It's annoying, isn't it? You try to visit a website on your
phone and it appears exactly as on your computer, only many, many
times smaller. Your fat fingers mash three buttons at once as you
try to navigate to the page you need and before long you're on the
verge of throwing the phone at the next person who speaks to
Would it really be so hard, you ask, to make the buttons bigger
on my phone? Is it really not possible to make this experience a
little more straightforward? Why Do You Hate Me!?
Then you leave the site, vowing never to return.
Increasingly Paligap are seeing mobile and tablet users make up
more of the overall picture, with almost no sites receiving less
than twenty percent of their traffic from these devices and many,
particularly in the hospitality industry, exceeding 30% in the
ordinary course of things. It's a significant proportion of the
visitors to these sites and the picture coming from bounce rates
and pages-per-visit is that they are less satisfied than their
desktop and laptop compatriots. With these numbers increasing
week-on-week it is reaching the critical point where those running
websites have no choice but to give pro-active consideration to
their mobile visitors, lest they miss out on a significant
proportion of the potential leads and conversions they might gather
from that group.
There are, however, ways to attend to this problem. If the site
in question could do with a refresh anyway then the optimal way to
proceed is with a responsive design. This involves creating a site
in such a way that the elements adapt according to the size of
screen they appear on, providing the user with a positive
experience, regardless of which device they are using. Mobile users
will therefore be more likely to spend additional time on the site
and carry out additional actions, ultimately leading to an increase
in leads and conversions.
Not every website needs a refresh, however. In particular, sites
that have been built recently, often at some expense, may not be
ready for retirement just yet. In these circumstances the optimum
alternative to a responsive design is a separately designed mobile
site that is delivered to users when visiting from a handheld
Care needs to be taken with potential issues of duplicate
content, but with advice from a knowledgeable SEO department this
type of concern can be addressed without any undue drama. The
mobile site can be produced to deliver the same quality of content
as the primary site, but in a format that is more accessible to the
user, which again leads to the ultimate benefit of increased
engagement, additional leads and a better conversion rate.
The fundamental idea that must be remembered is that the harder
you make it for somebody to do something, the less likely they are
to do it. Users who have to zoom in on certain areas of your site
to click an impossibly small button and then type in tiny boxes are
unlikely to convert through that process. Present it to them in a
more accessible way, make it intuitive and easy and you will see a
significantly different response.
If recent trends are anything to go by the mobile users of
websites could exceed desktop users in fairly short order and it is
already imperative that this market is catered for appropriately.
Mobile users today mostly understand that theirs is an emerging
technology with which the internet hasn't quite caught up, but it
will not be long before a mobile friendly experience changes from
being a hope to being an expectation. Responsive design is the
ideal standard and has the backing of search giants Google, however
separate mobile sites are still a far better option than inactivity
and in many cases will deliver as positive an outcome as a
responsive site would. The important consideration is to
dosomethingto make your site mobile friendly before you find your
mobile audience disengaging completely.
Paligap are able to deliver bespoke responsively designed sites
that allow you to engage both your desktop audience and your mobile
audience effectively and appropriately. By tailoring your approach
this way your site is presented in its most usable form to all
visitors, no matter where they come from or how they access it.
We have a number of responsive client sites launching in Q3 of
2012 as more and more local businesses wake up to not just the
potential of mobile and responsive design, but the need to cater
for this ever-increasing audience.