“Do you do app design?”
Every so often someone will ask me this question, once they know that I design websites. The technical answer is ‘no’, however from a certain perspective that’s not entirely accurate. I’ve been designing responsive, mobile-ready websites since 2014, and after receiving this question a handful of times I finally have an answer:
iOS, Android, and Windows phones allow any website to function as an ‘app’.
This isn’t exactly new information – informed users of each platform have known this for years. Most businesses though, especially smaller local businesses, overlook this aspect of website design. By adding a shortcut to your website on their mobile device home screen, a potential client has an opportunity to put your website alongside their favorite apps for easy access.
Try it: How to Add Websites to the Home Screen on Any Smartphone or Tablet (Source: HowToGeek.com)
Your business website is already an app, but is it any good?
Take a moment to pull up your business website on your phone and ask yourself:
- How quickly does it load?
- Can I easily read it?
- What action would I take as a potential customer?
These questions should quickly define the function of your website as an ‘app’ on a mobile device. Now that we’ve noted some potential problems, let’s look at a few actions you can take to improve your mobile website.
1) Make Your Business Website Responsive
Your website needs to resize and reorganize its content for screens of all sizes. This is called Responsive Design, and is the new standard for website design. The best websites are designed first for mobile, then for the full-sized screens, which means resizing text, reducing empty or ‘white’ space, and stacking content so your user can scroll through. If your website scales the entire design down to fit a smaller width, instead of reorganizing the content, you need a web designer immediately – Google is marking you down for this.
2) Reduce Your Website’s Load Time
A slow website is a dead website. Cut down on fancy animations or use standardized animation tools and never use custom-coded animations. Reduce image sizes in Photoshop. Use free tools to gain insight into how your website runs and where it can be improved (try GTmetrix). Pass the technical items on to your web developers, and if you don’t have one then find one! Don’t waste your time trying to figure it out yourself. Get on Upwork or find a local professional.
3) Define Your Website’s Primary CTA (Call To Action)
Decide what you need your visitors to do on your website to grow your business – and then tell them how to do that near the top of the page. Repeat the CTA throughout the length of the page so your visitor is presented with a buying option or action item with each new snippet of information about your business. A website without a CTA is essentially a glorified business card.
Bonus Tip: Remember that your business website isn’t about you – it’s about what you have to offer the visitor.
Your product or service should be crafted to make somebody’s life easier; show them how it does this, show them who trusts you, and show them how to buy on the first page. Save your bios and company culture write-ups for the pages which they might eventually visit – if they actually care. A website’s landing page can be short and concise, or it can be lengthier than 3 typical pages as long as the information in that space is critical to the buyers’ decision. Most importantly, though, let your website’s design make your customer look like the hero in this story because of your product or service.
Whether your website is awesome or terrible, it serves as a basic app for your business.
Make sure that it’s the former so your business can grow in its online presence. If this is overwhelming to you, then Clarity Business Design has you covered with mobile-first design and development solutions.