With more users looking at the web on smartphones and other mobile devices, brands need to make sure their websites are up to the task of loading and displaying content.

Most content marketing professionals spend their days in front of laptops and other desktop PCs, so it’s no surprise they often think in terms of large browser windows and lightning-fast connection speeds. However, more customers and prospects are accessing the web every day on the go, and it’s increasingly clear the future of the internet is on handheld devices.

In fact, as Brafton reported, the mobile take over may have already arrived. More people are self-described mobile-only users than PC loyalists, and part of what is driving this change is age. Young people were born into mobile adoption, while older Americans continue to become comfortable browsing the web on smaller screens no matter where they are.

UX: It isn’t just for the desktop

In our ebook, A Marketer’s Guide to UX, we outlined the design factors that make or break web marketing strategies. Without properly formatted visual elements, organized information architecture and strict usability standards, no website is going to retain users and drive conversions. However, there are specific mobile UX issues brands still need to address if they’re seeing more traffic come from smartphones and tablets.

Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool has been updated to reflect that need. Businesses can now type their site URLs for a quick assessment of their performance, and the Webmaster Central blog offered tips for the most important considerations for mobile users, including:

Load times: People are already finicky about sticking around on websites that don’t load fast enough, and this is doubly true for mobile. Wireless connections can be touch-and-go as it is, and further delays will drive bounce rates exponentially.

Link size: When users can’t find hyperlinks because they’re too small, it’s no wonder calls to action aren’t being followed. The actual pixels where people tap to navigate need to be large enough and clearly legible.

Software integration: Many smartphones aren’t capable of displaying Flash or other multimedia plugins, so brands should make their mobile sites simple enough to appear on any device.

Businesses can type their site URLs for a quick assessment of their performance.

Mobile and desktop strategies are converging

One of the biggest issues facing brands is they don’t have mobile strategies to begin with. Assuming a user base isn’t viewing their content on smartphones might be foolish now, but it will be impossible in the near future. The sooner businesses can start capturing web leads by efficiently displaying their sites no matter what window a customer is looking through, the sooner they’ll begin driving conversions and sales. 

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.