Responsive Web Design: A Unified Cross Platform Experience
Last year represented the first year that desktop PC sales actually shrunk since 2001, meanwhile tablets and mobile phone sales are increasing month after month and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. If your current website is optimized for desktop sized monitors you can assume that your web traffic will be decreasing as mobile users turn to more mobile friendly competitors for web content. Building a responsive website can fix this issue by making your website viewable on any device and allowing your site visitors to have a more unified experience regardless of whether they’re using a desktop, smartphone or tablet. In simple terms a responsive website uses a new browser technology called “media queries” to detect a user’s screen resolution and creates a layout for them “on the fly” to best fit their screen size.
Understanding some of the more practical benefits of responsive website design can help you to better understand the value proposition and see why forward looking companies like Microsoft, Sony, Disney and Google have already adopted this new technology:
Search Engine Optimization – Having a single website for desktops, tablets and mobile devices increases the value of each page’s SEO score. Instead of spreading valuable page ranking scores to duplicate websites, Google prefers you create a single canonical URL for each page of your site.
Save Marketing Dollars – Developing mobile apps is expensive, and if you want to cover all three markets (Apple, Android and Windows) that cost is going to be even higher. Beyond that, updating new content on your main website in addition to your apps adds another layer of complexity that will turn into more dollars spent and slower turn-around times.
Increase Conversions – No matter what business category you are in your website should be geared towards actively converting visitors into clients whether that is direct sales through ecommerce or generating qualified leads. According to Google 61% of mobile users will move on to a competitor’s site if they encounter a frustrating browsing experience. (See http://googlemobileads.blogspot.com/2012/09/mobile-friendly-sites-turn-visitors.html)
Future Friendly – It’s nearly impossible to predict what the landscape will look like in years to come, but we can assume with certainty that users will be visiting websites from multiple devices. With mobile phones with browsers, smart TV’s and appliances and even more unexpected technologies like Google Glass, building a responsive website will help to ensure that your site will provide a more user friendly experience from any device, even ones that have not yet been released.
If you enjoyed this post, please take a moment to read some of our other posts about Digital Design Services including website design, microsite development, video production and search engine optimization: