With the growing use of mobile devices there came a need for websites to be easily viewed on smaller-than-desktop screens. The first attempt at a solution was to have a separate site geared towards viewing on mobile devices. This meant that another site had to created. A code was placed on your desktop site. When it was detected that a mobile device was accessing your site, a mobile version was displayed. That was an acceptable solution at the time. But it required having a mobile site created, and paying for mobile site hosting. And many of these mobile sites still weren’t able to appropriately adapt to difference mobile screen sizes. And although some mobile site services claimed that making a change on the desktop site would automatically transfer that change to the mobile site, that wasn’t always the case. We found that we regularly had to make a change that didn’t transfer over, or that didn’t transfer correctly.
Several years ago, responsive sites came on the scene. The name is self-explanatory. Responsive sites detect the size of the viewer screen and adapt the content and images to that screen size. This was an innovative solution. It meant you only needed one site that could accommodate any mobile screen size, and you didn’t have to pay for hosting a mobile site. Responsive sites also saved money by eliminating the need for a web company to make these changes on the mobile site.
Even though it’s automatic for us to create responsive sites now, there are still many sites out there that are not responsive. With the use of mobile devices growing every day, this now poses a problem for businesses that don’t yet have a responsive site. It’s sometimes difficult to convince a client that they need to spend money to create a responsive site when they already have a site they believe is ‘functional.’ If a site is losing you potential customers, then it isn’t performing its main function for your business. With so many people using mobile devices, they come to expect being able to easily view sites. If they get a miniaturized version of your site that they have to strain to see, then they’re likely to leave your site (and probably end up on competitors responsive sites).
Here are the main reasons why it’s necessary for a business to have a responsive site.
1) Adapting to technology and user behavior. Increasing use of mobile devices, and new devices coming on the market. Responsive sites can adapt to any screen size. This not only means current devices, but also future devices that are developed. So having a responsive site will put to ahead of the curve for a while even as technology continues to advance.
2) Cost savings. Responsive sites are hosted the same way desktop sites are hosted. This eliminates the need for a separate hosting account (and cost) for mobile hosting. It also eliminates costs associated with having your web company maintain a separate mobile site.
3) Better user experience. The public tend to be impatient. Search results appear at the blink on an eye. If someone cannot easily see your site, has to enlarge the screen, or cannot easily find the navigation links, then they are going to leave your site. When someone leaves your site in 5 seconds or less, this is called the bounce rate. If you have tracking data in your site (which every business should have) you can see how many potential customers you lost by viewing the bounce rate. You have a better chance of retaining people on a responsive site, so they have an opportunity to see your products and services.
4) Better organic rankings and ppc ad positions. This ties in to the previous item. Google uses user experience as part of its ranking algorithm. Responsive sites are going to get better rankings in the organic search results than non-responsive sites. This year, Google started displaying a notice on Adwords (ppc) campaigns that some of the ad landing pages are not mobile friendly. So you may be paying higher click costs and still getting position for your ad because your site isn’t responsive.
Your website is the first impression a lot of potential customers get of your business. If it doesn’t display properly on their devices, you’re likely losing customers – and money. The whole point of having a website is to present your products and services to people who are looking to buy them. But if your site is actually driving people away, then it’s defeating your purpose (and costing you money). Responsive sites increase the changes that a site visitor will convert into a paying customer. Take a look at some interesting statistics from a Google study at the end of this post.
If you don’t yet have a responsive site, then give us a call. We’ll provide you a free website consultation.
Mention this blog post, and we’ll also claim your local listings for FREE if you have us develop a new responsive site.
Call us before July 30th, and you’ll also get $100 in free clicks if you become a ppc client.
• While nearly 75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly site, 96% of consumers say they’ve encountered sites that were clearly not designed for mobile devices
• 61% of users said that if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site, they’d quickly move on to another site
• 79% of people who don’t like what they find on one site will go back and search for another site
• 50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly
• 48% of users say they feel frustrated and annoyed when they get to a site that’s not mobile-friendly
• 36% said they felt like they’ve wasted their time by visiting those sites
• 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company
• 48% said that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business
Source: http://googlemobileads.blogspot.com/2012/09/mobile-friendly-sites-turn-visitors.html. What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today, a study from Google (conducted by Sterling Research and SmithGeiger, independent market research firms). The report surveyed 1,088 US adult smartphone Internet users in July 2012.