With mobile becoming the primary method that people are accessing the Internet, more companies are moving to responsive websites. Responsive websites reconfigure themselves depending on the device screen size used to connect with the site. This neat trick makes sites much easier to see on varying screen sizes, however it brings up new challenges for optimizing content. With a need to focus on optimizing for mobile as a priority, it is still important to make pages user-friendly to offer the user experience your followers want. Additionally, sites need to be easily navigated even on the smallest smartphone screens. It doesn’t matter whether your site is full of technical writing articles or parenting tips. As a business owner, you want to optimize a site for optimal engagement and conversions.
Understanding Responsive Websites
Responsive website technology is really very cool. If you look at the same website on a desktop, tablet and smartphone, you will see three different versions. As the site receives a signal from your device, the appearance changes to fit your screen. Elements rearrange themselves, change shapes and move in a prescribed order. However, a rule of thumb is that the most important content that you see at the top of your screen is always your first content block.
Above the Fold
Since we know that the top of the page is the most important and most read, it makes a lot of sense to optimize this part of your page to grab your reader’s attention. You can do this in several ways from posting an intriguing survey there to using the space for announcing a contest. The point is to put your most compelling content at the top of your page whether it is an image, video or written text. This is your “above the fold” space no matter what device your visitor is on.
Optimizing for Mobile
Since you won’t know what type of device your visitor is viewing the site from, you can’t predict exactly how the page will appear. You have taken the first step of making the site responsive which means it will open up in the perfect size for most devices. The second step, optimizing your above the fold area has been handled. Now what?
It is always a good idea to remember that many of your customers will be seeing your site on a teeny tiny screen from their phone. They may only have a few minutes to look at it, so adding elements that show up well on a smartphone is a high priority. Think about how the site will appear to them, and test your theories out on your own phone. Research your audience for their viewing preferences. You can ask them directly, but also follow up with behavioral metrics.
Integrating with Mobile-Only Technology
Increasing numbers of mobile-only apps are appearing for both iPhones and Android. You can use some of these apps to help engage mobile customers and draw them to your site. Instagram is a perfect example. Another mobile-only app is texting. Use mobile-only apps to market to mobile audiences and invite them back to your site.
Paula A is the mom of a college graduate and a freshman in college, and covering up the gray with lots of colorful highlights.