Most websites now receive 40 percent of their traffic from mobile devices, and that number can easily double for local, consumer-driven sites. Google estimates more than two billion searches originate from mobile devices every month, but only a fraction of the sites displayed in those searches can be fully utilized by a mobile device. What happens if your site comes up number one, but the content is not properly formatted to be viewed on a phone or tablet? Your visitor will move on to the competitor—it’s that simple.

With that in mind, here are thee tips for retaining—and engaging those accessing your site from a mobile device.

Number 1 – Know what content your visitors are looking for when viewing your site from a phone or a tablet. Design your navigation to lead your visitors to the content they are most likely looking for, quickly and easily. In the case of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, links to ticketing, hours, directions, parking, galleries and membership were deemed most important to their mobile visitors, and represent the most accessible links in the mobile view of the website.

Center for Civil and Human Rights

If your a restauranteur, chances are your phone number, directions and parking, and your menu represent the content most important to your mobile visitors. If you’re not sure what content is being accessed most frequently by your mobile visitors, check your analytics—or simply ask your visitors.

Number 2 – Small devices need larger content and buttons. If you’re planning for an adaptive mobile site, it’s easy to design your controls specifically for use on mobile devices. However, if your site is responsive, you need to take special care that your content and controls scale properly for each mobile device view you plan for. If you’re unsure how to manage either scenario, seek the advice of a professional. Your investment will be rewarded with not only more but happier visitors.

Number 3 – Make sure your content loads quickly and easily. I know this seems obvious, but load times can not only ruin the experience for your visitor, it can negatively impact your search results as well. Optimize your graphics to load as fast as possible, at the best quality required for your audience. FLASH and mobile devices simply don’t get along. If your site relies on video and animation, convert it to HTML5 to assure it can be seen by everyone.

If you have a large website with lots of detailed information, consider creating an adaptive view of your website so you can pick and choose what content is displayed for visitors using a mobile device. If you do use an adaptive site, be sure to include a link to your full site—just in case a visitor prefers it.

If you follow these three steps for delivering content to your visitors on smart phones and tablet, I promise you that your visitor satisfaction—and the effectiveness of your website—will soar.

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