visits to your website have grown too. Is your website hosted on a server that can cope with this increase? Maybe it’s time for an upgrade?

As you know, mobile devices come in all different shapes and sizes. Simply creating a standalone mobile site isn’t always appropriate. There are ways of simply optimising your current site so it adjusts automatically to fit the device it is being viewed on. This will help to future proof your website as more mobile devices become available.

There are other things you can do yourself too. First of all reduce the size of files on the site so they load faster. Using image editing software to reduce picture size and pdf formats instead of word is the first step.

Whoever set up your website for you should also check your website is using the latest web standards. If not then it can also reduce loading speed. Google tell us that 61 per cent of visitors will give up and look elsewhere if you don’t grab them within a few seconds, or your site does not load fast enough.

Be tough with your website content and remove anything that is honestly not important to your customers. Visitors won’t want to read a 500-word profile about you on the home page. Instead add easy to find relevant information such as a brief description of your product or the contact details they’ll need to find out more.

Once you’ve removed everything you think is irrelevant, ask friends and peers outside of your business to give you their views too. It’s quite possible they’ll find other things you can get rid of.

While your homepage is the first page visitors will come across,if that pages loads quickly and others do not then you may still lose them to a competitor. Think about your web content as a whole, the most you’ll need is brief descriptions of products and services, testimonials, and contact and social media information.

Mobile marketing can be confusing and daunting but it’s becoming more of a necessity. Getting mobile optimised doesn’t have to cost the earth but it does need to be done. Or you’ll find that, while your competitors are mobile, you’ll be left standing.

Dez Derry is CEO of mmadigital.

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