The numbers are so skewed that even the word “staggering” seems conservative. More than half of all web traffic is accessed through a smartphone. Guess what? If you think we’re still living in a desktop/laptop world, you’re wrong. Those stodgy old devices are nearly as anachronistic as a dinosaur grazing in your backyard. If you don’t optimize your website for mobile devices, you’re essentially telling half the potential customers in the world, “I don’t want your business.” Still don’t believe us? Here are the primary benefits of responsive web design which are the important reasons why your company should have it.
1. The World is Mobile
The term “responsive design” means a website is designed to adapt itself across a variety of devices. A responsive website should look good on both a large screen laptop and a tiny smartphone screen, the latter with a minimum of scrolling and resizing. The reality is that 1.2 billion people access the Internet via smartphone. Another way to look at it is that 80 percent of all Internet users have a smartphone. There was a day when website owners could afford to ignore this market segment, but those days are long gone, never to return. A non-responsive website now looks hopelessly old-fashioned.
2. A Different Breed
It turns out the assumption that all Internet users consume content the same is wrong. Smartphone users view a disproportionately high amount of visual media, mainly images and short video. Your circa-1995 website that was stuffed full of text, might literally put the Short Attention Span Generation (SASG) to sleep. Smartphones have penetrated deep enough into public use that you must cater to their visual cravings. Assuming that you prefer success to failure, you can’t afford to not make the tweaks needed to tap into the world of social media and apps. There’s something else we haven’t mentioned about smartphone users.
3. They’re Buyers!
Depending upon the price point of your product or service, you may actually create more revenue targeting this market segment. The numbers have been stable for a while now – smartphone users spend less per transaction but buy more frequently. If you sell products for under $10, you absolutely need to increase your website’s responsiveness. In interesting twist, tablets, other mobile devices, have the highest total per transaction. But if your website looks bad on their screen, or won’t function properly, ain’t nobody going to be buying anything from you.
4. Landing Pages
Landing pages are a huge deal for internet marketers. They spend hours tweaking design and copy until they get a hot one and sales take off. The bad news is that what works for your traditional website isn’t any good for the tiny screen. It’s liable to look like a jumbled mess that screams, “Go away and don’t spend any money here!” You need to tweak your mobile landing page to the following criteria:
- 5 word headline
- Minimalist design
- Big, bright CTA (Call To Action) button
- Super-fast page loading
If you thought laptop and desktop users were impatient, wait until you get a load of the mobile crowd. You have about two seconds to to deliver worthwhile content or they’re gone.
5. Google Wins Again
There is one overriding reason to take this responsive web design stuff seriously. Google likes responsive websites and gives them preference in search engine rankings. With each algorithm update it announces, the search engine giant shows how much of a preference it gives responsive design. If you want to continue to gain organic traffic, or even not lose what you have, get mobile-friendly. Kind of like the hulk, don’t make Google angry. You won’t like them when they’re angry at your website for being stuck in the 1990s.
6. Branding for Mobiles
Your brand should be developed independent of concerns about laptop, desktop, or mobile. Effective branding, once created, can be applied to any form of marketing or platform. Factors that go into conceiving and propagating a brand are:
- Defining purpose – what unique promise does your business bring into the world?
- Be consistent – don’t muck up the message by drifting away from the core message.
- Create emotion – an emotional response trumps a rational one every time.
- Loyalty – reward loyal customers with special deals.
- Awareness – be aware of what the competition is doing.
Obviously, volumes have been written about how to create an effective brand – more than can be discussed in this article. Google the topic and see where it takes you.
We hope the preceding discussion forces you to realize that the future is here and it looks a lot like a smartphone or tablet. If you’ve been ignoring the concept of responsive design, hoping it will go away, please stop right now. The world is changing faster than ever, and you don’t want to be the one selling candles in a light bulb world. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to create a responsive website. Software like WordPress has plenty of easily-installed themes with included responsive features.
Riya Sander is a writer from Australia. She holds a bachelor’s of Business Administration(Marketing). She is delighted to work with aspiring small business owners. Apart from her marketing expertise, she always enjoys reading pocketbook, cooking, and traveling. Follow her on Twitter.