Responsive Web design: why is it important to your digital marketing strategy?
Responsive web design (RWD) refers to the technique used to ensure that a website appears and functions very similarly across all types of devices and screen sizes. This is very important because it means that a potential customer will be able to use your site regardless of how they choose to access it.
To achieve this, a professional website designer will incorporate what’s called Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to choose various settings that provide different style properties depending on the various characteristics of each type of device. By and large, though, responsive web design is divided across two standard mediums – desktops and mobile devices.
Benefits of Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design makes a world of difference when trying to entice mobile users to your business. If you’re not using it, you’re doing potential customers and your business a disservice. Once your website has been infused with RWD, you’ll enjoy these awesome benefits:
Increase in Mobile Traffic
The first benefit of responsive web design that you’ll typically run into is an increase in mobile traffic. When a potential customer visits your site on their smartphone, they won’t stay for very long if it doesn’t work well with their device. But if it’s been properly designed, then the site will have a very similar look and functionality to that of the standard desktop version.
Faster Mobile Development
There is an alternative to responsive web design, but it’s complicated. You’d basically need to create a standalone mobile application that would be separate from your desktop website. While some businesses have tried to use this method to save on the cost of RWD, it ends up costing them more in the long run because they’re forced to create and later update what are essentially two separate websites.
Lower Maintenance Needs
If you were to choose to have separate desktop and mobile websites, you’d need twice as much testing and support. You might also need two content strategies, two administrative interfaces, and maybe even two design teams. Dealing with responsive web design’s “one size fits all” approach is much easier and will cost less to maintain. It also takes much less time.
Google’s Mobile-First Approach
That’s right, like so many things in the digital marketing world, it all comes down to Google! The behemoth that is Google is very aware that most online interactions these days take place on mobile devices, so they’ve adopted a mobile-first approach. Basically, this means that Google’s algorithm favors websites that are optimized for mobile devices. In other words, those with responsive web designs are given more weight in their rankings.
Fast Web Page Loading
We’re not trying to be critical here, but it’s a simple fact that mobile users have short attention spans and are more likely to abandon the web page if it isn’t loading fast enough. Slow loading on smartphones is often the result of bad design. Responsive web design helps speed up websites on mobile devices, which means customers are more likely to stick around.
Reduced Bounce Rates
Even if slow loading times don’t immediately scare away potential customers, they could “bounce” if you’re not keeping them engaged. A website that’s responsive and has been optimized for mobile usage will help prevent customers from leaving. They’re more likely to stay on your website for a while and explore different pages.
Higher Conversion Rates
Reducing your bounce rate is one way that you can achieve higher conversion rates, but that’s only part of it. Your goal is to create a consistent user experience across all types of devices. Having only a single website that’s been optimized with responsive web design will help you achieve this.
Easier Analytics Reporting
When you’re talking about the performance of a website or a marketing campaign, you always need to focus on analytics. This is what allows you to know what’s working and what’s not, so that you can make the appropriate changes. Maintaining a single responsive website makes monitoring, reporting, and evaluating the site with an analytics tool much easier.
Keeps Your SEO Intact
Believe it or not, responsive web design also affects search engine optimization. While some people may chalk this up to stronger backlinks and improved bounce rates, there’s an added SEO benefit. Basically, if you’re maintaining two separate versions of your website (desktop and mobile), then you could wind up with duplicate content across the two mediums, thereby damaging your search ranking.
Better Online Browsing
Many of today’s consumers are very unforgiving, especially when it comes to a company’s online presence. It’s similar to the concept of making a good first impression, but in overdrive. By providing a great online browsing experience right from the get-go, no matter which device they’re using, potential customers are more likely to come back for more.
Better Offline Browsing
Many of today’s smartphones and tablets are equipped with HTML5 capability. Responsive web design works with this protocol to provide users with an ever-increasing ease of use. RWD makes it easier for a visitor to continue viewing content from HTML5 web applications without the need for an internet connection. This may seem like a small thing, but it shows just how dedicated you are to the user experience.
Better Mobile Experience
Everything listed above comes down to one hugely important issue: the mobile experience. Even if you take away all of the tech speak and marketing speak, what you’re left with is the simple fact that a better mobile experience for the consumer means that they’re more likely to frequently use your products or services. Responsive web design is the perfect way to help you achieve this.
Contact P3 Agency for Responsive Web Design
P3 Agency excels in all areas of digital marketing, search engine optimization, and web design in Clearwater and the surrounding areas. If you have any questions about responsive web design or would like a free, no-obligation marketing assessment of your business, give us a call at (727) 474-9064 today.