Whether business-to-business or business-to-consumer, businesses need a strong web presence that translates across platforms in order to succeed. Mobile usage has exploded over the last decade and is expected to continue in an upward trend. According to statista.com, there are now more than 207 million smartphone users and mobile usage represents 63.4% of all internet usage. With this reality in mind, search engines such as Google have created guidelines for websites to implement in order to be included in mobile searches.
Unlike the early days of the web, in order to increase sales, websites need to be built with visual appeal, function, relevant content, and responsive web design in mind.
What is responsive web design?
So what is responsive web design? Responsive web design means that a website is designed to adapt for use on multiple platforms, that it provides optimization for SEO, traffic and user experience and conveys an active online presence. Essentially, responsive web design ensures that users can find your website in a web search and that once they get to your site the user experience is smooth and friendly on a PC, mobile phone or tablet.
How a responsive web design works for your business
With well over half of web searches starting on mobile devices, responsive web design should be a top priority for all businesses with a web presence. Most of us have clicked on a link or visited a website on our mobile device that is obviously not optimized for mobile use. We know this because you can’t click on the phone number to auto-populate into your phone function or because you have to zoom in then scroll from side to side to read the web content. Essentially, the user interface design is terrible. How long are you willing to search for information on a site that is both visually and functionally unappealing? For most people it’s only a few seconds before they jump off and find a more user-friendly site. As a result, a responsive web design can literally make or break the sale.
Apart from working across platforms, businesses should ensure that all hyperlinks are working, that the site is recognized as an industry authority by posting relevant content on a regular basis, that content is refreshed as needed, and that contact information is easy to find on every page of the website. All of these factors must be considered in the context of guiding the user through a user journey that will end with them contacting the business or making an online purchase.
Top benefits of responsive web design
- SEO compatibility and higher rankings on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Search engine algorithms recognize a positive user experience across platforms, which means that responsive websites are placed higher on SERPs and get more traffic.
- Brand consistency and user engagement. A positive, consistent, intuitive user experience (UX) across platforms increases brand consistency and user engagement. Visitors will also be better able to recognize the passion, enthusiasm and commitment to your business which translates into them believing in what your business can do for them. This means that people will be more likely to want to visit again, consider buying from your business and refer you to a friend.
- Ideal user journey. Users are guided through the ideal user journey which means more leads, sales and revenue.
- Cost efficiency. Having one version of your website that adapts across platforms saves money.
- On-the-go access. Your site can be easily accessed while people are out and about during their day which makes it easier for them to make a purchase or contact you.
Inspiration for adapting responsive web design
If you aren’t sure where to start or what changes you should be making to create a responsive web design, here are a couple of ideas. Take a look at your own and your competitor’s mobile sites to gauge visual appeal. Next, walk through the user experience on these websites and make notes about where you felt frustrated or how the journey could have been improved. Ideally, business owners will contact an experienced web designer who can pull analytics and create a responsive website tailored to individual needs that will help grow the business.
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