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The Alternative Board Blog

Why Optimizing Your Website is Good for Your Business

Aug. 16, 2017 | Posted by The Alternative Board
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A sizeable percentage of your customer base is already using their mobile devices to purchase your products or services. In all likelihood, given current statistics, this percentage will grow exponentially in the near future.

The question is, how prepared is your business website to handle the explosion in mobile usage among your target audience?

Simply having a website up and running won’t meet this demand. The way your site looks and how well users can navigate differs dramatically from desktop usage to mobile devices. Screen size is different. The speed with which websites load is different. The way a business site’s homepage looks on a mobile screen is different.

If your site isn’t optimized to accommodate mobile devices, it can be difficult to view and navigate. Any such difficulty can be enough to deter prospective customers and their impulse to make a purchase on the spot. If so, chances are you’re losing out on a lot of business.

According to online marketing expert Ian Mills, mobile users “report that their mobile purchases are often impulse buys,” which “underscores the importance of optimizing your mobile experience to match a visitors needs and behaviors” when they browse your site.

Generally speaking, three design strategies are used in optimizing websites: mobile optimized, mobile friendly, and responsive design. All three ensure—to differing degrees—that mobile users can download your site and view it effectively, regardless of browser or device being used. It’s up to you and your IT team—or trusted third-party vendor—to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your site and opt for the best design solution.

What’s important to include in your optimization strategy? Consider the following:

The call-to-action (CTA) must be visible and accessible at all times.

A user interested in getting more information about your business should be able to easily locate a CTA on their mobile screen—and click for whatever comes next. The simplest solution is creating “eye-catching, stand-alone calls-to action” to enhance visibility.

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Streamline the navigation process.

Mobile users must be able to move through site pages with speed and efficiency. Consequently, there should as few steps as possible to take them from your home page to the products/services page and then to check-out. Other key tips:

  • Employ image scaling to make sure images download with appropriate dimensions, and without slowing the navigation process.
  • Offer content that is quick, succinct and easy to read.
  • Stay away from pop-ups, which can be inconvenient and frustrating to mobile users.

A mobile optimized website enables “more customers to be reached at a quicker rate,” notes digital strategist Justin Wong, and this can dramatically “increase customer satisfaction.”

Use icons instead of words.

On larger screens, it’s OK to feature text like “click here” to prompt further actions. On an optimized site, the use of traditional mobile icons is far more preferable. These reduce clutter and make the desired action easier to recognize and perform.

Keep contact information front and center.

Prospective customers may or may not make that all-important impulse buy, but most do want essential business information (contact numbers, email, store location and hours, etc.). As concisely as possible, make sure such information is highly visible on all of your optimized web pages.

Test your optimized site.

Want to know how effectively your optimization upgrade is working? Try Google’s mobile-friendly test. After providing your site’s URL, this resource will assess its degree of “mobile-friendliness” and give you a view of how the site appears to a mobile user. It can also offer insights into how well or poorly various pages load.

The need for mobile optimization isn’t going away. It’s become a necessity for businesses concerned with retaining a competitive edge in the marketplace.

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Written by The Alternative Board

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