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Digital Spark LLC
Buzzword Responsive: Website Designs for Every Device
From desktops and laptops to smartphones, tablets and e-readers, how can you be sure your company’s website meets the sophisticated demands of an incredibly mobile society? Think responsively; build responsive.
Oh, the times, they are a’changing. Not too long ago, desktop computers were all the rage and simply having a website was the order of the day. With the advent of the mobile phone, a mobile-optimized version of your site became the imperative. Now 42% of American adults own tablet computers and more than a third of all cell internet users go online mostly using their phones, and not some other device like a desktop or laptop computer. How can you be sure your website or your company’s website meets the demands of this incredibly mobile society? Enter responsive design.
As devices changed and developed, companies and their website designers found themselves scrambling to keep up. Worse, many companies trying to stay abreast of evolving technology wound up maintaining multiple iterations of their websites to suit the different venues.
Website designers needed a smarter and more streamlined solution, companies needed a more nimble approach to their content, and consumers needed the ease and accessibility of content whenever and wherever they wanted and on the device of their choosing. Thus was responsive web design born.
Building Responsive: A Website for All Devices
So what exactly does it mean for a website to be responsive? There are 2 ways of looking at it:
· From the User’s Perspective: A responsive website is one that automatically detects the device on which the site is being viewed and adjusts itself accordingly, formatting the existing content in such a way as to maximize ease and accessibility for the end-user.
· From the Designer’s Perspective: Responsive design means having one URL and the same HTML. It means maintaining only one CSS style sheet. It means making a change or adding new content once and having it appear as it should across desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Responsive Websites: A Boon for Marketers
Marketers will appreciate responsive design for a number of reasons, but perhaps for none greater than that it makes tracking, collecting and analyzing your website content and traffic easier. Google was an early advocator of responsive design, recommending it as a best practice for websites as early as 2012, precisely because the single URL and consistent HTML mentioned above makes it easier for the search engine giant to crawl and index your website content.
Responsive design has been shown to lower the bounce rate of websites, too. A recent study by BlueHornet found that 67% of users delete emails that are not properly tailored to their mobile devices. Can you imagine what the user response would be to a website that isn’t the same? If a user reaches your website but returns back immediately to the search engine results page because the content isn’t readable, Google is going to count that as a strike against your website for the user’s requirement.
Still need convincing? Then let’s talk about something that’s near and dear to the heart of every marketer – namely, SEO. If your company currently maintains a main site and a mobile website, then you’re currently maintaining two separate SEO campaigns. With a responsive website, you can put all your search engine optimization efforts into a single website. There’s only one set of content to work on, one set of URLs for backlinks, and only one instance of analytics data to track and analyze.
With all this evidence, it’s clear that responsive design makes sense and has real staying power for the future. So rather than why yourself why you shouldn’t be hopping on the bandwagon, ask yourself: why wouldn’t you?