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When It Comes to Your Mobile Site, Keep It Simple

With mobile usage numbers up, here are some tips for reaching customers on their devices.

Twenty percent of the world's web browsing last month was done on mobile devices, TechHive reported. The number, which comes from StatCounter -- a Dublin, Ireland-based web traffic analysis site -- represents the highest amount of mobile activity the organization has measured thus far.  

The remaining 80 percent of browsing came from personal computers.

Compare this to just four years ago. 

"In September 2009, when Computerworld began tracking mobile browser usage -- seven months before Apple started selling its first iPad -- desktop controlled 98.9 percent of the usage total," reported the TechHive article

These steadily increasing mobile usage numbers serve as a good reminder: if you haven't already gotten your mobile website in order, now's the time to start. Fortunately if your company has a website, your customers can already use their mobile devices to find you on the web. 

The bad news is if you haven't customized the web page design for smartphones and tablets, users might see a messy display on their smaller screens. To create a mobile site, think simple. 

"Think of a mobile site as the Cliff Notes version of your standard website. It should only be used for simple actions and access to the most critical details, while providing a button that links to the full site." Inc. contributor Benjamin Wald recently wrote. Follow these three steps to get started: 

Rethink navigation. Avoid drop down menus, which are common navigation tools on regular websites. Instead, present all options in a vertical list. Also, make sure the user only has to scroll one way -- vertically. 

Rethink graphics. Resize large graphics for a smaller screen, and nix any images that aren't necessary. Conversely, links and buttons should be big for easy clicking. 

Think outside the web. Take advantage of the fact that phones make phone calls. Use a button to make it easy for customers to call you with just a click. 

These tips come from a mobile design how-to, which is worth a full read if you’re thinking about creating a new mobile website.   

IMAGE: Getty Images
Last updated: Dec 17, 2013

LAURA MONTINI | Staff Writer

Laura Montini is a reporter at Inc. She previously covered health care technology for Health 2.0 News and has served as an associate editor at The Health Care Blog. She lives in San Francisco.

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