An estimated 10 billion mobile connected devices are currently in use – do you want to miss out on that audience? If your business website isn’t optimized for mobile, that’s precisely what’s going to happen. Internet users are far more likely to make a purchase on a mobile device than on a laptop – and if your site isn’t up to par, they’re going to move on to something else…quickly.

The fact is, you have a matter of seconds to make your first impression. As soon as a user arrives on your site, they decide whether or not they’re going to stay. If the first thing they see is skewed text, distorted images, or blank space, they’re going to bounce. You can’t take that risk.

What Exactly is Mobile Friendly?

So, what is a mobile friendly design? The answer is that it means that your site’s information looks (and functions) as well on a cell phone or tablet as it does on a computer. For a variety of reasons, this isn’t always the case. You can’t assume that because your site works well on a pc, it also works on a smartphone – especially if you’ve designed it yourself.

Unless you’re a trained web developer, optimizing for mobile can be tricky. With their small screens and limited space (plus the unique needs of mobile users), designing sites to view with cell phones and tablets is challenging. A mobile site needs to be streamlined and should offer limited information and fewer functions compared to a full-fledged website. Everything – including buttons, images, and empty fields – needs to be adjusted, and navigation should be kept to a minimum. Here are some easy tips for optimizing your site:

Test It First

Before you do anything else, test your site for mobile readiness. One of the easiest ways to do this is to log on using your cell phone and check it out. Are you happy with the way things look and feel? Chances are, if you can easily navigate your site, and you think it looks great, other users will, too.

If you’d like a more professional opinion, there are many online tools you can use. Most of them will assess how your content looks and functions, like this simple tool from Google, as well as letting you know if your site is vulnerable to hackers.

Size Does Matter

When it comes to mobile design, smaller fonts and buttons just aren’t going to cut it. When designing your site, make the font at least 14px – this allows the mobile user to easily view your content without having to zoom in. The same goes for buttons – the bigger, the better. Nothing is more annoying than trying to key a “+” button and continually tapping the wrong one because the buttons are too small and too close together.

Speed Counts, Too

There are steps you can take to help your site load quickly on the mobile platform and the first is to remove unnecessary coding. If there is too much going on in the background, your pages will be slow to load. Remember that larger images take a long time to load, creating a poor user experience. Use a compressing tool to help minimize wait time. Last but not least, limit redirects. The act of sending a user from one URL to another can cause lag and increase load time.

Use Quality Images

Anywhere you have a web presence – your website, social media, or blog – you should use high-quality original images or stock photos. No matter where you are, beautiful images help improve the user experience. Avoid smaller photos, pixelated images, or over-shared inferior stock photos (and don’t EVER take anything from Google images!).

Optimizing for mobile is the most important thing you can do for your business site – it will improve the customer experience and draw in new prospects. Follow the steps outlined in this article and watch your traffic grow.