Updated: Nov 6, 2019
Your website is a huge part of your entire digital marketing arsenal. This is where you drive traffic. This is where your conversions take place, largely. So make it easy for your visitors to find out about your business.
Look at your Google Analytics or any web analytics you’re using for your website. From what devices are visitors coming to your site? Probably desktop, tablet and mobile. Take note of these devices because it affects how users view your site.
Most of your visitors are likely viewing your website on mobile devices. New traffic will likely come through mobile as well. This means your website should be mobile friendly, if it isn’t so already.
Optimize your website for users and search engines. Make the act of viewing your website an enjoyable experience for your users. Here are some basics you can implement right now to ensure your site’s on the right track.
1. Give Your Website a Mobile-friendly Layout
Look at your phone. Notice the orientation of the screen? It’s vertical. When creating your website on a horizontal screen you typically arrange items and content to spread out left and right.
Consider viewing your website on a phone or tablet where the content is forced to adjust to a vertical layout. You never want to force something to fit, right? Layer your content to stack up and down or from top to bottom instead. Reorganize your desktop content elements to make your site mobile-friendly.
2. Use a Clean Font Type
“Clean font” here means easy-to-read font. Keep in mind that our eyes are strained as is staring at screens all day. You can improve users’ experience (which for sure includes eye strain) by using a larger font.
Some websites may have a default view on mobile devices. The font may appear smaller to ensure the complete webpage fits on the screen. Sure, most people will double tap and zoom in to read content on their phones. There’s a limit to how much you can zoom in though.
Use at least 12-point font. A font size of 14 -16 font works well. There are better fonts than others when it comes to types and readability on a screen.
Starter Pack Font Type Suggestions:
Times New Roman – it’s a classic at this point and standard for a lot of machines
Helvetica – uncomplicated and usually always a safe bet to use
Roboto – there’s bias here, admittedly, but it’s also a clean, easy-to-read font
Arial – similar to Helvetica in terms of being a good call to use
Georgia – this one’s a close cousin of Times New Roman and a goodie
These are only a handful of suggestions for website use. Find these fonts and even more options at Google Fonts.
3. Use White Space
The webpage needs to breathe. Regardless of viewing digital media on a desktop or mobile device, white space is important. Attention spans are short(er). This definitely applies on a mobile device because there’s a limited amount of time to keep a visitor engaged.
You can help your site visitor continue to read and view your content by giving their eyes a rest. We’re able to consume information on a page much better in bits and when there are breaks – literally and figuratively. Keep information succinct. Let the page breathe between lines and sections of content.
4. Think Above the Fold
In the digital world and online in every way, “the fold” refers to the scrollbar. When you have to scroll down a page to read or view more, you’d scrolling past the initial default section of that page. This refers to the amount of page you see on the screen space of your phone or any mobile device.
One thing to remember about browsing webpages on mobile devices is what’s on the screen. Put your most important information towards the top of the page. Your site visitors only see a portion of the webpage at a time.
Entice your visitors to scroll on down the page. Use the upper space of your webpage to capture a viewer’s attention. Whether this is a short introduction, a stunning graphic or a title that grips, hook people above the fold.
5. Format Written Content for Mobile Viewing
Use shorter paragraphs with no more than three to five lines of text. Limit your use of long, complicated sentences with many words that illustrate a point, while also using a mix of punctuations because you can lose a reader almost like you've probably checked out by now just reading this sentence. See what just happened?
Use bullet points to separate thoughts. This goes back to helping the webpage breathe. Structuring information likes this makes it easier to serve and easier for a user to consume.
Use sub-headers to structure content on your website. Sub-headers organize your site and provide an added bonus towards search optimization. Sub-headers guide your human readers and the search engine crawlers.
6. Carefully Use a Mix of Visual Content
You can add variety to your website. Keep your user in mind by imagining what you’d enjoy viewing on a website on your mobile device. There are many ways to share information outside of text. There are images and graphics you can use to illustrate your point. You can also use video to tell a story.
If you choose to incorporate videos, embed YouTube videos. YouTube videos are already optimized for websites and are responsive.
Compress and resize your media for a better user experience. Large media files on your website cause slow loading pages. If your webpage takes seconds and seconds to load, you can lose a reader. Remember the attention of your audience today. Limit your use of flash content because of this also.
Internet browsers are more compatible because smaller files and faster load times take up less bandwidth.
7. Size Matters on Mobile Screens
Imagine that you’re scrolling on your phone and see a “Click Here” button. You try to click, but it’s difficult. You zoom in as much as you can, but you still have trouble clicking the button. You wonder if it’s even worth trying to click after working with the page, so you end up leaving. This is not what you want to happen. Don’t make your user work to interact with your website.
Make your buttons large enough to press comfortably on a small mobile screen. Make your text large enough to read.
These are basic tips you can use to ensure your website is mobile friendly. The steps here may not even require extensive web design or web development skills. You can start applying these changes on your own through your content management system or site builder.
Notice how these measures end up helping your users navigate your website? More and more people search online via mobile devices. This is why your website needs to be mobile friendly, if it isn’t already. Keep your site updated with the latest best practices for website optimization, like these.
Keep your site visitors in mind. Having a great website contributes to a great user experience.
Want to learn more about digital marketing and how best to use it alongside other marketing efforts? Connect with J. E. Hill Digital Marketing on social media.
J. E. Hill Digital Marketing specializes in content writing and website content management. Learn more about my services.