Still don’t have a mobile-friendly approach for your website? No matter what your business, you’re likely missing out on an increasingly large segment of the market—a segment of the market which sets trends and spreads word-of-mouth to an outsized degree. You might look at the development requirements behind setting up a separate mobile only site—essentially doubling your development time, splitting your visitors, and potentially damaging your SEO—and consider mobile-friendliness too high a cost. But with the rise of responsive web design, you can secure all the benefits of a mobile-friendly platform with none of the downsides. And if that doesn’t have your attention, maybe these five points for your marketing strategy will win you over:
1. Mobile Users Matter. When someone browses onto your website on a mobile device, and find themselves staring at half a logo and nothing else, they’re probably going to decide to back up and try the next search result. Responsive web design directly combats your bounce rate by making sure your visitors always find themselves on a user-friendly, visually appealing version of your website. These are users you don’t want going to their blog and complaining, or talking up your competition, because they’re the early adopters whose opinions and business matter most.
2. Future-Ready. A traditional mobile template with compatibility with every device of today might be dated and useless a year from now, with the rise of new and ever changing mobile devices. Responsive web design, however, gives you a website that can take most anything the industry throws out and spit out a suitable layout and presentation. Consider the devices in use today, then consider the ones used three years ago… five years ago. If you want to move forward with confidence that new devices will be able to access your site and offer a satisfactory experience, responsive web design becomes crucial for any business. This directly counters one of the primary problems with mobile only sites, the endless development cycle.
3. Consistent User Experiences. When you utilize responsive web design, you guarantee a consistency of experience to all visitors, no matter their device. Whether they arrive on a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet, responsive web design will present them with a pleasant, familiar interface. Without responsive web design, you either utilize inconsistent templates with no promise of covering every device, or treat mobile users as second-class citizens. You sidestep both pitfalls cleanly and leverage the value of responsive design.
4. Efficient Development. As there’s no need to develop two (or more) variations on your site to create a satisfactory user experience on different devices, developing a responsive website marketing strategy allows you to go mobile-friendly without the excess expense of developing multiple sites for a wide of array of ever changing devices. This makes your site more scalable, allowing for expansion and adjustment as needed without the bloat of building variations of each and every page.
5. Better SEO. If you’ve held off on implementing mobile solutions out of fear of the impact to your SEO efforts, responsive web design holds the answers. Google’s Pierre Farr has gone on record expressing Google’s preference for responsive sites over mobile templates, as they ease the process of crawling the site, reduce errors, and concentrate links in a more natural way. If you maintain a mobile landing page and a standard landing page for the same content and keywords, those variants may be in direct competition—with a responsive site, they’re a single page for Google to index.
Ultimately, businesses cannot afford to ignore usability issues for mobile devices; tablets and smartphones continue to rise as a percent of all web users. If your business's marketing strategy hasn't made mobile users a high priority with responsive design, you're likely already viewed poorly by prospective customers and search engines. Face it, your customers are going mobile and you'd better adapt with responsive design or get left behind.