Small Business Guide to Responsive Websites
It’s been over 3 years since Google recommended responsive website design in their guide to responsive websites and 9 months since they changed the mobile algorithm to favor responsive websites, and still nearly half of small businesses have “desktop only” sites.
Currently, more than 60% of all internet connections take place on a mobile device (3/4G) – meaning mobile activity has actually surpassed desktop and laptop (ISP) activity, and the number of mobile devices is growing, everyday.
Guide to Responsive Websites
What is a responsive website?
Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a way of building websites that automatically scale and organize themselves in order to fit the device that is being used to view them. More simply put, Responsive Website Design makes your website like water.
The website will scale itself to size in order to provide the best user experience, both visually and functionally, set of different techniques (HTML5 and CSS3) that when combined together, make the “fluidity”possible.
Appearing first back in 2001 (Audi.com), it is now the “standard” because, when it comes to SEO, you do what Google says to do.
The old way is fading
The old way of dealing with mobile users was to create a 2nd site (www.m.businesname) that was a separate site dedicated to mobile. Then the problem was the increase in different screen sizes meant creating more than one “viewport” and then tablets hit the market and the end was near.
In 2015, “dot m” sites fell by over 20% and responsive sites increased by 30%. Besides, with RWD you deal with updating one site, not many sites, so it’s more time and cost effective for a small business.
Are all new websites responsive to mobile?
You have two choices. Pay a designer or log on to an “online website builder” and try to make one yourself, but neither choice guarantees you a responsive (HTML5/CSS3) website.
The simple fact is businesses still pay “designers” for non-responsive sites all too frequently and the drawbacks of the DYI website builders are well documented.
Ask your designer for sites they have built and pull them up on your phone. Better yet, ask someone else for their opinion. Bottom line, RWD should be addressed and be crystal clear in the website proposal and tested on a phone before the final payment.
I keep hearing a marketing phrase called “mobile first”
No guide to responsive websites would be complete without mentioning “mobile first”. For 2016, a ‘mobile first’ approach is what is recommended. As the title suggests, it is an approach where the best web designers focus on producing a smartphone/tablet experience first, then move up in the scale of devices, from smartphones up to desktop screens. This is because mobile web browsing has eclipsed desktop/laptop browsing therefore mobile is your first target demographic. Besides, most smartphones have more capabilities than their desktop predecessors, so you need to design for mobile features ‘first’, like touch screens, instead of treating it as an afterthought after you have built a site that looks good on a desktop. Speaking of touchscreens, the smaller size of a smartphone would mean the hyperlinks have to be spaced farther apart for touch. That’s just one example It is much easier to start “mobile first” and work up. In 2016, have no doubts about going mobile first.
A happy website visitor that has a superior user experience (UX) becomes a happy customer.
According to Google’s Think Insights on mobile, if a mobile user lands on your website and is frustrated or doesn’t see what they are looking for, there’s a 61% chance they will leave immediately and go to another website (most likely a competitor). Google studies also show that if they have a positive experience with your mobile responsive website, a user is 67% more likely to buy a product or use a service.
If you care about how your business shows up in various web searches, you are worried about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Google’s has gone on the record to declare that Google prefers responsive web design over desktop or separate mobile templates. Having a fully responsive website gives you one single web address (URL) that makes it easier for a Google bot to crawl your site as well as reduces the chance of on-page SEO errors. For these reasons, responsive sites typically perform better and are easier to maintain than a separate mobile-template site.
Speedier sites (UX)
Google PageSpeed Developers standards recommends that the content above the fold (what shows before a scroll) on a mobile device loads in under 1 second and the entire page loads in under 2 seconds. This is rarely possible when loading a desktop website on a mobile device as desktop sites typically use flash (commonly used in online DIY website builders). When a user has to wait too long for a page to load, there’s an extremely high chance they will leave your site.
Business to Business
If you don’t think a responsive website helps in the B2B world, you had better think again. Besides, can you think of any better way of building your brand than a professionally built responsive website? If you think otherwise, I’d suggest you read up on the Changing Face of B2B on Google.
This will be the last major redesign for a while
Again, one of the big benefits of responsive design is that the display is based on screen size, not the type of device. This means that no matter what size screen someone is viewing your website, it will display properly for that screen size. So while right now, responsive website design works on something as small as a watch to the largest TV in existence, anything new comes out and your website looks just fine. In other words, it’s future-proof.
Put your responsive website to work
Responsive website design is more than a game of technical adjustments to a layout. Responsive design is more than logging on to an online DIY website builder. It is a complete re-imagining of the way in which website content is delivered. TABB Solutions delivers on the much more difficult challenge of delivering the right content to the right user on the right device at exactly the right time through professional responsive website design coupled with affordable content marketing and Google Best Practices SEO.
For a free consultation and quote, call 844-TRY TABB.