When you’re establishing your business’s online presence, don’t neglect your site’s mobile performance!

Pull your website up on your smart phone or tablet. What do you see? If your screen printing website hasn’t been mobile enabled, you’re doing your business a disservice. It’s estimated that 80 percent of website traffic will come from mobile devices in 2018. If your website isn’t prepared for that, you stand to lose customers, sales and the potential for growth.

Why a mobile-enabled website matters

Mobile enabled websites — or “responsive” websites that adapt to the screen of the device they are being viewed on — are important for a variety of reasons. First, with the majority of customers now performing their first searches for businesses online, your mobile site will be the first impression you present to a potential customer. In fact, Google has found that 77 percent of searches for local businesses happen on mobile devices when people are at home or work, where they could be using traditional computers instead. If your site doesn’t load quickly, look aesthetically pleasing and professional, or isn’t easy to navigate, potential customers will leave to do business elsewhere. Second, since 2015, Google has factored mobile friendliness into their search-ranking algorithm. That means that your website will appear farther down in search results, making it harder for new customers to find your business, if your site isn’t mobile enabled.

How to know if your website is mobile enabled

You can, of course, visit your website from different devices to evaluate how it looks and how easy it is to navigate on from a smart phone or tablet. For a more thorough check, however, Google offers a test. You can find the test, along with some advice from Google on making your site more mobile friendly, here.

What it means to have a mobile-enabled website

If you find that your website is due for a mobile makeover, there are several things you should consider, including:

  • A simpler mobile design. You know that mobile devices have smaller screens, and people are trying to navigate with their fingertips. For that reason, mobile websites call for a more simple, less cluttered design that is easy to view and “click” on a small screen.
  • Easy navigation.Because it can be more challenging to navigate with your fingertips on a mobile screen, mobile sites require easy navigation. On top of that, mobile users are looking for speed; they want to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.
  • Faster — and more consistent — load times.Again, mobile users are looking to find information fast. They will get frustrated with slow load times on your website. You also have to make sure that load times are consistent, if there is a graphic or other element with a slower speed than the rest of the page, it can make the page jump around as it loads.
  • Avoid using Flash.Many mobile devices aren’t equipped to support Flash animation, which means that users will miss out on important information or have a diminished website interaction if you choose to use Flash in your design.
  • Skip popups.Pop ups can be difficult to deal with on mobile devices. They can dominate the screen, and they are often difficult to get rid of on mobile screen. Mobile popups can annoy users and quickly send them away from your site.
  • Keep titles, descriptions and URLs simple.You know you have less space to work with on a mobile device. Long titles, descriptions and URLs will be cutoff on mobile devices. For that reason, keep your titles, headings, descriptions and URL as short as possible while conveying the necessary information.
  • Make mobile ordering easy.With so much more traffic coming to websites via mobile devices, more and more consumers are making their purchases via mobile devices.If you offer ecommerce and a customer browses your website on their mobile device only to discover that they can’t place an order, there’s a good chance that they will take their business elsewhere. To avoid losing customers at the endpoint of the sale, be sure that your mobile-enabled website makes ordering easy for your customers.

How to create a mobile-enabled website for your screen printing business

How you move forward in creating a mobile-enabled website for your screen printing business will depend on how you have established your website. Through your web platform, you might be able to choose a “responsive design” option. If you have the tech skills, you might be able to follow suggestions set forth by Google or other tech advisors to make the changes necessary to make your website compatible with mobile devices. Or, if you rely on a web developer, you might have to contract out that work. Regardless of how you work to ensure the website for your screen printing business is mobile enabled, you’ll see rewards, as customers are able to find your website faster through Google searches and as they are able to navigate and place orders on your website more easily.