How to optimize your site for mobile users, best practices and suggestions.
Smart phones enable an increasing number of people to connect to the Internet without laptops and office computers. For this reason if you can benefit from successful searches that lead an increasing number of people to your web site, you should investigate how mobile searches can help your business.
Background of Mobile Search
The first cell phones that were able to access the Internet were only able to deliver low bandwidth versions of the sites. These were usually just in the form of straightforward text and looked nothing like the web site itself. But with the birth of the first "smartphones", the results became more and more like those you would see on your computer screen.
Today there are a range of search possibilities, and many people prefer using their mobile phones to search the Net quickly instead of their computer – even at home. So don't ignore these people when you optimize your web sites.
Locality Affects Mobile Searches
It might seem a bit scary, but the giant Google can see exactly where you on when you search with your mobile device – that is if you are using an android cell phone.
If you are using an android, whatever make, you're going to find that local listings will pop up first. If you are searching, this can be irritating or it might seem to be a Godsend, for example if you are away from home and looking for a specialist store or good restaurant.
But when you put your foot in the other shoe (which would be worn by someone searching on your site!) you will realise that this is something that can benefit you, as a web site owner. After all, if you are selling an item that can only be shipped to certain continents or countries, you will be rewarded when your real-time customers get the first look.
Google Places and Mobile Users
Google Places, a free listing on Google Maps where potential customers can find you, is an excellent way to optimize your web sites. By creating and then optimizing this type of map account with Google, you will immediately add to the marketing potential you have to mobile users. Then you just need to exploit it.
How Page Download Speeds Impact on Mobile Users
Since speed download times are vitally important on web sites, you can be certain that they are evenly more hugely important for smart phones. The thing is that even the smartest of smart phones take longer to load web pages than any of our computers do, so you need to take this into account for mobile users. Human nature is such that when it takes "too long" (and this varies according to users) to download a page, we tend to give up and try another site instead.
As the web page host, you can ensure that mobile users don't give up on you provided you concentrate on ensuring that your page downloads really quickly. To do this you need to compress images and if necessary, cut down on the number of images you include. Also look at the size of web pages and the efficacy of the code you are using. This won't be a disadvantage for those downloading on computer; if anyone wants access to larger images and files, you can always make these available.
Make Your Site Easy to Use and Navigate
When you navigate a site using a computer, you have space, so to speak. When you use a mobile phone, you are going to be using one finger, a thumb or a stylus (usually supplied with the phone). This means that if you are on the other side of the phone – the person who wants to make it easier for people to do business with you – you should take this into account.
Make it Easy to Enable Visitors to Store your Site's Information
Here you need to use things like social network icons so that when people get to your site, all they do is click and they are taken to a user-friendly site that gives them the info they want to read about.
Ultimately just be sure you are catering for all possible visitors, irrespective of how they are accessing your web site.