Written by Dan Marzullo

October 1, 2020

Is your website repelling potential clients the instant they land on your home page?

Many of us have experienced barriers when attempting to engage with websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. From not being able to easily navigate the product menu to a complex checkout process, even small frustrations can discourage a mobile user enough to exit the site seeking a better experience elsewhere.

Websites that have not been properly optimized for mobile devices are often the cause of such challenges and may be responsible for a large portion of your abandoned carts.

Your business takes a risk every day without a website that’s been optimized for a mobile device—the benefits go far beyond delivering an aesthetically pleasing experience for mobile users. But before we teach you how to make a user-friendly mobile site, let’s review the benefits.

Benefits of a mobile-friendly website include:

  • Consistent experience across devices
  • Improved mobile conversion rate (CVR)
  • Improved user experience (UX)
  • Faster download speed
  • More flexibility than developing an app

First, remember that customer expectations are high. In fact, 85% of adults think a company’s mobile website should be as good or better than its desktop version. 

Chances are that many of your customers rely on a mobile device to complete a good part (if not the majority) of their shopping. By 2021, purchases made on a mobile device are projected to account for 73% of total eCommerce sales

Your marketing strategy may be on point, but if you aren’t providing a nurturing environment where a mobile visitor can shop with ease, you’re throwing money away. 

ECommerce sites are not the only businesses that can benefit from offering a great mobile web experience; people rely on their mobile devices for much more than just shopping. From grocery shopping to requesting medication refills, to attending virtual fitness classes, activities we accomplish using our phones have made their way into every aspect of our lives.

Mobile traffic has grown significantly in the past decade and shows no signs of slowing. Moreover, customers have come to expect mobile-friendly websites, making it even more of a priority for organizations to provide a great mobile experience.

Optimizing your website for mobile devices isn’t as difficult as it may seem. This guide will show you how to make a website mobile-friendly and provide answers to the following questions.

  1. How much does it cost to make a website mobile-friendly?
  2. How do I optimize my website for a mobile phone?
  3. How do I make my website compatible with all devices?

How much does it cost to make a website mobile-friendly?

Let’s talk about how to make a mobile website user-friendly if you have a conservative budget.

According to WebFX, “on average, the upfront cost of a site, which includes launching and designing it, is $12,000 to $150,000, while routine website maintenance ranges from $35 to $5,000 per month—or $400 to $60,000 per year.” They outline the details in their cost analysis guide

You may be hesitant to make the move if you’re thinking about how much it will cost to make your website mobile-friendly, but considering that more than 65% of users are more likely to purchase from a company with a mobile-friendly site, just think of it as an investment in your future success. 

Even if these numbers don’t align with your budget or you don’t have a development team, don’t bail just yet. The good news is that there are ways to make the mobile web design optimization process affordable.

How to cut costs when building a mobile-friendly website

  • Use popular website builder platforms like Shopify or WordPress to shop for pre-designed mobile-friendly templates. Both offer full integration with your e-commerce store so that you’ll have continuity across all devices. Popular platforms also offer perks like seeing sales stats, orders, and product data to help steer your strategy as you go. For example, data on product performance (sales) can help you see what products are selling well, and which ones need additional marketing help. A website builder is an affordable alternative to hiring a developer or agency to create a custom-built site. 
  • Keep designs simple. More often than not, the best customer experience comes from websites that are predictable and easy to navigate.
  • Work with freelancers. Using freelancers is a way to cut costs for any site build, but there are other perks that make them invaluable to your mobile-friendly design. Beyond the financial benefits, a freelancer who is experienced in web design can optimize your site to be responsive, elevate the effectiveness of a sales page on mobile, and ensure that pop-ups aren’t disruptive to the user. 

How do I optimize my website for mobile devices?

53% of shoppers will abandon a mobile site if it doesn’t load in three seconds.

Yikes.

