A mobile-friendly website is more important than ever. Almost 60% of Google searches are completed on mobile devices. The number of people visiting your child care center’s website from their phone may be even higher, with on-the-go parents searching whenever and wherever they have a few minutes.
If you have Google Analytics installed on your website, it’s easy to see just how many people visit your website on mobile devices! Visit https://analytics.google.com/ and log in. From there, click on “Audience” in the left-hand panel. Click “Mobile” within the Audience menu, and then “Overview” from within the Mobile options. Here, you can see how many of your website visitors used a desktop, tablet or mobile device to access your site.
Does your website show up in Google’s results when you search for your center’s name? That means your website is included in Google’s giant index of websites and pages. This is known as your site being “indexed.” For the majority of Google’s history, it categorized websites based on the desktop version of the website.
Now, Google uses the mobile version of your website to determine what your website and its pages are about. This is called the mobile-first index, and it’s one of the reasons it’s important to have a mobile-friendly website that includes the same information as the desktop version of your website.
Test Your Mobile-Friendly Website
If you’re not sure how your daycare website looks on smartphones, test it out using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. You should also take a look at how your web pages are displayed on your smartphone, coworkers’ phones and even a parent’s phone.
4 Ways to Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
1. Use a Template
The most effective way to make your center’s site look great on all devices is with a responsive design. This means that your website’s framework and content will shift to fit the screen size the site is displayed on. While this sounds tricky, using a template already designed to be responsive makes it simple.
When mobile devices first became popular, it was common practice to have a completely separate mobile website. Often, these mobile-only sites had less information than the desktop versions, because of smaller screen sizes and slower internet connections. Google’s switch to a mobile-first index makes this practice less effective. You want Google to see all the great content you offer to parents, so it has to be on your mobile website.
A responsive template keeps all of your content on the mobile version of your website. The content may be folded into accordions to make your site easier to navigate on a small screen. This is totally fine because Google can “read” the information within the compacted areas.
2. Focus on Size
Parents should be able to do everything they would do on a full-size desktop screen – fill out your contact form, find your phone number, look at this week’s activities – from their phone. Take into account the size of your font throughout your website. Make sure titles are a reasonable size and don’t take up the majority of screen space. Important paragraphs of information should be large enough to read without zooming in.
It’s also important to remember that mobile site visitors are clicking buttons with their thumbs, not a mouse. Make sure your calls to action are easy to click on; CTAs should be motivating site visitors, not frustrating them.
3. Keep Things Fast
Smartphones are less powerful than computers and they rely on slower wireless networks. This means that your center’s website needs to be fast. You can test your website’s speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights, and then compare the results to these statistics:
- Almost half of online shoppers expect a website to load in less than two seconds.
- If a web page takes more than three seconds to load, 40% of online shoppers will abandon the page.
To make sure your daycare’s website is as speedy as possible, compress images, use standard fonts and consider installing AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) on your blog posts.
4. Stay Organized
Organize the information on your site in a way that makes it easy to find. Busy parents using small screens need to be able to access contact forms and class information first and foremost. Extras, like monthly newsletters or blog posts, can be kept at the bottom of menus. You can also hide information that looks good on a desktop computer screen but isn’t necessary for mobile users.