How To Optimize Your Website For Mobile Devices

If you're planning on making QR codes part of your marketing campaign, you should consider whether or not customers can view your website from a smartphone. If not, then you might want to think about implementing a mobile version of your website.

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To accomplish this goal, you can develop a mobile website from scratch and do it yourself, have staff, a freelancer or agency develop it for you or you can customize your own webpage with pbSmart Codes software.

The first thing you need to do is to develop a plan of action. What's the most effective way to reach your goal, the costs associated with each course of action and what will the site look like when it’s done? Whether you plan to do it yourself or hire someone, it's important to follow some accepted guidelines for what constitutes a successful, well-optimized mobile website.

Mobile Website Optimization Basics

The look and content of your mobile site, as it differs from your regular "desktop" website, is a result of three basic considerations: screen size, load times, and the user interface.

Screen Size

The screen size of mobile devices is the main consideration driving the layout and content of your mobile page. Best practices suggest you limit yourself to a one-column layout that only scrolls up and down (not left to right). And almost every device has its own particular dimensions; you'll need to decide whether to offer a one-size-fits-all approach, or multiple layouts to cater to several.

Load Times (Bandwidth)

While most of us are used to high speed internet access at home, mobile networks tend to be slower. Reception is also a contributing factor. Add to this the reality of data rates and bandwidth caps, which can make mobile users very conscious of how much data they are using. This doesn't mean you can't include videos, for example - but keep landing pages light and give users the option of clicking through to higher bandwidth content.

User Interface

Your mobile customers won't be entering data from a full-sized keyboard. They'll be using touchscreens, mini keyboards, and in some cases even cursor controls and numeric keypads. How you present buttons and links, as well as how many you have on the page, will determine how easy or difficult your site is to navigate. You should also include a link to your desktop site for users who prefer to view your full site.

Although creating a new mobile website might initially appear to be the best course of action, a mobile web page with pbSmart Codes software is a cost-effective alternative. The QR code software allows you to choose different color themes, fully customize the header and message and upload logos and images.

You can also easily add buttons to collect email addresses, connect with social media, send out a survey, contact the company or just provide the mobile users with additional information.

As with any marketing activity, always put yourself in the customers' shoes. A mobile user may be willing to read a longer article on a news site while waiting for a bus. But a shopper scanning a QR code in your store for a discount or more product information wants to get to the facts quickly - so keep your mobile site simple, clear, and direct.

Mobile Website Optimization Resources

There are a number of online resources, both free and commercial, to help you build a mobile page or website. If your site is built on the WordPress platform, for example, there are plug-ins available that will automatically detect mobile visitors and serve up your content in one of a choice of pre-designed mobile templates. For a comprehensive list of tools, check out 11 Excellent Solutions for Making Your Website Mobile Friendly at webdesignledger.com.

What Next?

Check out some of the best-designed sites on the mobile web at mobileawesomeness.com.

How to optimize your mobile site across multiple platforms (mashable.com)

For the technically-minded: the Summary of Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 (w3c.org)

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