Distributors and manufacturers will benefit from this “Digital Marketing 101” mini-series I put together, containing some basic elements to look for as you gauge your digital marketing capabilities. Don’t expect them all to be in place, but a small handful of any would be a great start. I hope you find the series helpful!

Optimizing your website for mobile devices (i.e., cellphones and tablets) is no longer optional. It’s something all companies must do. Mobile users make up more than half of the internet population.

Using smartphones and tablets has become a part of our everyday lives. People turn to their mobile devices every day to research, shop, and solve their problems.

Some websites are built for desktop computers only, while others are designed to work on desktop and mobile devices. Sites optimized for mobile devices display more relevant information and will be easier for buyers to navigate than those that aren’t. Ideally, companies should create a website that looks great on any device, from desktop computers to smartphones and tablets.

Today, we’re seeing more and more websites being optimized for mobile because, according to Google, responsive design is the best way to make a website accessible on all devices. Therefore, to ensure your site is mobile-friendly, there are specific steps you can take:

Use responsive design when creating your website.

Responsive design is the way to go if you want your website to be easy to use on a mobile phone. There are many advantages to using a responsive design. One advantage is that it considers how people interact with your site.

A responsive design allows your website to adjust or ‘respond’ to the device a person uses to view the website. Having a website with a responsive design will ensure that users have a good experience, no matter their device.

Use a mobile-friendly layout.

As of January 2016, mobile devices have officially surpassed desktop computers in global internet usage. Hence, ensuring your website is mobile-friendly is more important than ever. Of course, having a responsive website is essential, but it’s not enough.

In addition to using a responsive design, you must optimize your website for mobile users by using a mobile-friendly layout. A mobile-friendly format might completely rearrange your website’s content, making it easy for mobile device users to use on smaller screens.

The layout of your website should be easy to navigate on both a desktop device and a mobile device. Users should not have to zoom in or scroll around to find what they are looking for, no matter which device they use.

Use big buttons and easy-to-read text.

It can be challenging to navigate a website on a computer, let alone on a mobile phone. Therefore, buttons and text on your website should be large enough to be easily seen and tapped on a mobile screen. Larger text, identifiable links, and more oversized buttons will make it easier for people to find and complete their desired action.

Keep your page size small.

Keeping your page size small will make it easier for your users to navigate and find the information they want. However, be careful not to overload your users with too much content.

We see many responsive websites cluttered with a lot of unused whitespace because designers have to adapt their pages to different screen sizes. Users must be able to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible without having to scroll through a lot of unnecessary information. Unfortunately, too much content can also slow your website’s load time.

Optimize your images on your mobile website.

By following a few simple tips, you can ensure that your website’s images look great on any device.

The first is to ensure your images are the correct size. Images that are too large will take longer to load and may not fit properly on smaller screens.

Many people don’t realize that images can significantly contribute to slow loading times on both desktop computers and mobile devices. Therefore, the optimal dimension of images on your website is at least 320 pixels wide, ensuring they look good on both mobile and desktop devices.

Another vital factor to consider is compression. Many image formats (such as JPEG) support compression, which can help reduce file size without affecting quality. Be sure to use a compression level appropriate for the type of image you upload.

Finally, don’t forget to use the correct file format. For example, GIF files use a lossy compression algorithm that can result in noticeable degradation of the original image. Browsers will often display GIFs as if they were JPEGs, so save your images with the correct file extension.


Mobile users are now the majority of the internet population. This shift has caused businesses to focus more on developing mobile-friendly websites and apps. As businesses and marketers, we must remember this trend and design our content and strategies accordingly.

While we have seen more mobile-friendly sites, many businesses with a website still haven’t made their site mobile-friendly. Unfortunately, this leaves a lot of potential customers unable to access their content. Your website AND its information must be accessible from a mobile device. If it is not, you are losing potential customers.

About the Author

Susan Merlo, Founder of The Digital Distributor, isn't just a consultant; she's a catalyst for growth. She and her team deliver strategies, tools, and training that bridges distributors' traditional selling methods with digital marketing and lead generation.

"I believe the digital sales and marketing strategies that are available today can level the playing field for any distributor, regardless of size. In fact, today there's no reason for any distributor to be left behind.

For that reason, we provide Done-FOR-You Services for those distributors who do not have the staff, bandwidth or budget to implement these strategies on their own.

We also deliver Done-WITH-You Services that include everything from getting your staffing in place to training your sales and marketing teams on what works and how to implement and manage these strategies on their own."

To learn more about the value distributors can glean from even the very basics of implementing digital sales and marketing strategies, be sure to subscribe to our blog, below.