Pick Up the Phone: Making a Mobile-Friendly Website

Greetings!

Hopefully you’ve read about Why Websites Are Important and SEO. If so, you know that mobile-friendly websites are becoming increasingly important. In fact, Google will soon fully roll out a mobile-first index, and if you’re not up to date, you’ll see less website traffic than before. So let’s fix your website before that happens!

To quickly reiterate the importance of a mobile-friendly website, a report conducted in August showed that nearly 60 percent of searches are now conducted from a mobile device. That’s three out of every five searches. Show these statistics to your Board, your boss, your coworkers, and anyone who will listen, and then get down to business: making your website mobile-friendly.

*Pro-Tip* If you know which content management software your camp uses, you can follow a Google guide made specifically for your system. However, I do recommend reading on so you really understand what’s happening and learn some great tricks!

Know Where You Stand

Before you dive into changing things, you need to know exactly where you stand. It’s a good idea to run through your website on your phone and a tablet on your own, and after that, it’s a good idea to run it through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

Google’s test will let you know where your website currently stands and what you should focus on fixing. The results might look like this:

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-4-26-11-pm

And that’s great! If it does, pat yourself on the back, and focus on some other areas of SEO.

However, it might also look like this:

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-4-31-56-pm

And that’s not so good. But there’s hope! As you can see, Google lists out some of your website’s biggest issues, giving you a starting point. Underneath the issues, you’ll also see a link to Google’s resources regarding how to fix your issues. Google wants to help!

Change Your Forms

If you have a contact page (which you absolutely should – blog on that later!), you probably have a form. But is your form mobile-friendly? Users want it to be.

Think about forms that you’ve filled out on a mobile device. The forms that don’t autocorrect your name and/or do come with the @ symbol as an easy, clickable option make your experience better, and you want your parents to feel the same way about your website. Having mobile-friendly forms is really just an extra level of customer service.

What mobile options do you have? To name a few:

  • Prompt the telephone keyboard for entering telephone numbers
  • Provide “@” as an option for email
  • Turn off autocorrect
  • Make dates easier by bringing up a date keyboard

You can go about changing your forms in a few ways. To list a few:

  • If you contract your website out, just talk to your web developer. It should be an easy change.
  • If you manage your own content but aren’t comfortable changing the HTML, consider a plug-in. I found Breezing Forms for WordPress, but I haven’t tried it yet. If you try it or find another good plug-in, leave it in the comments!
  • If you’re an HTML guru (or even novice for that matter – it’s pretty easy), you can easily find the codes online.

These small changes make a big difference!

Redesign for Responsiveness

If you have money in the budget or if you have someone handling your website in-house, it may be a good idea to redesign your website altogether to make sure it works on any device.

When designing with responsiveness in mind, think about what you’ve seen on website before. What’s worked well? What hasn’t? Typically, things like complicated menus, adjacent buttons, and super long pages don’t perform well. Ensuring your content is precise and arranged in a way that facilitates a clear journey helps users get the most out of your website.

A big part of responsiveness is making sure your website can easily change to fit the size of any screen and that your images and text respond accordingly. Make sure to use a word-wrap and to avoid fixed positioning.

If you need ideas for good mobile design, check out this list of the best examples of mobile website design from Hubspot.

Stay Away from Flash

Flash, and a few other players, isn’t available on mobile. When users see this content on your website, they’re greeted with a message saying “This video is not available on mobile.” It’s a big turn off and an inconvenience.

Do Your Research

I’ve laid out a great foundation, but the truth is, making your website mobile-friendly takes work. If you’re ready to move on to the next steps, try following Google’s guide to a mobile-friendly website.

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