Design your site for mobile customers

Reliance on tablets and smartphones for purchasing is growing rapidly, yet most small businesses don’t have a website optimized for mobile devices.

More than half of purchases occur within an hour of a mobile search according to a 2013 study from Google and Nielsen. Dozens of other equally compelling statistics will tell you that this is the year to invest in responsive (also known as adaptive) design -- so called because it is aimed at crafting sites that provide an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices.

Here are some thought starters to make the most of your mobile site:

Keep it simple: Sure your website is a work of art. But with the significantly smaller screen of mobile devices, you have to think in terms of comfort of use. A clean, simple design will win hands down.

Focus on the user experience: Minimize the amount of text input required on web forms (who wants to endlessly type on a smartphone?). Limit the levels of navigation. Leave plenty of white space so users can easily hit the button they're aiming for.

Do your homework: Mobile site styling will look different on different devices, so find out which devices your customers are using. In Google Analytics you can see a breakdown of the devices, the number of users per device, and the version of each operating system that is being used.

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