Over the last few years there has been an explosion of high quality, powerful Smartphones and mobile devices that are now able to not only access the web on the go, but view the web in a similar fashion as being on a desktop or laptop computer. There is no doubt about it, millions upon millions of people are not only reading the news or communicating on their favorite social networks using their Smartphones, but technology has reached a level where researching and purchasing items over the web has become quite simple. For those web developers, SEO & SEM professionals looking to increase traffic, one way is to cater to your mobile audience.
The Market for Smartphones is Exploding
No, not everyone has a Smartphone, but Nielson Company has estimated that by the end of 2011, a whopping one in two Americans will own a Smartphone. This is huge, because as any Smartphone owner knows, these devices are extremely addictive and whether out and about or in the comfort of your living room, browsing the web has become quite efficient on a Smartphone.
Optimizing Your Website for Smartphones
Catering to tech savvy Smartphone users can be a huge plus for generating traffic and making your website optimized for easy surfing and purchasing can definitely increase sales and brand awareness. Here are just a few tips on how to optimize your website for those with mobile devices.
Optimize for Mobile Browser
When mobile, most don’t obviously use Internet Explorer like at home; this is why it is important to consider which types of mobile browsers your traffic will come from. While the vast majority of mobile browsers will obviously work with your site, it is important to be aware that browsers such as Opera Mobile and Opera mini along with Skyfire will be used, so if you are collecting data make sure your analytics software can be used to not only verify which browser accessed your site, but view data pertaining to that view in detail.
It’s true that Smartphone screens are getting sharper and crisper, however with so many devices and brands available, screen resolution can be a consideration. You obviously want to design a site that is accessible by the top Smartphone makers such as the Apple iPhone, but don’t forget about other devices including HTC, Blackberry and Nokia.
Keep Scrolling to a Minimum
In the beginning, many websites consisted of one, single page. It was a long, long page which required one to scroll for quite a while to continue to read information. Unfortunately, scrolling on a mobile device is not as easy as it can be and by minimizing the distance one has to scroll can make your website much more user friendly.
Images and Files
While 3G and 4G wireless connections have made it easier to download images and larger files, Smartphone users usually have less patience waiting for a website to load. Make sure that any images or files you upload to your site are created to load efficiently as possible. A long load time can result in a loss sale.
If you own a company that receives a large amount of business from the surrounding area, you will find that making your website optimized for mobile devices and Smartphones definitely makes sense. Make sure you submit your site to Google Places to alert Google that your business in a specific area. In addition, place address information including your zip code on your website to ensure that Google knows your exact location. This can help draw those in the surrounding area to find your local business when they conduct a search.
Optimize for Smartphones
The Smartphone market is changing incredibly quickly and as Smartphones become more popular, more powerful and offer features that are not available to those using a desktop, Smartphones may become the tool of choice for accessing the web in a wide variety of situations. One free online tool that will help you to create a mobile version of your website without knowing how to program is Mobify.me. As a web developer, SEO or SEM professional, don’t miss out on this chance to cater to this growing population.