We have finally reached the point where more people are accessing the internet with smartphones and tablets than with laptops or desktops for. This fact is probably not surprising, but it can spell disaster for companies that haven’t optimized their websites for responsive web design. Mobile device use has increased dramatically in the past decade. Since 2014, mobile has been the primary platform for internet access in America, eclipsing traditional desktop and laptop computers.
Why Responsive Web Design is So Crucial
Overall, about 63% of all Americans own smartphones, but some demographics report even higher rates – 86% of people in the 18-to-29 age bracket and 83% of the people in the 30-to-49 bracket own smartphones. This indicates it’s time for a dramatic shift in how companies build websites. Younger generations have grown accustomed to mobile technology. Modern business, commerce, and communication have changed as well. Thanks to instantaneous access to information and hyper-competitive markets, businesses must stay relevant to customers. Investing in robust, reliable mobile browsing is a great way to accomplish this.
There are tangible reasons to focus on mobile-friendly browsing, especially when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Google recently altered its search engine algorithms to offer ranking bonuses to sites that are optimized for mobile viewing. As more people are using smartphone for searches, Google wants to ensure that people see the most-responsive sites first, instead of wading through clunky desktop sites with a touchscreen. The companies that failed to capitalize on this opportunity saw a marked drop in traffic and a significant dent in SEO efforts.
Crafting a Worthy Mobile Site
Investing in a mobile website for your business should be a no-brainer at this point. Without one, you’re missing out on the lion’s share of internet traffic that could be heading to your site. While in the past some companies were able to maintain market relevance by pushing out a mobile version of their regular website, this approach is no longer viable. Don’t attempt to make a separate, mobile-dedicated website for your company or you risk opening the door to a flood of other issues, especially brand recognition if your mobile site doesn’t faithfully represent your main website.
Creating a whole new mobile website may also lead to SEO penalties for duplicate content. Instead of creating an entire mobile site, use responsive design principles when crafting your company website. Responsive design, as the name implies, “responds” to the platform on which it is viewed, meaning the site will essentially optimize itself for the screen used to view it. Thanks to the flexibility afforded by responsive design, websites will appear consistent across multiple platforms.
Capitalize on Mobility
Designing for mobile platforms can benefit your website in more ways than simply growing your usual traffic. Mobile location services can allow you to make more-meaningful connections with the visitors to your site by tailoring content relevant to their region, interests, and other data. The insights gained from analyzing data trends and user habits are critical to modern marketing, and you can capitalize on this concept with your own website.
When customers agree to use mobile location services, they are agreeing to have their data collected, and your website will gather data from visitors in accordance with it. Perhaps you notice that users in one area of the country respond to one type of content more positively than another group does in another area. Using mobile location services wisely could enable you to serve your content where it will have the greatest impact. You can also specify your content to the events and issues facing certain areas.
Scalability is the Key
Designing a reliable and high-performing mobile website is going to hinge on scalability. Your website needs to look amazing and perform admirably on a variety of devices, and in most cases accomplishing this is going to require careful and extensive testing. Well-executed responsive design will allow your website to offer a consistent and valuable experience to users on any type of device. Your website should appeal to someone browsing on a sophisticated desktop computer, and he or she should be able to expect a similar experience when switching to a mobile device to browse your content.
Modern business leaders don’t really have a choice when it comes to investing in mobile websites. There is simply too much traffic on mobile platforms to ignore. If your customers don’t seem to be connecting with mobile devices or they seem to spend far less time on your site while browsing with mobile devices, these are likely signs that you should optimize your website for mobile. Doing so will increase overall traffic to your website, open new doors for communicating with your customers, and leave more-lasting impressions on the people who consume your content. Reach out to an Imagine Monkey representative today to see how we can help your business succeed.