Who doesn’t like a website that looks beautiful and fits perfectly on any screen that may be used to access it?
You view it on your MacBook? No problem. You bring it up on your iPhone, no problem. You view it on your iPad? It’s still all stunningly laid out and makes excellent use of the space it occupies regardless of the size of the device.
There’s something intelligent and downright delightful about such a design, isn’t it? It’s compelling, user-friendly, and turns out, it’s also good for business.
If you are still on the fence, or caught up between whether you should develop a separate mobile site or create a responsive web design (RWD), the following might enlighten you a bit.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you must have noticed that the use of mobile devices has skyrocketed. Nearly everyone owns a smartphone and is deeply connected to the ever expanding virtual world, whether it be for social networking, learning a new skill, shopping, watching movies or finding soulmates.
Since every business is expected to have a website, it’s imperative that every website is responsive to all the many kinds of screens through which the internet is accessed these days. Regardless of the demographics you target, the use of mobile devices is up across generations, age groups and geographic regions. Chances are your website will be accessed through a phone or a tablet.
By all means, create a fantastic user experience through your desktop website. Bear in mind that because so many people would be accessing it via their mobile device, if the website does not load well on a different screen or isn’t optimized for it, you will be delivering a less-than-stellar experience for a significant number of that audience.
A non-responsive website, therefore, defeats the whole purpose of a website or only accomplishes it halfway.
Now the good news is that many small businesses are yet to fully comprehend the extent of advantages they will reap with a thoughtfully designed responsive web design.
As per one study, only half of small businesses have responsive websites.
So if you decide to create one, it is easy to see how it will translate into a competitive advantage in your particular niche.
Due to the nature of responsive websites, people love the ones that load fast, are well-suited for small screens, are easy to navigate and scroll through, and also intuitively laid out for them to find the relevant information and make quick purchase decisions.
Google’s own research has found that local searches made through mobile devices often lead to some action or the other, whether it involves making a purchase, a reservation, or even a physical visit to the brick and mortar store. Eighty percent of these searches result in a conversion.
Aren’t those numbers music to your ears?
By investing in a responsive site you will be able to deliver a seamless user experience, which would want users to stay on. Since most local searches are carried out with a specific purpose in mind, a website that responds to users’ needs fluently stands a greater chance of earning their trust and hence business.
Google is all about bringing to its users the best and the most relevant results.
Even with desktop searches, the quality of a website and the relevance of content on it makes a tremendous difference to its search rank. Other factors matter too, but no one can argue the importance of an up-to-date and user-friendly website with top-notch content.
Now take that understanding and apply it to the mobile arena. We are all so mobile that we do not want to wait until we are in front of our laptops or desktops to carry out that specific search we have had on our minds for some time now, or which may just have popped up in our heads. Our phones can fetch that information for us in an instant any time we want, so why wait?
What would be preferable to users – 1) a website perfectly optimized for their phones and tablets, loads fast, keeps up with trends and makes it super easy to find the information they need on the go or 2) a website that looks exactly the same as it does on the desktop, takes forever to load, and has so many menus and content that users don’t know where to look, or they keep clicking on the wrong buttons because there are so many of them situated close to each other.
Most consumers would prefer the first scenario, which is why Google rewards responsive websites with a better showing in mobile search results. You think about that for a minute and let the importance of a responsive web design sink in.
In addition to scoring a better ranking and receiving greater traffic, the content on a responsive site would also get shared more because it would be easy to do so. All those social plugins conveniently located right below an informative blog post? Why wouldn’t people share it?
It would also become easier for users to share the website url itself if the content is top-quality and highly relevant to their needs.
While a desktop website with similar attributes would perform well, too, it might create a minor inconvenience for its users to share content if it is not fully optimized for mobile, which has different needs. Besides, if a website is responsive, it will work equally well on the devices of the persons you share the content with. So nothing is lost in the sharing AND you’ll have lots more potential readers!
Let’s say you started purchasing something on a website through your desktop but were not able to complete the process for some reason. The smart merchant sends a push notification to your phone the next day, reminding you of the items sitting in your cart waiting for you. You’re thankful for the reminder and want to finish the process but because you are on a lunch break sitting by a bench, you only have your phone with you. You click on the notification, it loads the website and guides you through the payment process. All smooth as silk.
Only a responsive web design can offer that kind of experience to users when they move from one device to another. Think of all the potential business you would lose if you had to wait for the user to return to their desktop search.
The mobile world moves quickly. It’s important for businesses to understand the changing consumer behavior, patterns, and preferences and adapt accordingly. It’s not about adhering to some trend, but understanding why a trend is popular and how it can affect your business. When you look at it that way, you will find no reason not to switch to a responsive design with urgency.
If you need help updating your website to be more friendly to mobile users, contact us!
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