By the end of this year, nearly one out of every four people on the planet will own a smart phone. If you’re interested in having better access to this group (which clocks in at around 1.8 billion people) you need to get serious about mobile optimization.
Not only is mobile optimization a lot simpler than you might think, it’s an absolute necessity in today’s electronic marketplace.
While the stats are out there, you don’t need to look any further than the palm of your hand to see the value of mobile optimization.
Just think of how frustrated you were the last time you ran across a non-optimized site while surfing the web on your mobile. Would you want your customers to feel that way?
If you’re ready to get as mobile-friendly as possible, here are a few tips to help get you started.
WordPress Makes it Easy
WordPress has absolutely revolutionized the world of web publishing by making it incredibly simple to start and maintain a professional quality blog. Not surprisingly, the WordPress community has embraced mobile publishing with a vast array of mobile plug-ins and mobile-friendly themes.
Plug-ins like WordPress Mobile Pack 2.0, for example, offer one-stop mobile optimization in just a few, simple steps. If you’re looking for full customization, Mobile Pack and its competitors offer a range of options that put you in the optimization driver’s seat.
If you’re looking for basic mobile optimization without a lot of hassle, WordPress plug-ins can get you there in a heartbeat.
Keep it Simple
K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid) has long been a mantra of user-friendly web design, but it’s an absolute necessity on the mobile web. Mobile users do not suffer long load times gladly, so this isn’t the time to show off your most elaborate graphics.
Not only do you want to keep graphics to a minimum, you also want to keep your navigation clearly marked and easy-to-operate. Your bounce rate will go absolutely go through the roof if your mobile sites are difficult to navigate.
In practice, this means making certain you account for intangibles like finger size (the average index finger measures between 15mm-20mm) when creating your site from scratch. These mobile intangibles also make a pretty good case for letting those WordPress Plug-ins and themes do the heavy design work.
Mobile redirects are simple programs that sniff out mobile users and steer them from your standard site to your mobile site. Not only are mobile redirects very user-friendly, they’re something that Google search bots are hunting down when indexing your site.
Redirecting on your own is a fairly simple task and, of course, there are plenty of WordPress plug-ins to help you along the way.
Remember, all the mobile optimization in the world won’t do you any good if your mobile users don’t actually get to your site.
Testing, Testing, Testing
The mobile world is a lot more than just iOS and Android. It’s a vast array of phones and tablets that all have their own design and optimization quirks.
Successfully navigating this mobile maze means testing, testing, and testing some more. This end of the mobile optimization isn’t going to be pretty, but it will save you a lot of headaches down the road.
In short, you’re better off spending a few extra days – or weeks – ironing out the kinks in your mobile sites before going live.
At the end of the day, your mobile site is not a standalone entity, it’s part of your larger brand. That means keeping your key brand components as part of your mobile sites.
While not all of your graphical elements are going to translate to the mobile space, elements like basic logos and color schemes will. Branding lets your customers know they’ve arrived at the right spot and reinforces your site’s position as a cutting edge player.
Mobile optimization is a project that’s well worth the effort and pays off big in increased traffic and conversions.