You Really Need Your Site to be Mobile-Friendly Now, Okay?

If you created your shop on Shopify in the last couple of years, you almost certainly have a site that is mobile-friendly -- though that doesn't mean you can add content to it blindly, without considering mobile shoppers! If your shop was created more than 2-3 years ago, there's a pretty good chance that it's out of date and needs to be redesigned. Here is how to find out, and what to do.

What is a mobile-friendly site? You know when you visit a website from your phone, and the text is tiny? It looks like a full size desktop squished onto a phone-size screen. You need to zoom in to try to read anything, and forget trying to tap a link or a button. Everything is too small and too close together. This is what you see when a website isn’t mobile-friendly, and it tells you that the site is at least a few years old.

A mobile-friendly site, on the other hand, shows all the content comfortably on the screen, has a readable text size, and there is enough space around the links that you can easily follow them. Everything you need to browse and shop on a desktop is present on mobile, and often adjusted to work specifically for mobile browsers.

If you created your shop on Shopify in the last couple of years, you almost certainly have a site that is mobile-friendly — though that doesn’t mean you can add content to it blindly, without considering mobile shoppers! If your shop was created more than 2-3 years ago, there’s a pretty good chance that it’s out of date and needs to be redesigned. Here is how to find out, and what to do.

You’re losing half of your shoppers without a mobile-friendly site

2014 was when making your site mobile-friendly got serious. In 2015 and 2016, you were pretty behind if your site didn’t work well on a phone. Sadly, I’m still expecting to see this problem in 2017. I do hope that if you sell your products online, you’ve taken steps to be sure that your mobile shoppers have a great experience.

Many, if not most, people check their email and their social media accounts on their phones. They also do most of their research on their phones, using Google. This means that if you’re putting time, effort, and money into email or social media marketing, or your SEO, you’re going to be throwing away that money for every potential shopper who can’t use your site easily.

I have a few little tasks that you could try today to make a big difference in increasing the sales you get from social media.

Check your website stats

I have been seeing more and more online shops where mobile visitors account for 70-80% of all visitors to the site. Yet, when I look at these sites from my phone, I see things such as main feature photos on the homepage that don’t work on a phone. If your photos are horizontal (short and wide) or if you put small text on them (or even medium text on them), those photos are nearly pointless for mobile customers.

Go to your stats and see how many of your visitors are browsing on a mobile device. Here’s how:

  • In Shopify, go to Reports, click the “view dashboard” button, then look at the list of “top device types.” To get the big picture, change the date pulldown up top to show the last 90 days.
  • Or In Google Analytics, go to Audience, then Mobile, then Overview.

Are mobile visitors 50% of your traffic? Only a small amount? As high as 80%? Now you know where to focus when optimizing your site.

If your mobile visitors are more than half of your traffic, pay attention to mobile first, not desktop. When adding content, try vertical or square photos on the home page. It would make sense for you to optimize your site for the phone, then check that the desktop view looks okay as a second priority.

View your site at mobile size

If you have any mobile visitors (you do!), you should know what your site looks like on mobile, and remove any difficulties for mobile browsers on the way to checkout.

View your site at mobile size. You can do this on a phone, of course, but these tools will give you an in-depth view as well:

  • Am I Responsive? This clever site will show you how your website looks across different devices, and it allows you to scroll and click within each one!
  • Google’s Mobile Friendly Test will let you know if Google classifies your site as mobile-friendly in their search, and show you what the googlebot sees.

Check your site out on a phone. Are you able to find things, shop, get through checkout? Is all the content readable, or do you need to do the “tap tap” or “un-pinch” gesture to expand it?

Is your newsletter mobile-friendly?

Put your own email address on your email list. Then, when you send out a newsletter, check the email on your computer AND on your phone to be sure that it looks the way you intended. I read all my personal email (including newsletters) on my phone, and I often see wonky layouts and shrimpy text when I get newsletters from small businesses.

If you use MailChimp, make sure to always view each newsletter in the mobile preview tool before you send. Even if you have a template set up that “usually works,” occasionally something funny like a photo or long URL will throw what usually works out of whack. Always best to check!

What is the sales funnel like from social media?

Finally, if you’re spending time on social media, you want to be sure that it’s a smooth process from your social media post, to finding products on your website, to making a purchase. This is called your sales funnel, because it’s funnel-shaped: lots of people will see your Instagram post, the widest part of your funnel. Less people will read the caption and interact on the post. The next step in the funnel (and often the trickiest) narrows down to the amount of people who will click over to your website to shop, then make it to the cart, then checkout.

If you’ve never put yourself in your customer’s shoes, try that the next time you post on social media. Can you read the Instagram post, understand where to find the link to shop, then find the product that was discussed on Instagram, add it to your cart, and successfully check out?

Sometimes there is a step in there that is confusing, takes too many clicks, or doesn’t work well on mobile. Discover what that is, and smooth the path for your customers.

Want more info on this? Visit our oldie-but-goodie article, Why & How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website

If you would like to work with us on a site that will work for all of your visitors, you know where I’m at!