Mobile websites are essential to the success of your online future. We know that mobile usage is increasing and that this trend is not going to go away. You also realize that you must consider your audience and what they define as a great user experience, because if you don’t, you’re only creating a website for you and that’s not in your best interest.
Once you understand that you need to invest in making your website mobile friendly and you’ve planned out what your website visitor needs to experience, it’s time to design that killer mobile website that engages AND converts.
Designing a Killer Mobile Website
Having the killer website that engages, converts, and generates a nice return on investment is all about the user experience. While some people only believe it’s the code or the images, those are only two pieces of the puzzle. Design layout, captivating headlines, proper fonts and sizing, content display, excellent colors, and calls to action are all critical to the success of your website, regardless if it’s viewed on a desktop, tablet, or smart phone. If you fall short in one area, it can negate the areas where you’ve done well. In short, you have to balance many elements and make them work together in order to achieve the best results.
I’m going to talk about a few main points in this post and show you some examples of killer websites and websites that suck. Are you ready?
Your Site Must be Mobile Responsive
Mobile responsive is a term used to describe websites that “adapt” to the browser you are viewing the website on. Mobile responsive websites change their appearance for different devices so that you have the optimum experience. The responsive design and code should resize the images, scrolling features, navigation, and content so that it’s just as easy to use the website on your smart phone as it is on your 27” desktop monitor.
There are many WordPress websites that automatically include responsive design these days, so if you are using WordPress for your Content Management System (CMS) then you have a great start on a killer mobile design. If you are using another platform for your site, then hopefully they include the ability for you to have a mobile responsive design or you can find a professional developer who can code your site properly. It’s important that your website adjusts for the various browsers or you lose the opportunity to convert or generate positive results from your online investment.
Your Site Must Have a Professional Design
You can sell the best product or service in the world, but if your website design looks like a third grader created it, you’ve lost all credibility and conversions. When I talk about professional design, I don’t mean you have to win awards because your website looks so cool. Professional design means that you have an effective layout, enticing photos, easy to read fonts, and a clear call to action. Usually the best designs are simple and clean — not cluttered or highly creative.
There is another aspect to consider when it comes to design: it has to work for web responsive needs and code. The more creative the site, the less likely you will be able to scale it and adapt it to smaller devices. The problem with some web designers is that they want to win awards and be recognized instead of designing a website that works for the intended purpose. Simple websites are scientifically better.
Here is an example of what you should never do. Ever! Please visit the website for the full effect (and I’m sorry to call them out).
Here is an example of a killer website design on all browsers and platforms.
You can see that design really does make an impact! Here are some examples of great designs that balance everything I am talking about:
Your Site Must Have a Clear Call to Action
Strangely enough, many business websites never ask their visitor to take action on anything. Brochure websites that simply show what you do aren’t going to convert leads, generate sales, or build your email list. You must ask your audience to do something. And it must be clear and compelling!
Your objective as a business owner is to get people to connect with you or buy your product or service. This is why it’s absolutely critical that you have ONE clear call to action on your site. You also need to make sure that it’s prominent on your mobile version. People won’t scroll forever to view your content and they certainly won’t spend five minutes on your website, so you need to hit them hard and hit them fast with a CTA.
UBER does a fantastic job of creating a website with a clear message and call to action! Tap a Button. Get Picked Up in Minutes. Sign Up for Uber. The website is clean and engaging. It works for all devices. This is something your website should look to for guidance.
Treehouse is another excellent example of how all the elements come together in design. Their call to action is clear … Learn HTML, CSS, iPhone apps & more. Free Trial. Treehouse has a beautiful website that balances form and function.
Other websites that have some excellent CTAs include RealThread, Vimeo, and Stripe. Remember that a call to action is about ONE thing, not five or ten. Get your website visitor to follow through on one item before you ask them for another.
Your Website Must Be Quick
The last point I want to make is the toughest one to achieve or do and it relates to speed in two ways. Your mobile website must be quick to load and your mobile website must be fast to use.
- Your website must be quick to load. This means that you haven’t bogged down your website with flashy bells and whistles. You must compress and reduce the size of your images. You must avoid code or sliders or movies that take time to load. Google places a very high emphasis on page load time, so you are going to be penalized in SEO if your website is SLOOOOOOWWWWWW! Don’t make people wait on your website, especially via a mobile device.
- Brevity is key. While we want to believe that website visitors are going to spend time on our website and hang on to every word, the reality is that they won’t. People are going to move quickly through your website. This is why you need to keep your content and your call to actions short and to the point. The faster you make the experience, the better your website will be.
Remember that we live in a fast paced world and that most of us don’t like to wait.
One Last Thing. Have a Worthy Website and Idea.
Whatever it is that you do, whether that’s selling shoes or providing education, your website must be worth seeing or reading. You can do the other items above, but if you don’t have a product or service worth talking about or buying, then it doesn’t matter. This really applies more to business basics or a great brand, but it’s important to note in these tips on designing a killer website. You have to offer something that people want. I’ve seen some amazing websites in my time that have a professional design and work across all web browsers. They’ve even had a clear call to action or been quick to load. But if you don’t have something worth buying, no amount of awesomeness in your website is going to convince people to be a fan of yours. That’s my two cents.
Now it’s up to you to go out into the world and create and design the killer mobile website. Good luck!