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12 Steps to Optimize Your Ecommerce Site for Mobile Devices

Published by on January 20, 2014

The situation now is that if you have a thriving ecommerce site but you don’t have a mobile version of it, your site will be left far behind. More and more people are increasingly going mobile, preferring to study product reviews, do comparison shopping and actually shop for goods on their smartphones. Are you ready to join the bandwagon? Click here for an in-depth eCommerce conversion rate study.

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1. Know How Smartphone Users Interact With Websites

Mobile users will access your site while on the go. They need to be able to get in and get out in a few seconds, whether it is to make a purchase, browse content, read a story and so on. This means you need to keep the features, content and navigation to a minimum. Cut down the images and elaborate design elements. Allow plenty of white space to enable comfortable browsing.

2. Keep the Needs of Different Handsets in Mind

If you design a site for Samsung devices, quite likely the design won’t look good on an iPhone. Therefore it’s best never to design a site with a particular device in mind. Create a design that’ll look the same on several main devices. Be sure to test the design on several devices Nokia, Samsung, Hitachi, iPhone and others.

3. Make Sure Your Branding Is Consistent

Invest in a custom mobile design instead of using stock mobile templates, so that you can enable your websites branding in the mobile site as well. A custom mobile site design will help you translate your logo, fonts, images, colours and styles effectively for mobile viewers and search engines.

4. Make Information Access Quick and Easy

Optimize links and content in such a way that your mobile users get what they want within a click or two. That means product info, pricing, reviews and so on should be easy to find. Make sure your copy text is brief and to the point. Link to your main site, if needed, so that users know where to find additional information.

5. Eliminate JavaScript’s, Flash Files and Pop-up Windows

Both is and Android have stopped support for Flash. So obviously, installing JavaScript and Flash will be counterproductive. Pop-up windows may still be ok on your website, but make sure your mobile users are not bothered with any.

6. Optimize Bandwidth

Make sure your site loads fast. Mobile users are usually moving around, which means they will wait only a second or two for a site or its elements to load. To this end, you’ll have to disable avatars, icons, large pictures, heavy backgrounds, Ads and so on, as all of them take time to load.

7. Take Care While Handling Mobile-Related Canonical Tags

Do use canonical tags on all mobile pages. This is based on Googles recent announcement. You must ensure that your mobile interface can be easily updated with new recommendations from Google or industry websites. Using canonical tags is the best way to keep your mobile site flexible and readily updatable from an SEO perspective, to see consistent best results with regard to mobile performance.

8. Help Google Recognize and Index Your Mobile Site Separately

Be sure to use the “m-dot” URL format for example, m.xyz.com so that Google recognizes and indexes your mobile site separately. Also enable keywords for SEO purposes. People who want to buy certain products or find certain people will still Google for them, mobile site or website. Implement the right keywords to enable their search.

9. Follow Page Design Rules Meant For Mobile Sites

Enable Alt-tags for pictures, so that users can know what the picture is, even if they’ve blocked images. Avoid frames, tables, big pictures, lengthy texts, and lengthy links and so on, as these can take up too much space.

10. Keep Only Relevant Content

Mobile users want to get the best out of the internet while on the move, and even while in transit. Therefore, remove all such content that is not relevant or important to mobile users. People on the go don’t need to read about how your company started and how you developed your first product. Remove detailed technical information, drawings, career information, CSR details, and so on.

11. Test Your Design

Compare performance from different designs via mobile site A/B testing, using Atmio, Googles GoMo site and others. Get a bunch of people to test your design on multiple devices and give you feedback. Listen to complaints and implement changes to achieve optimum results on various devices.

12. Add a Link to Your Site

Some users may want to access your main website on their mobile browsers. They might want to do this to find specific info, or to read more about your product. Be sure to provide a link to your full website. Some designers tend to redirect mobile users back to the mobile site, but this is a user-unfriendly way to do things.

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Categories: Ecommerce