Responsive website design is fast becoming an essential component of your web presence as the internet browsers change their behavior. Users now, rely more on mobile devices than desktops to access the Internet. It is predicted that mobile internet usage will take over desktop internet usage by 2014, and so, there is a greater need to understand these new type of consumers and how best to reach them.
The answer is “responsive website design”. Let’s see how…
One of the most appealing aspects of responsive websites is the ability to dynamically change its display based on the device it is used on – smartphones, tablets or desktops. A site that works well on a multitude of devices will offer a better and more consistent user experience. For example, if a person uses his desktop to browse a site and then decides to open the same on his smartphone but fails, because he needs to locate the desktop version of the site to continue his search; he is more likely to stop searching out of frustration. According to analyst firm Gartner,” About 40 percent of users with bad mobile experience have not returned to the site.” However, with a responsive site, the transition from desktop to mobile will sail smoothly providing the user a positive experience.
Google says, “About 90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal, whether that’s on smartphones, PCs, tablets or TV.” The three most common ways users swap devices are:
1. To search again on the second device,
2. To directly navigate to the destination site, and
3. Via email, that is, to send themselves a link to revisit later.
All these methods depend on link integrity across devices. Google further states that a responsive web design is its recommended mobile configuration, i.e. one URL and the same HTML for all the devices. Google prefers responsive website design because it is easy to crawl, index and organise content (resulting in higher search engine optimisation benefits). This matters, especially when Google is placing a lot of importance on user experience as a ranking factor. So, companies who rely on SEO should start thinking about a responsive website design.
The following image shows how a responsive layout responds to different screen sizes…
The importance of a mobile-friendly website is rapidly rising with 67 percent users claiming that they love to shop from a mobile-friendly website. According to Gartner, 57 percent would not recommend a business with a bad mobile site. This explains why a responsive website will keep you ahead of your competition. A single search will throw up excellent responsive web designs like IndoChino.com, Sony.com, Disney.com, Hubspot.com etc. to name a few that are highly successful on the web. President Obama’s re-election campaign raised $250 million via a responsive website (source: Forbes)
Assuming that, you are getting to realise the importance of responsive website for your business here are more points.
Getting traffic to a website is not easy and once you have successfully done that, the next stage is converting them into paying customers. To ensure a way to capture the traffic and covert them into leads, it’s important that you have a sales-ready website. And the part of this strategy is having your website designed to be responsive. As a responsive website allow users to access information properly irrespective of the device a person is using, it improves the overall experience with the company and the user is not as likely to go to your competitor.
Also, with a responsive website there is no need to build separate site for mobile and desktop. That means the development costs is literally decreased and the costs involved in maintaining separate versions is zero.
There is no denying to the fact that businesses which focus on customers and their needs are the most successful ones. It’s tough to grab the attention of your audience but with timely measures taken its achievable. So if you’re convinced, just enjoy being responsive on the web.