This year, Forbes announced that the U.S. population finally broke a barrier: More than 50 percent of adults now own a smartphone. Even better news for advertisers is that 80 percent of 18-34 year olds (the marketing sweet spot) use a mobile device. If you’re on top of your social media game, this is good news. Fifty percent of your customers are only clicks away from you and your products or services.
However, websites look very different on a mobile screen than on a desktop. Luckily, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube have all created mobile versions of their platforms to fit nicely on an iPhone or Android screen. You’ve just got to keep posting good content, and you’ll be set.
Blogs are a different story because they’re not universally hosted by the same platform. Some companies use WordPress. Some use Blogger. The braver among us create our blogs from scratch. It’s possible to ensure that each of these platforms is mobile-friendly, but have you done so already?
Figure out how your blog holds up on mobile platforms
You could argue that there’s no need to make your blog mobile-friendly and that you’ve read plenty of blogs on your iPhone that require some pinching and scrolling to make it through. Barring the obvious stubbornness of that sentence, I would ask that you go to Google’s Pagespeed Insights to test your blog’s upload speed. Mobile browsing has decreased people’s capacity for patience, and a slow-loading blog could be hindering traffic. A slow page may also cause people to shy away from your blog because they fear they’re using up too much data.
Transition to a more mobile-friendly version
If you already host your blog on another platform, it’s extremely easy to make it more mobile friendly. If you’ve designed your blog, the process is a little more intensive, but can and should still be done.
- For Blogger: Log in to your Blogger site, and go to “Settings > Email & Mobile.” From the “Show Mobile Template,” option click “Yes.” Select a style and you’re all set!
- For WordPress: Making your WordPress blog mobile-friendly is probably the easiest of all. Simply log in to your WordPress dashboard, click on “Plugins,” and search for “WPTouch.” Install and activate the plugin, and you’re good to go.
- Make a separate site: You can also create a separate mobile site, which is usually displayed as m.sitename.com. Whenever someone visits your website from a mobile platform, he or she is automatically redirected. Approach your developer and ask him or her to build a mobile version of your website or use a free tool likeDudamobile. The downside is that you’ll now have two blogs. Updating one will require you to separately update the other.
- Use a responsive design: The great thing here is that you don’t have to create two sites; responsive designs automatically adjust to the size of whatever screen being used. Themeforest has designs you can use for a variety of platforms. Realize that not every website can be altered to use a responsive design.
Today, 72 percent of all newly-acquired devices are now smartphones. There are now more than 1 billion smartphones in use worldwide, with forecasts of an additional 1 billion more within the next three years. I could keep going with statistics like these, but you get the point.
The bottom line is that if your blog is hard to navigate on a mobile device, you’re probably losing followers and, therefore, potential customers. Patience isn’t common these days, but you can keep your fans happy by making all that great content you’re posting easy to read as well.