Before the dawn of a smartphone in every hand, every single day, a website optimized for Microsoft Internet Explorer on a PC was all you needed to promote your brand, product or service. Doing so generated revenue and increased your profits! Every business had a website, and those without one were behind the times. Most companies just wanted a website that looked good. Firms did not think about all of the other important elements that go into building a quality website.
Now, online business is very competitive. There’s a lot of noise, and you have to make an effort to get your website done right if you want your customers to hear you. Also, businesses now have to ensure that their websites are responsive on a multitude of devices and browsers including PCs, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, Macs, Chrome, Internet Explorer/Edge, Safari, Android, and iOS. Having a WordPress mobile site matters.
That’s right. In order for your customers to find you, you must ensure your digital storefront looks great to them. If you fail to take this into account, you may not reach your customers, and you could lose potential revenue. It is overwhelming, but not all hope is lost!
You need an accessible business
You made a WordPress website so that your customers can reach you. You want them to find your business location, as well as the products or services your business has to offer. For the same reason you created a website, you also need a mobile-friendly one. A mobile-friendly website makes your business readily available to your customers right in the palm of their hand. They can access your business information no matter where they are.
More than three-quarters of Americans own a smartphone. Making a website available to smartphone users significantly increases your website’s CTR (clickthrough rate) and conversion rates. A mobile-friendly website makes sure that you (and your website) are available wherever your customers may be.
You need social media integration
The majority of social media users access it through their smartphones. Facebook alone has more than 1 billion mobile users of its platform. Experts believe social media collectively will account for more than 2.5 billion users by 2018. Why is it valuable for you as you consider a mobile-friendly site? It is because you need to use social media to benefit your business. If a large number of people (and possible customers) access social media with mobile devices, they must access yours as well.
One of the worst things that can happen to you as a business is that you lost a customer when you did not have to. If your potential customer is scrolling Facebook on his or her mobile device, clicks on your website’s link and then doesn’t adequately view or interact with your website, you will lose that customer.
You will rely on mobile search
Mobile search continues to grow in popularity. In fact, the majority of mobile users depend on their smartphone’s web browser to search. More than 40 percent of those mobile searches include local content. You must also know that Google includes whether or not your website is mobile-friendly into its search engine ranking. Mobile-friendliness can affect your rank positively. This is not an opportunity that you want to miss out on!
You should do what your customers want
Your customers want a mobile-friendly site. They don’t want to pinch and squint to see the content on your website. They want to quickly click to call or get directions to you. Without a mobile-friendly WordPress website, you are placing a barrier between you and your audience. You also want to stay ahead of the competition – you will find that most of your competitors have updated their website to accommodate the demands of customers.
What about the alternative? Are there reasons why you should avoid a mobile-friendly website? No! The answers are no and absolutely not. Would you forgo email for a fax machine? Of course, you wouldn’t! You want to be accessible to your customers, want to leverage social media, want customers to find you in mobile search, and you want to make your customers happy.
Many businesses quickly set up mobile websites to appease Google, but even those are behind the times now. Establishing a mobile-friendly website is more than just a pass-through, temporary solution. You need a website that is fully responsive and maximizes conversions. That’s why you should take care in making a website mobile responsive the right way. Here’s how you can check if you are up to par.
Test your current site
The easiest and quickest way to test if your site is mobile-friendly is to use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. The tool is free and easy to use. You simply type in your website’s address, and it will analyze your site. Within moments, you will have an acknowledgment of your site’s mobile-friendly status, a preview, and other tools and resources. If your website is in the green, you can submit it to Google as such to help your search results. If it is not mobile ready, you have more work to do!
There are many reasons why you should keep WordPress up-to-date (security being one of the most important ones). Ensuring you have a current theme and WordPress installation is vital to maintaining a responsive, mobile-friendly website. If you are not sure what version you have, you can check it in the administration panel. You can also check if your theme is up-to-date in the Admin panel under Appearance and go to Theme.
Older versions often do not work well with mobile devices. Once you determine you need an update, run a backup first just in case anything goes awry. A WordPress update will include upgrades to benefit your goal to have a mobile-friendly website. Updates also add very important security updates, fixes, and patches to keep your website safe and running.
Select a responsive theme
Once WordPress is up-to-date, you can either explore whether or not your theme’s update includes a mobile or responsive setup. If the update does not include this, you can use a plugin to create this effect. WordPress plugins for mobile compliance send smartphone users to a different theme that works on a mobile device. WPtouch and JetPack both have options to help you if you choose this route.
If you need to select a new theme, you can search for a responsive theme in the Install Themes option under Themes, or you can ask your webmaster to assist you with a third-party option. Make sure to run a backup before you install a new theme. Unlike the old strategy of adding a separate mobile website, a responsive theme works no matter which device accesses it. You do not have to manage multiple domains to create a separate mobile website. No matter which option you decide, your website will now be mobile-friendly.
Optimize your website for mobile
Congratulations, your website is now mobile-friendly. You are done! Not so fast… there are a few more things you can do to perfect your customer’s experience. One of the easiest is to optimize your images, meaning that they are a small as possible in size (storage space), yet still good-quality viewing. This helps your website load faster, which makes Google and your customers happier. An easy solution for this is to use a plugin to compress and optimize your images. EWWW Image Optimizer and WP Smush plugins can be used for this purpose.
It’s time for another test. Are you prepared? After you establish your speedy, mobile-friendly website, it is time to test it again. Run it through Google’s test tool. Occasionally, you will find some elements of your site do not work on different devices or browsers. If that happens, contact the website designer to help troubleshoot the problem. Often, you can help solve the issue for everyone who uses it.
If you have not already, make sure you install Google Analytics. You can easily access detailed data showing how your customers interact with your website. This information can help you to understand better and serve your customers. Google Analytics will tell you the device customers use, the browser they use and what pages they like to go to most often. There are many plugins that help you use this information to benefit your business. Reviewing analytics periodically helps you make necessary updates for greater exposure.
We hope you now understand the importance of having and maintaining a mobile-friendly WordPress website. While it is not the only method, a WordPress theme with a responsive web design is an ideal way to reach this goal. You can gain more customers and engage with your existing customers with a responsive design. And your business becomes accessible anytime and on any type of device. This helps you attract customers that might have wound up somewhere else.
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