A mobile-friendly website is a critical ingredient to an association’s long-term success. Gone are the days when members connected with each another at annual conferences and monthly in-person events. Creating a diverse and thriving association community can involve hosting webinars, cultivating online communities, hosting events in-person or virtually, and more. Staying ahead of the technology curve means having an association website that is mobile-friendly.
Mobile-friendly websites are the product of Responsive Web Design (RWD). Broadly this refers to designing a website, so it functions well and is easy to see on screens of any size. Smartphones, tablets, laptops and multi-screen desktops should all be able to access the same information and functionality.
When it doesn’t, websites are hard to use and you can run the risk of incentivizing members to visit your website less often. If members can’t find what they need, it has been our experience that members can get into the habit of burning up your phone lines with calls for details they could have handled themselves. It’s much better to invest in good web design that has responsive design baked in from the beginning.
The following are 11 ways to master mobile when you’re ready to upgrade your website to one that is mobile-friendly.
1. Improve Accessibility on Every Level with a Mobile-Friendly Website
A mobile-friendly website can make content and functionality accessible to everyone, even those on-the-go. Did you need more registrations to your conference? If your members can easily access and navigate through the registration form through your website, it will encourage more people to sign up. Obviously many other factors go into an event’s success, but if you optimize your web design to make it easy to say “yes,” chances increase that more people will take you up on your offer.
Another way mobile-friendly websites can help members is by making features and functionality for members who may not be able to interact with or perceive the content because of physical or temporary circumstances. Web accessibility best practices are often in play when a web developer takes into account different ways that websites be responsive to members’ needs. For example, mobile-friendly templates can adjust fonts so that they are larger on a smart phone, and design elements might be organized so they are easier to consume and understand.
2. Cater to a Growing Number of Digital Devices
From accessing your email from your smartwatch to replying to a colleague on a mobile phone or tablet, there are so many ways that people are accessing the internet these days. According to Statistica, 96% of devices globally are accessing the internet from a mobile phone. Your website needs features built in so your members can access them no matter what device they are using to connect with your association.
WordPress websites offer themes with responsive designs built-in. By asking your web developer what strategies they are using to make your new website mobile-friendly will tell you a lot about how they are accommodating all the types of screens that are connected to the internet. Paid WordPress themes that offer responsive designs make developing a mobile-friendly website easier and more cost-effective.
3. Improve Your Member’s User Experience
Association professionals are busy and wear a lot of hats. Without adding headcount, you can lighten your load by making your website mobile-friendly. How? If you make it easy for members to sign up, connect, and find what they need, they can help themselves.
This won’t eliminate calls and emails, but it can reduce the volume of customer service inquiries that arise when a staff person has to register a member because they couldn’t figure it out or walk a member through the clicks they need to take to get to the report they were wanting to download.
If you can make it easier for members to get what they need through a well-designed website that is mobile-friendly, you can free up valuable staff time and focus on more high-value objectives to advances your mission.
4. Factor in the SEO Benefits to Mobile-Friendly Design
Google recommends responsive design and they use the mobile-version of a site for indexing and ranking. It makes sense that having a responsive design can be one of the technical components that affects search engine optimization. Search engine optimization involves technical and content-based strategies to improve how a website ranks for certain keywords on a Search Engine Results Page.
If your website cannot be found on page one of a search engine results page, it might as well be invisible. Mobile-friendly design can set your SEO efforts up for success.
5. Make Sure Your Mobile-Friendly Website Loads Fast
If your mobile-friendly website doesn’t load quickly, members can give up on it really quickly. And Google reports that fast load times are a ranking factor for websites that are responsively designed. This means, Google Chrome will rank your website higher on search results than it will another site that loads more slowly on mobile devices.
6. Good Mobile Web Designs Complement Social Media Conversations
Good design on a mobile website makes it much easier for your Association’s members to share and meet up on the social media channels where they gather. Make it as easy for them as possible by making your content simple to share from your mobile-friendly website.
7. Lean on the Insights Found on Google Analytics.
Every Association wants to do a better job for its members to fulfill their unique mission. Once you have a mobile-friendly website, you can dig into Google Analytics and drill down into the content and areas of the website that members are consuming on their mobile devices. This information can help you further refine your digital strategy.
Ready to Amplify Your Website’s Impact? We Can Help.
Mobile-friendly website built using responsive design are a necessity. Mobile phones and other devices aren’t going away any time soon. Rely on the mobile-friendly web design experts at Intelligent Evolution, Inc. to partner with you your next web design project that will engage your Association’s members. Whether you need a new site for your upcoming conference or an upgrade on the website you have, we can guide you through the design process from beginning to end. We offer content development, search engine optimization, and a host of computer support services to make serving your members seamless. Call us at (703) 370-7433 to set up a complimentary consultation.