With the ever growing emergence of new devices, tablets, desktops and even browsers, expanding on what feels like a daily basis, statistics now prove that mobile devices account for almost a third of all Internet Traffic in both the UK and Worldwide, following a survey in 2013. After digesting that piece of information, researchers are now predicting that mobile and tablet usage could surpass 50% by the end of the year.
With 91% of the World’s Population now owning a mobile phone, 56% of which own a smartphone, the days of business just owning a website and proving an online presence seem to be long gone. Presenting your website effectively so that it responds and performs successfully on numerous devices is a growing challenge. What do businesses need to do to cater to these demands? Develop two, three even four versions of your website? It is possible, but this would be a very expensive exercise; it will also provide numerous problems and headaches for your web-developers and the search engines. What’s the solution? Responsive Web-Design!
Introduction to Responsive Design
The concept of Responsive Web-Design was first introduced by Ethan Marcotte following an article he had submitted in 2010. Following its continued growth, numerous digital technology and social media websites such as Mashable declared 2013 as ‘The Year Of Responsive Web-Design'.
In its simplest form, a website implementing Responsive Web-Design will provide its users with the best optimal viewing experience possible by adapting the layout using fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images and media queries. This technology means that the website will adapt and change its appearance and layout based on the size of the screen that the website is displayed on. Across a wide range of devices, your website will automatically provides users with easy reading and navigation meaning minimum effort of resizing, panning or scrolling is needed.
More advanced Responsive Web-Design can also be configured to add additional features such as hiding or presenting different information, changing the layout of graphics, fonts and colours or even reducing the site to display more important text or button navigation.
The Future is Responsive
For the first time in over a decade, PC Sales were projected to be lower than they were in the previous year since the dot com internet burst in the late 90’s early 00’s. To add to that, these figures predict that by 2015, Mobile Web users will exceed over 1 billion with desktop’s steadily on the decline. If you’re still not convinced by responsive design, perhaps it’s worth investigating why a non-responsive website might turn away potential customers….
Multiple Users, One Experience
With Tablet sales now expected to reach and exceed 100 Million users by the end of this year, more and more visitors will experience your website on a number of alternative platforms. Put yourself in your audience shoes, surely you want to make the best first impression possible, right? What if your website doesn’t function properly?
Traditionally users would either be re-directed to a device specific site (e.g. mobile), which in turn can become costly if you have to apply multiple versions of your website to please your entire audience, or if simply left your website as it is, you will create all kinds of problems for yourself.
Not only is Flash not supported on the majority of mobile devices, other certain areas of your website may not function properly meaning that certain parts of your website overlap each other, URL links cannot be selected or even pop-ups appearing on the screen stop your website from working. If any of these problems occur, would you re-visit your website? Honestly?
With a responsive design website, you will ensure all your visitors will always be provided with a first-class user friendly experience.
Increase Website Visitors, Increase Website $ALES
Responsive Design will remove the majority of barriers that your competition will most likely face when it comes to turning these visitors into sales. If you were a visitor that was experiencing your website for the first time, you are more likely to return to a website which works perfectly then those that struggle to meet your demands?
If you can access your website with ease from multiple devices, you are less likely to switch to a competitor. If you provide your customers with a positive user-friendly experience you have a better chance to convert these visits into sales.
Improve Search Rankings (Google Recommended)
Providing content is vital for any website, regardless of having multiple versions of your site, a responsive design or even a plain old static website. Content will always be king when it comes to SEO and improving search engine rankings right?
While this is a true statement, Responsive Design provides numerous advantages over both, as not only will you not have to replicate building links and creating content, then repeat the process over and over for other versions of your website, such as mobile, the URL structure will remain the same on all devices, therefore improving your search engine visibility and search engine rankings.
Additionally, Google have openly admitted that responsive design will be more favourable amongst local search engine rankings as not only will Google not have to crawl and index multiple versions of the same site, but it’s easier for users to share, interact and link content between websites (With data even provided by Byte9 Analytics)
With the ever-increasing demand for great content on the various number of tablet and Smartphone devices available, several implications will need to be addressed to stop killing off potential traffic. You would actually be surprised as to what mobile traffic contributes to your overall traffic.
With Responsive Design, not only will this allow you to capitalise on your competition by staying ahead of the trend, and a recommended practice by Google, it will also provide the ultimate user-friendly experience across various devices and screen sizes. Add to that the with the beneficial SEO and local search engine results, it’s for these reason why Responsive Design gets a big thumbs up from untitled™
Is your website Responsive Ready?
Well you’ve seen the statistics and you’ve heard the verdict from a professional web-design agency. It’s pretty clear to see that Responsive Design, particularly Mobile Responsive Design, is very much the present and the near future when it comes to owning a website.
If you feel that it’s perhaps time to upgrade your website to incorporate Responsive Design to stay ahead of the current trend, or if you’re not even sure if your website is responsive-friendly, or how to check your mobile visitors traffic, why not get in touch with the experts for professional advice, free testing or even a natter over a cup of coffee? No matter what the situation, we would love to hear from you. Why not contact James Cox today on 0845 363 7082 or on firstname.lastname@example.org