No matter what industry you’re in, your website must be responsive—mobile or desktop. Almost eight out of 10 smartphone owners make purchases from their devices, according to a Google study, and eMarketer predicts that by 2015, more people will search for local goods and services via their mobile devices than on a desktop computer. Compelling as these stats are, they aren’t the only reasons why your website needs to be responsive—Google says so, too.
What Is Responsive Design, Anyway?
Have you ever accessed a website via your smartphone or tablet, and the site didn’t display properly on your smaller screen? You try to zoom, shrink, pan, scroll—nothing helps. That’s because the site isn’t responsive. It wasn’t built so that the images, content and structure remains the same on any device. It’s not mobile-friendly. It’s also annoying.
Chances are, you closed out and went somewhere else, and that’s what your target audience is doing, too, if your site doesn’t display well on their devices. According to the Google study, “What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today,” 61 percent of people will ‘X’ out and go to another website immediately if they are frustrated or don’t see what they’re looking for on a mobile website. In addition, 48 percent of respondents said if a site doesn’t display properly on their mobile device, they feel like the company doesn’t care for their business. Ouch.
Can’t I Just Have 2 Sites – One for Desktops and One for Mobile?
Sure, you could do that. If you want to pay for someone to build and maintain a desktop version and a separate mobile-friendly version, this is an option. You’ll have to run separate SEO campaigns for each, too. But with responsive design, there’s only one site to build and maintain and one SEO strategy for both. And when new devices and screen sizes come out, you won’t have to worry how your mobile site will display on them.
Designing a separate mobile site was a good solution back in the day when everybody had similarly sized screens, but there’s too much variety in screen sizes these days to make this a cost-effective solution. For example, the 2014 edition of the Samsung Galaxy Note has a 10.1-inch screen, the new iPhone has either a 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch screen (depending on the model) and the new Nexus phablet has an 8-inch screen. With responsive design, you don’t need different sites for all of these different devices.
What Does Google say About all This?
If you’re still not convinced, this should seal the deal: Google wants you to use responsive design. Here’s why: If your business has a desktop site and a mobile site, each has its own URL and HTML. If you have one responsive site, the URL and HTML is the same. It is easier and more efficient for Google to crawl and index one responsive website than to crawl and index two (or more) versions of the same site. Search Engine Land features a more detailed and technical explanation of Google’s recommendations on responsive design, if you’re interested.
What About Social Sharing?
Think about the following scenario: Mary accesses your website from her smartphone and wants to share it with her Facebook friends. She grabs your mobile site’s URL and posts it. Her friend John is on Facebook via his desktop computer, and when he clicks that link, now he’s viewing a less-than-optimized site—because it was never intended to be viewed on a desktop. This works vice versa, too, and it’s no good, but it would all be a moot point if you had a responsive website.
It’s time for your business to invest in a responsive website design. Contact Titan Web Marketing Solutions today to learn more about our website design team and capabilities. And be sure to browse our portfolio to see our recent website designs!