It should not be a shock to you that mobile Internet usage is more common than desktop usage. Actually, as of late January 2014 mobile usage outnumbered desktop usage. Research suggests, “29% of cell owners describe their cell phone as ‘something they can’t imagine living without.’” (Pew Research)
“Still many businesses and brands struggle to truly leverage the digital landscape to meet the expectations of their customers. Many more will struggle with the migration of audiences (customers) to mobile. The time has come to seriously consider integration of mobile-friendly versions of all mission-critical assets: applications, data, the website, communications, demos, sales materials, customer service, etc.” (SEW)
When it comes to your company website, responsive design is essential.
So, what is responsive design? Responsive design can be seen as an elastic framework that will auto-adjust to any screen (device) being used and still look good. Responsive design is not a mobile template, as where a user would be redirected to mobile.somesitehere.com, which is always annoying. Responsive design is simply one coded website that “fits” any device.
Oddly enough, a good portion (about 1 in 8) of websites are not responsive at all. So, if you are one of the many who are not catering to the mobile user then keep on reading to see the absolute important reasons as to why you need to change your game plan.
The obvious, mobile usage has exploded.
Because of this, you have a lot of mobile related data. With search engines built into phones, users are rapidly searching many things (primarily local to them) looking for an answer. Google now indexes websites as “mobile friendly”. If experience is key, because Google implies so, then it would be in your favor to be indexed as mobile to keep a high ranking and allow potential visitors to know that they will have a good user experience.
Positive experience, or bust.
According to Google’s Think Insights on mobile, there’s a 61% chance users will leave immediately and go to another website (most likely a competitor) which, relates to brand insight. If a user has a bad experience online with your brand then there is a high chance (over 60%) they will think (and share) negatively of your brand.
SEO favors responsive design.
In June 2012, Google’s Pierre Farr stated that Google will index a responsive web design over a mobile template and of course way before a non-mobile site. This is actually due to the fact that it is easier for Google to crawl and index a single responsive site’s URL versus a desktop ready site and a mobile template, which causes room for indexing error. Many do not want to cater to “The Beast” however, if you want to move your brand forward then there are some things you just have to do. If Google says they will index your responsive website ahead of the competitions mobile template site, then you best believe you need a new site.
Prepare for the future.
Technology is rapidly growing, fact. With the constant creation of the next “must have” phone, the growth in Internet TV and even the increase in tech wearables, who knows exactly how users will be viewing your site. However, with a responsive design that is not something you entirely have to worry about, coding up a new website for a new device. With a responsive design you can be rest assured knowing that whether your user in a on a MacBook Pro, an iMac, an iPhone, an iPad, an iWatch or one of many Android devices; your website will simply work and your user will have a great experience.
So with that, go and make your website responsive. Do not go another day losing valuable “now” customers. Capture your audience and expand your reach, take your business to the next level and be ready for what the future will bring.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Benjamin Surman is the founder of 1986 Ventures, a brand development and management firm. With a strong technical background and a keen sense of a design, Benjamin and his team not only launch (and acquire) simplified services but also create unique and necessary products. Connect with @1986ventures on Twitter.