The dominance of iPhones, iPods, and other mobile devices has spread through all parts of society. Websites need to make changes in order to meet the needs of this growing segment of their viewing public. Speaking at SMX West last week Google’s Matt Cutts said that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if mobile search exceeded desktop queries this year.
The old model was having to actually create a whole new separate mobile website(i.e. m.anabolictechnology.com). But is there a way to have a website that is equally favorable for both desktops, mobile devices, and tablets? There actually is a design that can handle both types of users. And it’s called responsive design.
What is Responsive Design?
All internet viewers want to see the same information from a website regardless of what device they decide to view it on. Any inconsistencies will stick out like a sore thumb and make once regular visitors not want to come around anymore. A responsive design simply means a website that has been developed so that all of the content, images and structure of the site remains the same on any device(HTML5 is the main coding language). As updates are implemented, special attention has to be paid to how it affects usability of the website on other platforms. Responsive Website Design will actually retract to fit the smaller screen where as the desktop version stays the same.
Mobile Usage is Increasing
I don’t know about you, but when I walk around any public location I notice more people are stuck in there phones than actually in the space they occupy. It is incredible! It is as if people are literally mentally and spiritually attached to their phones. None the less, most businesses have not yet picked up on this trend which is actually quite sad. Maybe they could use the following stats from Smart Insights to convince them how much mobile usage has skyrocketed.
- More than 20 percent of Google searches are now being performed on some sort of mobile device.
- In 2012 over half of all local searches were done on a mobile device.
- 25 percent of Internet users only access the internet via a mobile device in the United States.
- 25.85 percent of all emails are opened on mobile phones, with another 10.16 percent being opened on tablets.
- In 2014 mobile Internet usage is expected to overtake desktop usage.
- Out of the 4 billion mobile phones in the world, 1.08 billion are smartphones and 3.05 are SMS enabled.
Recommended by Google
Website owners can’t get away from Google as they claimed 67% of the search market share in 2013. So in my opinion, if google says it recommends responsive design, you probably ought to adjust.
It is actually easier for the google bots to crawl and index not just compared to regular websites, but also the old school style of having a separate mobile website. Search engine optimization is also important here. If you have two separate URLs, it actually messes with google’s algorithms and in effect hurts your SEO. In other words, it’s just bad for business for both Google and all of the websites that aren’t taking advantage of the benefits of responsive design.
Can Increase Conversion Rates
Your website only stands to benefit from being available to the most visitors possible. A website that’s designed with the user in mind will yield the highest possible conversion rates. Figuring out how to boost conversion rates is super important and a whole different topic that will be addressed in another post. One thing is certain, if you do not have a website that works clearly on mobile devices there is no sale or conversion. Again, if a website isn’t functioning on a mobile device, users get frustrated and leave. High bounce rates = low conversion rates. And, that puts everyone in a foul mood. If you are trying to boost your conversion rates, testing tools like https://www.optimizely.com/ will help you bring your responsive website to the next level.
Better User Experience
The creative team attached to a website needs to keep the needs of their users in mind with every move they make. You have to design a website with the least experienced user at the forefront of your creative process. They need to be able to do everything you want them to do without any problems or eyebrow frowns. THINK 5th Grader! You have to remember that, no matter how well your website is designed, there’s someone out there who’s trying to provide their visitors with something similar. Your website needs to be easy to use for it to stay ahead of the game. It would be a bad idea to think that your visitors will tolerate not being able to get to where they want to go.
Easier to Manage
Juggling the responsibilities of implementing SEO campaigns for both regular and mobile versions of your website would be difficult. Why not have one SEO campaign for your website? You already have so much to worry about with your online presence. You might as well avoid complicating matters by adding too many more tasks onto your plate not to mention the wasted budget. You will also keep your developers and content marketers happy. Don’t waste your time or your teams time to provide SEO for both a mobile site and a desktop site.
Stay Ahead of Competition
Succeeding on the internet is something that’s easier said than done. There are so many different web properties that are trying to claim the same piece of the pie. This atmosphere has created a need for people to approach the task of improving their websites relentlessly. It all starts with you making sure that anyone can view your website from whatever device they decide to use. Chances are that your competitors aren’t making use of responsive website design, which means that they are losing out on potential customers. And, that is where you can stay ahead and take those customers away. Comment below with any questions you have!
Interested in a responsive website? See this instant responsive website design price calculator!