We talk a lot about blogging and online marketing here on the GBW Blog.
Those are things that business owners and managers care about and today we want to discuss something that’s an extension of all online marketing and that’s responsive design.
There are countless studies showing how people are using smartphones. A recent one from Nielsen found that the number of US phone users that have smartphones increased to a 65% share in 2013, which was up from a 52% share last year.
People are accessing the web with all types of devices. The biggest change for businesses is the smartphone. The screen is so much smaller than a computer or even a tablet. It’s a completely different experience for users.
If your online experience is not up to par with the competition you’re going to lose customers. And you’re not just losing customers to your direct competition. In the online world you’re in competition with everyone that’s vying for consumer attention.
A change we made to the GBW website in 2013 was to implement a responsive website. We focused on what the experience would be for visitors on their smartphones before worrying about the experience on computers.
Yes, a lot of people still visit this site and others on their computers, but the trend is for this share to be skewed more towards smartphones in the future. It might not be a complete shift, but it’s a shift that will see a higher percentage of smartphone use in the coming years. There is no reason to ignore it.
What’s great about responsive design is that you put in time up front to create an experience that’s good on multiple screen sizes. Then once the site is live you only have to worry about one site, one domain with one set of URLs.
Even Google is singing the praises of responsive design:
We recommend using responsive web design because it has many good aspects.
When Google is on board it’s time to pay attention.
But don’t take Google’s word for it. There are a number of people endorsing responsive design.
Here are a few of these smart people.
1. Jon Sainsbury of Blue Nile
That young customer was migrating to tablets and mobile devices. We needed to be device-agnostic, and we needed to give people a simple, consistent brand experience across platforms. And our site, basically, was due for a facelift.
2. Michael David of Tasty Placement
Responsive design is the best approach to getting business customers that are using mobile devices into your sales cycle.
3. Christopher Ratcliff of Econsultancy
This [Fallen Hero responsive design] is solid proof that there’s a huge untapped market of tablet users out there, desperate for ecommerce sites to offer responsive design and improve their shopping experience on the always-connected device sat next to them at home.
4. Chris Mulieri of the FDA
To meet the needs of our mobile visitors without creating a separate mobile website, we turned to a proven web development approach called responsive design.
5. Lois Boyd of Hertz
Implementing responsive design technology is a part of our ongoing commitment to customer service. We’ve proactively launched this design to create a user-friendly experience no matter whether customers access Hertzequip.com via a touch-screen mobile device, tablet or PC. We will continue to develop our website and other digital channels in order to provide customers a best in class experience.
6. Carolyn Nye of USADATA
We’re making sure the landing pages and the site itself are mobile-friendly, so customers can load their shopping cart and complete the purchase process easily.
We’ve had to turn down clients when we’ve tried explaining that there’s no point in viewing a responsive design email for the customer if you’re sending them to a site they can’t effectively view on their phones.
We don’t want to invest effort developing new templates for a client and then see that the changes didn’t positively affect the conversion rates. The best responsive design emails will go to waste if the landing page or site provides a horrible experience on a mobile device.
7. Christopher Mathieu of HubSpot
Now, more than ever before, it is essential that our website is accessible across multiple devices. As our customer’s behavior is changing, we need to evolve with them, and we feel that optimizing your website using responsive design is a no-brainer.
8. Michael Arney of Little
With a significant portion of web traffic moving towards tablet and mobile, it was imperative that we addressed the browsing experience needs of our users. I was confident that as long as we were using a responsive framework like Bootstrap and an easy-to-use CMS like WordPress we’d be setting ourselves up for long-term success.
9. Matt Cutts Of Google
You don’t need to worry about any SEO drawbacks of responsive design at all.
10. Sarah of Sarah Lynn Design
To be frank, all websites should be responsive.
The design process needs to change to a multi-device mindset. Content strategy is where you should start. If you wouldn’t put it on a small screen then it doesn’t belong on the desktop site either.
Do you have a responsive website in the works for 2014?
It might be time to move it up the priority list.