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hat is Responsive Web Design?
The rapid increase and popularity of smart devices such as tablets and phones has created a serious demand for websites
that are viewable on smaller screens. Look around over the next couple days and you’ll hardly notice anyone that doesn’t
have a smart phone. You’ll also notice that most are actively searching, communicating or playing games.
Responsive Web Design (RWD) has been a huge leap forward in optimizing the experience a site visitor has on these smaller devices. Your potential customers are faced with hundreds of choices when they search for products and services. If your web content is difficult or awkward to view, you will not just inconvenience customers; you will lose them. It takes a fraction of a second for users to form an opinion about your website and ultimately determines whether they will stay or leave.
Why is RWD important for your small business?
- 75% of Americans admit to bringing their phone to the bathroom.
- 40% of shoppers consult 3 or more channels (often while shopping) before making a purchase.
- 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop.
- 64% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind.
- 70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour.
- 78% of retailers plan to invest in mobile this year.
Pros of Responsive Web Design
Lots of advantages come with the implementation of responsiveness in web design, here are a few:
- It saves money. As a business owner you only have to pay for the development of one website.
No mobile apps or mobile websites are necessary. This also cuts down on monthly support and maintenance cost.
- It saves time. Having one site also makes it easy to update and saves a lot of time. With
the right strategy, RWD allows for the same content to be used across all channels that you are trying to reach.
- It helps your SEO efforts. Having a consistent URL for desktop and mobile users and search
bots, increases the efficiency and findability of the site.
- It helps your website perform better. Using a mobile-first-approach, can lead to cleaner
and better performing websites on all devices.
- It helps your customers find information easier. Using RWD in your site design means the
website will get a lot more visitors who are using different mobile devices, such as smart tablets and phones.
- Google recommends a responsive web design. Google recommends webmasters follow the industry
best practice of using responsive web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices and using only CSS Media Queries to decide the rendering on each device.
Is a responsive website right for you?
The question to ask in regards to making a decision on whether or not to invest in a responsive web design comes down to knowing your customers. How are they searching for you? What devices are they using? Will they potentially be looking for you while on the go (ie. Restaurants near me)? No strategy should ever be implemented before doing the customer research and is the case when deciding on your mobile strategy. Chances are high that your potential customers are using a smart phone or own a tablet and prefer these devices to access the internet. For most local small businesses I recommend going with a responsive website but also suggest to start by asking why. Why do we need this?
Schedule a consultation with a web professional to see if a responsive web site would benefit you.
P.S. You can use Google’s mobile friendly test tool to see if your site is mobile responsive.
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