The Importance of Responsive Web Design

The Importance of Responsive Web Design
March 5, 2016 Kris Asleson

A Must-Have for Effective Websites: The Need for ‘Responsive Design’

If you’re a marketing professional or business owner who relies on others to manage your website, you still need to know and understand this term: Responsive Web Design. In just the last few years, this aspect of website functionality has become invaluable for attracting visitors to websites, keeping them there longer, and converting them into customers. Even if you just invested in a redesign, it’s important to understand that a non-responsive site puts your business at a major disadvantage to its competition.

What is Responsive Web Design?

The last few years have seen a massive, unanticipated-in-scope migration of people accessing the internet – and your website – from regular computer screens or laptops to a wide range of devices with vastly different screen sizes, dimensions, and displays. Responsive web design, in simple terms, means that the site has been strategically laid out and coded so that it looks and works equally well on every type of device on the market today, from cell phones to laptops, tablets to desktop monitors.

It goes far beyond just ‘resizing a page’ – a responsive website needs to adjust text, the page layout and images, how your website navigation displays, PLUS adjusting for vertical or horizontal aspect ratios, and more besides. And all these modifications must be executed seamlessly in order to deliver the best viewing and navigation experience possible for each device’s unique requirements.

Importantly, the benefits accruing from a responsive website go well beyond just the user experience.

Better Search Engine Rankings

Recent changes to the major search engine algorithms, including Google, have allocated better placement ranking in search results to websites that are mobile-friendly. This makes responsive web design a key part of any search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. In a world where roughly 60% of all traffic comes from organic search, and conversion rates from these searches are significantly higher than other sources, it’s easy to see why search engine optimization (SEO) is critical. Building a responsive website is a strong step to achieving better SEO results and higher search result rankings.

Social Conversion

Social media is a wonderful, growing tool for businesses to engage directly with their fans and followers. A responsive website means you can better market your services, online store, etc. to your customers who are constantly checking their social media feeds on their phones. If you have a responsive website that looks and works great on that phone, you can increase your traction in the social space. Plus, you will have much lower drop-off rates once a Facebook fan clicks that link to buy your latest product.

responsive web design

We built a responsive website for a local YMCA which worked very well for its large social following and on-the-go customer base.

Competitive Advantage

Over half of all web browsing is now done through mobile or tablet use. However, less than 20% of websites today are fully responsive. That means that there is a potential opportunity (going by fast) to win customers, boost traffic and enhance your brand by being one of the first in your industry giving potential customers or clients the best possible user experience across all of their devices. 2014 marked the first year that mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic as a whole. If your website isn’t responsive it means visitors who came to your site on their tablet or phone likely found it frustrating to read or navigate and quickly bounced to a more user-friendly and visually pleasing competitor.

Why not just have a mobile website in addition to the regular site?

Less headaches and maintenance, for one. If you have a responsive website, you don’t have to worry about maintaining different versions of your website for different screen sizes. Responsive websites automatically adjust to display content properly, no matter if you are on a phone, tablet, or desktop. Not to mention the start-up cost of creating a new site just for mobile users. Brand integrity and overall web experience is much more consistent with a responsive website, unless your business happens to have unlimited marketing resources to develop multiple high-end, custom websites within your company.

Be Responsive

If your website isn’t currently built around a responsive design platform, don’t wait to address the issue. Your site will need to have this functionality at some point anyway, and with the trends toward mobile device use continuing to snowball, every day you wait puts your business further behind the curve. If you want a free expert assessment of your website to learn more about the options on this front, feel free to get in touch with us directly.

________________________________

Kris Asleson has been immersed in digital marketing since the early days. He was an Ebay Powerseller at 13, and hand-coded a profitable e-commerce website when he was 15 in the early 2000’s. Today, he leverages his expertise to help businesses grow by using digital marketing tactics that reflect the strategically integrated marketing and PR approach offered by the FireCircle Agency, which he co-founded.

Comment (1)

Pingbacks

  1. […] Mobile responsiveness — can your website deliver a strong user experience across phones, tablets and traditional computers? […]

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*