5 ways to optimize your website for mobile traffic

Traffic from mobile devices now makes up more than half of all website visits. It’s a booming and lucrative market, but one which too many businesses neglect to cater for. Websites that are poorly optimized for smartphone screens can look ugly, erratic and even glitchy.

#1 Choose a responsive theme

This is your number one priority. These themes adapt to the type of browser that they’re being displayed on. Responsive themes will be just as well laid out on a smartphone as they are on a tablet or desktop, and they’ll adapt seamlessly to match each. Web designers can spend hours and even days trying to adapt their themes for mobile devices, but choosing a responsive theme means that you won’t have to do this, saving time and future-proofing your site. A digital marketing agency Manchester will give web designers all the help they need with themes. These agencies are adept at implementing the most responsive themes for peak mobile performance.

#2 Compress your images

Images make websites “pop” and they draw the user’s eye, but they often involve big file sizes. That puts a strain on mobile devices. Remember that mobile users won’t always be connected to WiFi. They might be using data, so those images will eat into their allowance as well as being slow to load. Rather than peppering your site with expansive images, compress them. Converting them to the PNG format is usually the best way to do this, as PNGs are substantially smaller than the likes of jpegs.

#3 Get rid of Flash

Flash is fading into obscurity. Many websites no longer support it (opting for user-friendly HTML5 instead) and you’ll struggle to find a mobile device the reads Flash well. Some won’t support it at all, others will translate it poorly and make a mess of your site. There’s a nostalgic value to Flash, but if you’re running it on your website it’s probably time to move on. Smartphones run off the latest technology, often on the very cutting edge, and out-of-date code means poor performance.

#4 Change the structure

There are psychological differences between how a user reads desktop and mobile sites. On desktop, they’re more likely to scan in an F type shape, looking at the banner, header and then scrolling down. On mobile they tend to scroll much more freely, identifying information relevant to them and then reading from there. Streamline how your website displays its information. Big top banners and headers aren’t as effective as information that’s laid out well, with the most important points near the top of the page.

#5 Test loading speeds

Loading speeds are affected by a range of factors including the aforementioned image size, but they’re extra important on mobile devices. Aside from the issue of data use, mobile sites are built for rapid consumption. They’re designed to be read at speed, often on the move, and to provide rapid answers to questions. Cut down on or compress big images, keep redirects to a bare minimum, optimize code and check (and then check again) how quickly your site loads on a variety of devices.

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