This month we are focusing on the importance of having a website that looks good on all devices, whether they are smartphones, tablets, desktop PCs or laptops. We have discussed the ins and outs of mobile-friendly sites and why they are vital now that more people get online with mobile devices than at-home computers. As a result, it would be easy to conclude that a good, old-fashioned website will soon become extinct, but nothing could be farther from the truth.
Sites that look great on a large monitor still are crucial to any small business or non-profit organization. After all, not everyone who is online likes to squint at a smartphone screen. Let’s take a look at the different devices as well as who is using them and how your business or organization can be optimized for each.
Despite the dominance of mobile devices, there still are plenty of people who rely on desktop computers to browse the Internet, shop online and do research. According to Pew Research Center, desktop users are generally between the ages of 35-65. However, all ages periodically log on using these classic machines. That’s why your website should look awesome on a big screen as well as a small screen. Consider these factors:
- If your site is photo heavy, desktop computers will be able to load pages quickly and really highlight the visuals of your page. If you use photos or videos to sell your project or educate your site visitors, the desktop format is key for your business.
- Bigger screens mean bigger type and easier reading, which is ideal if your target audience is older.
- If you cater to business professionals or office workers, it’s far more likely they will access your site at work using their desktop machines. Offer them great content to keep them coming back.
Because many laptop computers are just as powerful as desktop units, there is a large overlap in the user base. However, laptops are mobile, which means they are preferred by people who work outside an office or who want Internet access no matter where they are. A website that looks good on a desktop monitor should scale perfectly on a laptop as well. The full age range of computer users is likely to have a laptop, from students to senior citizens.
Tablets have been maintaining popularity during that past few years. The iPad may be the most well-known option, but there are many others that can be just as powerful as a PC and offer a reliable, consistent experience. Tablets have found fans among people 65+ because they marry portability with familiarity. Tablets also are used as points of sale for small businesses or as an e-reader for a wide range of ages. In terms of looking good on a tablet, your website must be able to scale in size to accommodate the device’s smaller screen.
The vast majority of Americans own smartphones, but Millennials and Gen Xers get the most use out of theirs. For businesses or organizations whose target audiences include ages 18-50, making sure your site is functional and friendly on smartphones can be vital to your success. Think about these elements:
- People who use the browsers on their smartphones are usually looking for quick information. Your website has to load quickly and offer the most important information at the top. Lead with your business address, phone number and mapped location.
- Smartphone users monitor their social media accounts frequently. Make sure your website includes links to your social media platforms and that you keep those accounts active.
- Give smartphone users something to do. Calls to action on your mobile-friendly site could be “Call Now,” “Visit Now,” “Donate Now” or “Shop Now.”
Each computer device we have at our disposal correlates to a user demographic. By understand who is using what type of computer to access your website, you can adjust your visuals and messaging in just the right way to attract – and keep – their attention.