We all know the old saying: “dress to impress.” And until mankind can reach a general consensus that comfort and convenience trump aesthetics, the saying will continue to apply to a wide range of activities from social events to professional opportunities, and even first dates! That being said, have you taken notice of the most fashionable and impressive changes in website development? I’m referring to responsive web design.
Responsive web design is laying-out and coding a website to provide the most optimal viewing experience, regardless of the device being used. In other words, as a user switches from a laptop to a tablet or smartphone, the website will automatically restructure itself to respond to the user’s screen size. It’s a one-size-fits-all fashion statement that you shouldn’t overlook if you’re serious about search engine marketing and optimization.
Here’s why it’s essential that content marketers dress their sharpest with responsive website layouts.
In recent years, designers were fond of developing a “mobile version” and “desktop version” of their website. This was a step in the right direction, as marketers were accounting for the growing number of users who navigated sites using their phones; however, it came at a hefty price. Two websites equal two products to design, develop and manage.
With responsive website design, your investment in a website will result in one streamlined solution. Responsive is more cost-effective than creating separate mobile and desktop versions of a website (not to mention the simplification of maintenance).
You can also consider it a safe bet that responsive website design will prepare your site for the future. There’s a plethora of devices on the market you can use to surf the web: gaming consoles, e-readers, different models of phones and tablets, and probably a few new devices that have been developed since you clicked on this post (I’m joking). With new technology constantly emerging, responsive layouts are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Optimal User Interface
Responsive web design was created to provide an optimal user experience. Google focuses heavily on user experience and wants to return search results that are most desirable to its users. Responsive sites have just one URL and the same HTML, which makes it more efficient for Google to index and organize. In return, this affects website users by making the content of the site much easier to share across varying online channels.
According to statistics from SEOCIAL, 48% of users said that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphone it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business. Ouch! What’s even more shocking is that 48% of users also complained that websites were not optimized for mobile devices. Having to resize a page several times or scroll horizontally and vertically to reach the end of a sentence is far from optimized, so it’s easy to understand why a user would elect to navigate their web surfing (and business) elsewhere.
Fortunately, the days of poorly optimized sites will slowly start coming to a close. Consumers and web developers alike can rejoice in the fact that, as of April 21, 2015, Google laid down the law on how responsive websites rank higher in search results than non-responsive websites. This is no small fact to be left unchecked. When the authority of website searches changes the rules of best practice, you really have no option but to adapt to them. That’s why it’s not only important to have a responsive website design, it’s essential.
Consumers and web developers alike can rejoice in the fact that, as of April 21, 2015, Google laid down the law on how responsive websites rank higher in search results than non-responsive websites.
Improved Conversion Rates
Up until now, I’ve presented the benefits of developing a responsive website design but haven’t even touched on the main reason websites exist in the first place, which is to provide useful content to users.
A good website is capable of engaging visitors and converting them into online leads when they fill out forms. A satisfied user is much more likely to become a quality lead, or at least share content with their peers, which expands reach and, of course, provides more potential customers the opportunity to discover the responsive website since satisfying Google’s metrics for a well optimized site will increase your chances of displaying higher in search rankings.
One last statistic to drive home the importance of integrating a responsive design to your website: according to SEOCIAL, 67% of users are more likely to make a purchase with a smartphone on a mobile-friendly site than on a non-mobile optimized site. With that in mind, is your site only suitable to one third of your potential customers?
In conclusion, responsive website design is no longer a fashionable trend, as some predicted; it’s the new standard. You wouldn’t willfully show up to a cocktail party in flip flops and jeans, and you shouldn’t let your website go on display for the world without careful consideration of the impression it’s going to leave on others. If you feel like your website’s wardrobe could use an update, and you’re ready to dress to impress, email Martin Thoma at firstname.lastname@example.org.