SmartCause Digital

Make Your Website Mobile Friendly… Without Going Responsive

Jan 28, 2014

Your nonprofit’s next website will be responsive*, but you may be a year (or more) away from starting the website redesign process. Here are eight steps that you can take right now to make your current nonprofit website easier to use for people who are visiting via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

(And keep reading for an invitation to enroll in the upcoming Complete Google Analytics Toolkit!)

 

1. Put your organization’s contact information at the top of the page

Many people who visit your website on their mobile device want to contact your organization. Add your phone number and/or address to the header area of your site. Or you can place a link to your “Contact” page in the header area.

 

2. Turn phone numbers into clickable links

Help mobile visitors reach you via a simple click by turning phone numbers on your site into links. When a phone number on a web page is properly tagged, a mobile visitor is able to click on it and her/his phone will initiate a call. If you’re familiar with html, here’s the markup: <a href=”tel:13125551234”>312-555-1234</a>

 

3. Let a visitor know when a link will take them to another site or will download a file

Mobile visitors need your website to behave predictably. If you link to another site or link to a download, such as a PDF file, add an indicator to let visitors know. Some sites add icons to these links, such as a PDF icon for a PDF file. You can also simply add text, such as “(PDF download)”, to alert a visitor.

 

4. Use several words in your link text

Have you ever experienced stubby finger syndrome? I’m sure you have. Stubby finger syndrome describes that time you tried to click on a link while using your phone but your finger was too stubby and you kept missing the mark. Help those of us who suffer from this chronic issue by using several words in your link text. The more words you use, the bigger the target for us to hit! You’ll also get bonus search optimization points if you use keywords in that link text.

 

5. Disable the extra features that no one is using

Mobile visitors are often using connections with limited bandwidth. Help them see your site faster by disabling the features that are slowing down your site and which aren’t adding much value. Depending on your site, these features might include: a news ticker, a popup, a social media share bar or video/music that starts playing automatically.

 

6. Use images that are the correct size

When you add images to your site, make sure they are already cropped to the correct size. If you upload large images and use your website’s toolbar to reduce the image’s size, you are slowing down the site for visitors on mobile devices. They will have to wait for the large image to load, even if it displays as a much smaller image. You get usability bonus points if you add width and height tags to your images. This will help the page load even faster.

 

7. Take important information out of the slider

Homepage sliders are popular, but not all of them are mobile-friendly. If there is important information in a slider, repeat it again further down on the page as text. The text will be universally accessible for visitors on all devices, even if the slider isn’t.

 

8. Rework the content on pages that get the most mobile traffic

The most popular pages for mobile visitors will often be the homepage, contact page and services page. Review each of these pages and ensure that text content is formatted simply and that the page loads quickly on a mobile device.

 

Don’t know how to find which pages are most popular for mobile visitors?

You can learn how to find this information in your website's analytics in my upcoming course. Here’s your invitation to enroll: Get the Complete Google Analytics Toolkit!

 

*Responsive: A responsive website has a layout that automatically changes to displays well on various devices from a smartphone to a tablet to a laptop or desktop.

 

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About the Author

Yesenia SoteloYesenia Sotelo is the founder of SmartCause Digital. She works with nonprofit professionals like you to build you an awesome website & train you on digital skills.

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