A mobile-first design strategy puts creative focus on what’s most important for your business. This simple approach prioritizes the needs of your commercial website and leads to faster load times and a better customer experience. As mobile becomes the standard, your company’s website will stay ahead of the curve.
9 Benefits Of Mobile-First Design For a Commercial Website
1. Start With What’s Important
A mobile-first approach means that the designer beings working with the smallest screen possible. Scaling this up for larger devices is easier than scaling down. We call scaling up progressive enhancement, allowing the designer to gradually add layers of function and style for larger devices. Scaling down is referred to as graceful degradation, which means slowly removing elements and trying to make things work.
When a designer begins with such a small screen, they have to pick only a few essential elements. For example, they choose your top keywords, one branded image, and a simple call to action. As the design grows for larger screens, they can add additional functionality and cool branded elements. Along the way, they’ll always know what was most important for the business and the customer.
2. Planning for the Future
As technology continues to become a more central part of all our lives, the diversity in devices becomes harder to plan for. It’s anyone’s guess what screen dimensions will be considered the most common five years from now, let alone ten.
By designing your company’s website with a mobile-first approach, the design will be considered future-proof. Whatever changes in technology come, your site can be progressively enhanced to include new elements or demands. Ultimately, this means your site design will stay relevant longer.
3. Load Faster
Studies found that for every second that your page takes to load, there is a seven percent loss in conversion. They also found that every second meant a 16% loss in customer satisfaction. A mobile-first design strategy focuses on making a simple site with easy-to-read navigation and fast-loading graphics. There’s no room on the smaller screen for slow-loading videos, pop-ups, or distractions that take a long time to load.
When you show that you have a functional and fast mobile website, you build trust with your customers. A faster loading speed on mobile and desktop leads to greater customer satisfaction, improved conversions, and better reputation management.
3. Improved Search Engine Optimization
Search engines like Google reward mobile-friendly websites. In 2010, the CEO of Google at the time announced at the Mobile World Congress they would focus on smartphones. They’ve proven that in the years since by improving the search ranking of pages with great mobile designs. This has proven to be a smart approach, as now 60% of organic search traffic is from mobile devices.
The improved search ranking is in part because websites that load quickly rank better on search engines. It’s also because a clear and easy mobile site invites users to stay on the page, lowering bounce rates. And because mobile-first design focuses on brevity and white space, the content on pages is shorter, more keyword-focused, and easier to read. Search engines love seeing all of these things and have been rewarding smart mobile-design websites accordingly.
4. Intuitive Navigation
Innovative and magical navigation is fun on websites for an art exhibit that needs to make a big splash. This doesn’t work on a mobile website, where links need to be easy to touch on a small cellphone screen. A desktop-first approach can make mobile navigation difficult and create a distorted design. A mobile-first strategy creates an environment for simple navigation choices that work to improve user experience on a business website.
For example, there should always be an easy way to find contact information from a business. Users expect to find something in the upper right corner or at the bottom of the page. They should also easily be able to find a link for services and products. A nice hamburger menu in the upper left corner of a mobile design is familiar to users. They know it’s a place they can count on finding the bulk of their navigation options.
5. Meet User Expectations
Today, users expect a business to have a professional-looking website that works. Without one, customers question whether a business is legitimate, and they move on to the next place. If a page loads strangely on mobile, few users are going to check if the page loads correctly on desktop.
By improving the user experience on mobile, businesses can meet user expectations and avoid confusion. A website with weird text breaks or distorted images looks outdated. Customer expectations are now such that a distorted mobile website signals the business is no longer in operation.
6. Keep Up With the Competition
It’s not a secret that people are doing more business on their mobile devices today. If your business isn’t mobile friendly, and your competition’s is, they now have an edge.
7. Takes Better Advantage of Your Marketing
Let’s say your website doesn’t load well on mobile. You have a newsletter you send out regularly, you have strong search engine marketing, and you are on social media. When your customers see your latest email or social post, many will be on their mobile devices. If your website loads strangely and they can’t read it, they will likely close the page and let it go.
The next time you send an effective newsletter they’ll be less likely to click because they believe the site doesn’t work. This trains them to ignore your marketing, your website, and your business. A great mobile design will make your business more accessible to users at any time, from any device. And that means they can click to do business whenever your marketing message reaches them.
A business website should be as accessible to as many people as possible. A mobile-first design strategy has to be touch-friendly, simple, use large text, less text, and fewer pop-ups or extra elements.
A lot of the flashier design elements on desktop websites can interfere with making an ADA-compliant website. This can make a site inaccessible for those with hearing or vision impairments. A mobile-friendly approach naturally leads to a more inclusive design.
9. Bold and Clear Calls to Action
By now it’s clear that a lot of what makes mobile-first design so great for a commercial website is simplicity. Again, this is the element that can make for better calls to action (CTAs) on a commercial website. With such a small screen, there is really only room for one CTA above the fold. This means a simple and clear link to one key page on your website.
What is it that you most want users to do when arriving on your website? This simple call to action focuses your designer and customers on what’s most important. This will lead to a design that focuses on your most important pages throughout. You will have one bold and clear CTA and your site design will better focus on improving conversion.
A custom design with a mobile-first strategy makes the most sense for successful business websites in the long term. These designs are forward-thinking, search engine friendly, and meet the expectations of your users. Schedule a call with Next Level Media Crew today to discuss a strategy for your business website.