We already know that optimizing a website for mobile is vital, but how do you actually accomplish that? Here are five recommendations you can follow to help make your mobile website user-friendly:

  1. Consider adding an FAQ section. Get a better idea of what a mobile user is looking for when they visit your site by looking at your most visited pages in Google Analytics. Organize frequently asked questions in one place so that people can easily find the answers they’re looking for. For example, if you have an e-commerce clothing store, offer sizing charts in an easily accessible tab.
  2. Keep design and copy simple. An impressive desktop site design may look overwhelming on mobile devices. Avoid clutter and aim for simplicity when it comes to design and copy. A minimalist approach is always a safe bet for making a website mobile-friendly. 
  3. Keep button and font sizes large. You want your CTA (call-to-action) buttons to pop and be easy to tap! Ensure copy is large enough to be easily read by all users, regardless of screen size. 
  4. Regularly perform mobile testing. Make sure that you test (and retest!) your site on different devices after any changes are made before making the site available to users. Include every aspect of your site as part of your QA process. Complete the checkout process. Fill out the newsletter opt-in form and make sure you receive the autoresponder email. Browse products to confirm photos aren’t cut off. Go over everything with a fine-tooth comb before releasing it to the public.
  5. Ask for customer feedback. Your customers can provide the best insight into satisfaction with your website experience. Consider offering short surveys on your site or sending them post-purchase questionnaires to see how they feel about your site. Pro tip: Incentivize the survey to increase the odds of receiving feedback. You may balk at paying for such data, but this information is invaluable and may boost sales more than you realize.

Tip: Reconsider what’s essential to your site. Marketing trends like pop-ups may be very disruptive to the customer experience on a smaller screen. If site add-ons like a pop-up diminish the ease of navigation, then consider transitioning the content in the pop-up into another marketing device.  

How do I make my website compatible with all devices?

Use responsive design to create your website.

In a nutshell, this means your website has a single version of the site that will grow and shrink to fit the screen size. You’ll still need a separate desktop design and mobile design, but you will not need a separate mobile version for the site for it to look the same across all devices.

With a responsive design, your website automatically fills the screen of the user’s device, regardless of screen size, and on a responsive site, design elements and copy aren’t cut off along the edges of the screen. Most critically, a responsive website won’t compromise important ways for customers to get in touch with your business. 

Let’s get into the weeds of how you can utilize responsive design for a better mobile site experience.

  1. Use a fluid grid. This is what allows your responsive website to maintain an identical appearance across devices with screens of different sizes. Nothing in a fluid grid has set parameters, which gives it the flexibility it needs to be versatile. 
  2. Design for touchscreens. The key here is to make the essential parts of your website easy to use. Menu bars, contact forms, and buttons should all be large enough to tap with a fingertip or accessible with an easy and gentle swipe. 
  3. Condense navigation. Your mobile site doesn’t have to be a mirror image of your desktop site. Make it easy to navigate on your mobile landing pages by condensing product categories. For example, you can cluster all of your digital download products into a one-touch navigation button rather than having a small filtering menu at the side. 
Website Mobile-Friendly
  1. Perfect your image designs. Images don’t always translate well from desktop to mobile. Consider how you want images to transfer, or if you prefer, you can take a more minimalist approach for your mobile images. You will want to set parameters in your code to ensure that images on mobile devices aren’t too complicated or will distract from the shopping experience.
  2. Use a pre-designed template. When in doubt, use a pre-designed responsive theme for your layout. This is the most efficient way to create a mobile-friendly site if you’re short on time and resources. Because sites like Shopify have all the nuts and bolts in place, all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Once you launch your mobile-friendly site, it’s easy to go back in and make changes after you evaluate customer satisfaction.

Key takeaways

Making a website mobile-friendly will directly improve your CVR and CX. Go into your website optimization project knowing that it doesn’t have to break the bank, as there are several ways you can save time and money: 

  • Use a responsive theme on popular DIY platforms
  • Employ freelancers to help lower your project’s costs without spending too much on a developer or web designer
  • Use a simple website design (less complicated = less expensive) that guarantees navigation elements are large enough to understand and use 

Helping your website to reach its full potential is our specialty at ManyChat. Don’t stop at just making your website mobile-friendly. Explore all of the options you can have at your fingertips to boost UX, including chatbots, which can help customers navigate your site and even make product recommendations. Our free video course on bot integration will educate you on the endless possibilities!