Does your site look good on mobile?
If not then you could quickly begin to fall behind.
It is generally accepted these days that having a good website as part of any business’ marketing strategy arsenal is absolutely imperative. Businesses that do well online are those that approach their web site more as an opportunity to communicate succinctly with a large audience rather than having to have one being some sort of additional hassle. A well designed website, one with a carefully thought out architecture, an inviting user interface that is filled with great active content will work in conjunction with your other marketing channels, both on and offline, becoming an important additional revenue creator.
Up until a few years ago websites were generally static ‘frames’, meaning they were built within a table-based frame work with set dimensions, that remained stuck at these same dimensions on whatever screen size it happened to be viewed on. There was no need to consider any other viewing device other than standard desk-top monitors. Websites were designed with the average desktop monitor resolution in mind and that was that. However things have changed. Drastically. The biggest revolution in the internet and some would argue culture as a whole, has been the introduction of mobile browsing. All ages are now browsing websites in the palm of their hand, this has a huge effect not only on how websites work, but how we use them.
With a 55% increase in smartphone subscriptions in 2012 alone, responsive web design is the future of online marketing.
The advent of the smart phone and tablet meant that almost overnight the playing field changed, people were now carrying their primary browsing device on them, ready to skim the web at any time. The result is that websites now have to work on a small mobile or medium tablet screen as well as desktop monitors. A solid framework website designed for a desktop monitor, won’t work well on a small mobile screen. Text can’t be read without zooming in, and trying to click on buttons or navigate can be a frustrating experience, one that will have people navigating away from a site as quickly as they arrive. This alone is a huge issue.
Responsive Website Design (RWD) is a genuine revolution in web design, building sites that contain modules that intelligently stack and resize to fit whatever sized screen they are viewed on. Responsive sites consist of a fluid framework, one that actively responds to the browser px size. RWD enables the website to actively optimise its layout for viewing on the specific screen size, resizing text, buttons and images, allowing the user to navigate and use the website easily whether on a mobile phone, tablet or desktop.
The most concerning aspect to any business unfortunate to have a non-responsive website is not only in regards to the user experience itself but more importantly, with regards to the fact that a non responsive website will not be listed on Google as highly as a responsive one. Google has been clearly laying out its intent that it will be prioritising mobile friendly sites over those that are not with increasing severity, you can be sure other search engines will follow.
That’s the implicit message in Google’s recent mobile search update. The company is now judging how “mobile-friendly” a site is and is using that metric to weight search results served to mobile devices.
This is an issue that businesses, particularly those in a competitive market place as well as those that rely on web traffic for their business should be addressing with immediate effect. The longer a site is left as an out of date static framework the more damage is being done. The longer a site is left online without being responsive the further it will fall down those listings, allowing competitors to take advantage. For example an Estate Agent that has a non-responsive website will, unequivocally be loosing out to those that do both in terms of bounce rate and search engine rankings, both of which ultimately result in less enquiries.
Test your website on a mobile device, if it does not respond, (change its layout at all), stack and resize to fit the new browser size then you need to act now. There really is no grey area.
Google is making plans to penalise your search rankings. All the valuable SEO your site has currently could be for naught if your site isn’t viewable on a mobile device.
Why you should act now
1. Companies with responsive sites will be listed above those without
2. The longer a site remains unresponsive the further and more rapidly it will loose traction online
3. Most users will visit your site from a mobile device
4. Non responsive sites will put people off making enquires through your website
5. A responsive site will cover all mobile devices meaning you don’t need multiple URLs
6. Google recommends responsive web design as the industry best practice for websites. (Forbes)
7. You will be loosing business
8. Rectifying this in the future will be a far more costly exercise
It is already evident in certain industries such as property, finance, entertainment and hospitality that having a well built responsive website translates directly to an increase in traffic and increase customer enquiries and revenue. Right now it is not too late to act, so we recommend clients act now and get ahead of those that don’t as there is real danger that companies ignoring the issue will end up being left in a position they can not claw back from without significant financial investment in both SEO and development. If you have a non responsive website the best money you can spend on marketing right now is a new responsive site. Now is the time to update.