|August 23, 2015||No Comments|
In early 2014, businesses had to rethink the way that their websites performed and operated. With internet usage on mobile devices finally surpassing that of the PC, businesses started realizing the exigent demand for their websites to metamorphose into some kind of responsive alter ego. One by one, without even knowing all the reasons why, businesses started paying for web professionals to redesign their websites into some type of magical, responsive being, that looked great on cellphones, tablets, and PCs. Today I’m going to teach you what it means to be responsive, and provide argumentation on why you should finally jump on the bandwagon.
Before I delve in, I’m going to quickly explain what it means to be responsive. Responsive web design is an approach to building websites aimed at providing an optimal and interactive viewing experience across a wide range of devices. Web content should appear like water. You put water in a cup, and it becomes the cup. You put water into a pitcher, and it becomes the pitcher. You put water into a bottle, and it becomes the bottle. And so on and so on. Like the water analysis, responsive web design (RWD) enables your web content to adapt its layout to the viewing environment no matter what the device (from desktop monitors to mobile phones). Let’s get started!
Nothing is more frustrating, then searching for a website from your phone, and landing on a page that is so tiny, that you can’t even read the content or click on links without pinching or zooming. This creates a pitiful user experience. On April 1st 2015, Google announced algorithm changes that will have a momentous impact on mobile search results worldwide, and should put that awful user experience to an end. And since over 50% of users search the web from a mobile phone, you can see the importance of becoming apprehensive about this revision. The update will improve SEO rankings for websites that provide a responsive and mobile friendly viewing experience to users searching from their mobile devices, and relegate sites that do not. This algorithm update only affects mobile search, and does not affect search results from a desktop or laptop computer. Google is by far the world’s most popular search engine. Google averages 100 billion more searches per month then it’s competitors, and has a whopping 62% of the market share. This being said, it’s safe to assume that if “Google Says So”, then you should do it!
The most important aspect to consider when developing a website is the end user. It is very easy to lose sight of the user by getting caught up in the technical aspects of your site. Some times you need to take a step back, and remember for whom your work is actually being performed! Superb user experience, starts with responsive web design. By utilizing layouts that adapt to your user’s device, you can ensure that images remain flexible, page elements resize appropriately, content and navigation remain visible, and there is minimal scrolling, panning, and resizing needed to successfully move around your website. The better the user experience, the more likely your visitors will return to your site, refer friends, or even make a purchase.
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors that come to your site and then leave after only viewing one page. Bounces are a frustrating realism for most website owners. There are over a billion websites on the web, and if your website is not optimized for mobile devices, your visitors will be bound to leave. Mobile users tend to be different than desktop users and tend to be more impulsive and in a hurry to find what they are looking for. This means that they want their information quickly and easily digestible. If they land on your site, and the first page they see is hard to read and not easily navigable, you are bound to lose a large percentage of potential customers. Reducing your bounce rate, will help turn more of your valuable visitors into paying customers.
The main goal of every business, is to convert visitors into customers. Conversion rate refers to the percentage of visitors who turn into customers. Since being mobile friendly will keep your visitors on your site longer, you can only deduce that this will turn into more sales and in turn, higher conversion rates across the board. Studies have shown that ecommerce sites that don’t utilize responsive web design for their checkout page, loose 30% of their potential customers. These are huge numbers! Companies like State Farm, O’Neill Clothing, Time Magazine, and more, have all reported huge increases in conversion rate once going responsive. This is not a coincidence!
The only alternative to creating a mobile friendly site, is producing an app that performs similar functions. This is usually a very tedious task and can be quite costly. The other downfall, is that you would have to create a different app for each platform. You would need to have an app created for Android, Windows, and iPhone to target all of your potential customers. With responsive web design, if done right, you build it once, and it works for all devices. Your website will look amazing in the browser of any Andriod, Windows, or iPhone device, ever created. It’s a no brainer!
As you can see, having a responsive website is an absolute for business owners looking to succeed online. With a little extra work from your webmaster, you can transform your site into an optimal and interactive money making machine, designed to turn your visitors into customers. Let’s take a step out of the stone ages and into the mobile era, and take your business to the next level.