Smartphones are changing the way we see the world – literally!
The size of a smartphone screen drastically changes our online viewing experience. More and more people are turning to their smartphones before their laptops. People are looking up products and services on-the-go – 60% of people, to be exact. That means businesses who want to lead against their competition online need to provide a fantastic viewing experience for smartphones, laptops, tablets, and any type of screen. The first step in the right direction is a fully responsive website.
What is Responsive Web Design (RWD)?
A website with responsive web design offers a seamless viewing experience, no matter what screen it’s being viewed on. Often, a responsive website is designed to reformat depending on the screen size. Text and photos will rearrange and reappear in the right places when it resizes. Functional pieces of the website may also reformat. Menus, links, and effective scrolling should be easily accessible at any size.
It’s not just smartphones that make responsive web design necessary, either. Consider how many different devices we use in a day. Most of us have laptops or home computers, and a smartphone. Many of us also use iPads and tablets. Some of us use wide-screen TV’s for streaming from our other devices. It’s important to make sure a website is designed to be used anywhere, on any device. But it’s about far more than just your website’s appearance.
Let’s break down the most important ways responsive web design helps your website, and in turn, your business.
Responsive Websites Improve SEO
Google loves responsive websites. That’s because there is a solid intention behind Google’s algorithms; they want to help people find high-quality information or entertainment.
As “black hat” SEO companies find ways to cheat the system, Google tries to find ways to reward genuinely useful websites (not just those that are backlinked and stuffed with keywords). One of the shifts has been in rewarding responsive websites, because they are helpful to users regardless of the viewing screen or device. For Google, user experience is a critical factor.
Other search engines like Bing and Yahoo function on the same premise, and have similar algorithms. So, in summary, if you want to rank well on search engines, responsive web design goes a long way.
And remember… Better SEO = More leads, more conversions, and more sales!
Responsive Websites Won’t Distract or Confuse Customers
If you’ve ever experienced a website that had text pouring off the edge of the screen, or photos randomly placed in the middle of text, it was because you were looking at an unresponsive website.
A business website that isn’t helpful to customers defeats the purpose of a website. If you’re going to invest in a website, it’s worth the added expense to make sure that website is always fully functional.
Responsive Websites Prevent Frustration
Remember that study that was published a few years ago that said humans now have the attention span of goldfish? Well, whether or not that study was 100% accurate, it did hone in on an important habit we’ve developed when browsing through search engine results – we easily abandon anything that does not provide the immediate response we were looking for. As a species, we’ve grown incredibly impatient. And why shouldn’t we be? No one has time to spend half an hour searching for the answer to a question, or finding a product they want. And even if we did, we wouldn’t do it, simply because we don’t have to.
The instant client becomes frustrated with your website, he or she will move on immediately. No questions asked. No way around it.
Competition. If your competition has a more responsive site that doesn’t cause frustration (and believe us – they do!) then your client will simply move on.
As a general rule of thumb, clients should never have to:
Zoom in or out to read text, view pictures, or tap links
Scroll through excessive white space, inessential information, or unnecessary design
Wait excessively long for a page to load
At your office or store, you would never ask your client to do extra work that could otherwise be avoided. If you did, the same thing would happen in-person as it does online; they’d simply leave and move on to someone else!
This leads into the last point…
A Great Customer Experience Before They’ve Purchased
Responsive websites respect your customers’ needs and time. Remember that your digital presence is acutely tied to your physical presence. You want customers to perceive right away that you respect their time and are capable of providing a flawless experience – in-person or online. Set that expectation right away, and you’ll get the calls, clicks, and purchases you want.
How to Design a Responsive Website
Designing a responsive website can be challenging. It usually requires strong back-end programming.
If you need help with responsive web design, Magnolias Consulting has the tools to help. Get in touch with us today so we can design a responsive website that will turn your digital marketing into a profit-generating machine.
Not sure if your website is responsive? You can run Google’s “mobile friendly test”to see if you make the cut!