It's not enough to have a website that is packed with useful content and optimized for SEO. To continue to get the best exposure to current and potential customers, you need to have a site created with responsive design. Responsive design is design that adjusts to fit every screen, no matter how big or small. While this can seem like a minor thing, especially if it requires migrating your site to a new platform, it can actually be decisive in your digital marketing marketing success.
A few reasons responsive design is a must:
Fifty-one percent all time spent online is now spent on mobile phones. And, as more people move to tablets and larger-screened phones, that number is only going to rise.
When surfers have trouble using a site, they navigate away. And, each person who leaves your site because they can't properly access it is an opportunity lost.
Would you advertise your business in a newspaper that was failing or one that was increasing readership day by day? You want to be where your customers are. By making your site fit the browsing habits of the people you want to reach, you can ensure that you will get the exposure you need.
Mobile phones are far from standardized. There are dozens of Android handsets on the market, each with different screen sizes and resolutions, not to mention iPhones, which have their own large market share. Instead of optimizing for a specific screen size and browser and hoping that you've picked the one that is most commonly used among your audience, responsive design lets your audience's screen govern how your site appears. It doesn't matter whether they are on their desktop at home, their tablet or their phone on the go, they get an equally pleasant user experience.
When it comes to search engine optimization, Google is the primary search engine we optimize for. And, when Google made mobile-friendliness an important part of their ranking criteria, responsive design was one of their recommendations.
There is no secret formula to ranking well on Google. They keep their algorithms private. However, they have dedicated deep research to how people use the web and craft their search engine offerings to match that. They've also always been up front about their desire to give sites that serve users' needs better placement. By providing a site that fits with Google's suggested best practices, you increase your chances of ranking well on the searches relevant to your business.
Before responsive design took hold, many webmasters chose to make a mobile version of their sites to meet the needs of people on mobile phones. However, these mobile sites often had fewer features than the full versions of the websites. Surfers would have to switch to the full site if they wanted to access certain pages, and these pages did not always work well on a mobile screen. This led to frustrated prospects, which can mean the difference between them going to your business or someone else.
With responsive design, there is no need to maintain a separate mobile site. Surfers can access your full website no matter what device they are using.
You could make separate mobile and desktop versions of your site. But, that would mean keeping two sets of code up to date and doing SEO campaigns for two sites. With responsive design, every change you make is put into effect on your site across the board. This can save considerable time and money that would otherwise be spent updating two sites and essentially duplicating your work. Freeing up this portion of your workload or budget means that you have more resources to dedicate to other marketing activities.
If your site is broken into desktop and mobile versions, that means updating both. But, there are chances that changes will not make it to both versions. This can leave mobile or desktop users in the dark about changes to your address, operating hours or other important information. Having a single, unified responsive design means that there are no out of date pages that can hamper a user's online experience with your business.
The move from a standard website to one based on responsive design can seem like a large and unwieldy investment. But, once the transition is made, you have a site that runs better, is easier to update and that gives every prospect who reaches your site the same excellent user experience. Talk to us today about how we can update and streamline your site to make it work for every user who arrives there, no matter what their interface.