Even if you’re not familiar with the term “Responsive Design,” you’ve probably seen it in action. Think of one website so flexible that it seamlessly changes its appearance depending on the size of the user’s screen. It’s a must in an era when 90% of American internet users use multiple screens consecutively and 40% of people abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load (uberflip, Econsultancy).
Content Marketing might have been the new buzzword around the office in 2013, but 2014 is the year of responsive web design. From basic WordPress sites to websites running more robust web applications like Magento, responsive design makes your website stronger. And here’s why:
- An industry best practice – Whether on your mobile, tablet, or desktop browser, responsive design sites have one URL and the same HTML, making it more efficient for search engines to crawl, index, and organize content. Plus, when Google is the one calling responsive design an industry best practice, you should probably listen. They might just know what they’re talking about.
- One website, no matter the device – Your website visitors no longer have to be annoyed by a watered-down mobile version of your site or different versions between their cell phones and their laptops. With responsive design, users can have a consistent experience as your website shifts and resizes to match the viewer’s screen-size. Navigation and readability remain intact.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – SEO efforts can be time consuming. Isn’t it better to put forth your energies on one website rather than two (if you’re debating an additional mobile site)? There are different SEO techniques when it comes to mobile, but there is no reason those cannot be implemented into any website.
- Ease of Maintenance – When you make frequent updates to your website, which we recommend you do (content marketing remains essential!), it’s a lot easier to update one site than two. Marketers are often strapped for time. This is one place they can save it.
- Cost – We mentioned that this is all one website, right? (Maybe just a few times.) Rather than putting forth your time and money on a separate mobile venture, utilizing responsive design kills two digital birds with one virtual stone. Thus, building one website is more efficient on multiple levels.
Some might look at the data out there and make an argument for a mobile website. It’s true that “62% of companies that designed a website specifically for mobile had increased sales” (Econsultancy); however, there’s no rule that a business’s mobile-friendly website has to be a unique mobile version. What does this all mean? Make sure you don’t lose sales, referrals, or other traffic by ignoring this major market segment.
Responsive design may be a buzzword of 2014, but it’s not a passing fad that will fade once the Sochi Olympics and this year’s continued superhero sequels are behind us. Making sure your website is ready for all potential readers is essential. Yes, we agree with Google. In 2014, responsive design is our recommended answer to website versatility and influence.
Image courtesy of jannoon028 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net