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How important is a responsive website

responsive web designResponsive Web DesignAs more people are beginning to use mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, for every task that used to be only capable on desktop, one thing has become clear: mobile is taking over Internet surfing. And, it's not even just surfing. It's everything from browsing social media outlets, checking emails and doing some online shopping.

Because mobile Internet usage is increasing steadily, it's extremely important that your website is mobile friendly. Usually this isn't a major concern. You have a website designed for desktop users and another site specifically developed for mobile users. But, is it possible to have a site that is equally favorable for both desktop and mobile users?

There actually is a design that can handle both types of users. And it's called responsive web design.

What is responsive design?

A responsive design simply means a website that has been constructed so that all of the content, images and structure of the site remains the same on any device. For example, when a user accesses a site on their desktop, they are getting the full view of the site. But when that same user goes to visit the site from their smartphone or tablet, the site will retract to fit on the smaller screen.

In other words, with a responsive website design, you don't have to have worry about having different websites for various devices or making sure that your site runs properly on a mobile device.

But there are some other really important reasons why you should make the switch to responsive design for your website.

browsing on smartphoneBrowsing On SmartphoneMobile Usage is Increasing.

Take a step into the outside world and you'll definitely notice a lot of people on their mobile phones. In fact, it seems that just about everyone is attached at the hip with their smartphone. For some reason, however, there are many businesses who have not yet picked up on this trend. Maybe they could use the following stats from Smart Insights to convince them how much mobile usage has skyrocketed.

  • More than 20 percent of Google searches are now being performed on some sort of mobile device.
  • In 2012 over half of all local searches were done on a mobile device.
  • 25 percent of Internet users only access the internet via a mobile device in the United States.
  • 25.85 percent of all emails are opened on mobile phones, with another 10.16 percent being opened on tablets.
  • Mobile Internet usage is expected to overtake desktop usage.
  • Out of the 4 billion mobile phones in the world, 1.08 billion are smartphones and 3.05 are SMS enabled.

Recommended By Google

We all know that Google is a really big deal. In fact, the Big G claimed 67 percent search market share in 2013, making it the most popular search engine in the world. So, if Google claims that it prefers responsive web design as the recommended mobile configuration, you better take that as a hint - which was confirmed by Google's Pierre Farr in June 2012.

Search EnginesSearch EnginesBut why does Google prefer responsive design? For starters, it's more efficient for Google to bot crawl the site, and then index and organize all the content that is online. The reason for this is that with responsive design, all sites have just one URL and the same HTML across all devices. When a business has both a mobile site and desktop site, there will be a different URL and different HTML for each. This forces Google to crawl and index multiple versions of the same exact site.

Also, when there is just one website and URL, it's much easier for users to share, engage and interact with the content on that site as compared to a site that has different pages for mobile and desktop users. Google is a fan of that as well. Why? Because what if someone shared a mobile site on a social media outlet and one of their connections viewed that mobile site on their desktop? That viewer would then be viewing a less than optimal site because it was intended for mobile. This makes the user unhappy.

And Google realizes that unhappy people will go elsewhere, meaning that bounce rates increase and the site will not rank on mobile searches. This creates a whole big headache involving Google's external link algorithm and on-page errors. Which in turn, also harms your SEO.
In other words, it's just bad for business for both Google and all of the websites that aren't taking advantage of the benefits of responsive design.

Can Increase Conversion Rates

Besides all of the search benefits, as well as making users happy, responsive design has the ability to increase those coveted conversion rates from all of the mobile users in the world. Why? Well, if a website is not working on mobile or tablet device, users will obviously be unable to convert. And how many people are doing online shopping from a mobile device? There has been research that found 69% of tablet users shopped on their device within the last 30 days.

So, when a user has to do more work than needed to complete a conversion, do you think that they will still convert? It's less likely they will convert. However, there's a little more to it than that. For example, since a responsive website design can adjust to any screen, developers have control on how all of those conversion elements will display on mobile and tablet.

why do you need responsive web designWhy Do You Need Responsive Web DesignFinally, responsive design allows you to do some important high-end heat mapping and A/B testing, which can be done through software like Clicktale or Optimizely. This means that you can segment users by mobile and gain a better picture of how those users are interacting on your site. When you do this, you can discover what sales tactics and marketing strategies are effective, as well as those that are not. When you have this information, you can increase conversion rates.

Social Media Has Gone Mobile

We're guessing that you're involved with inbound marketing. But even if you're not, you still realize how important blogging and social media are in the 21st Century. In fact, if you have not implemented some sort of social media strategy in your marketing campaign, you're missing out on a lot of leads. But, social media has also now gone mobile, which you may have noticed. How important is mobile for social media users? According to a study from ComScore, 55% of social media consumption happens on a mobile device.

This is a really vital stat because what's the point of sharing content on social media if it's not compatible with mobile devices? Again, if a website isn't functioning on a mobile device, users get frustrated and leave. High bounce rates = low conversion rates. And, that puts everyone in a foul mood.

Better User Experience

We've briefly touched on this before, but responsive design gives users a better experience. For example, users don't have to fool around with zooming and shrinking the text or images on screen. Instead, all of the content automatically adjusts to the screen of the device. This makes it easier and more convenient for users to read and navigate on your site.

And, there are stats to further illustrate why the experience of users is so important. According to Google's Think Insights on Mobile, whenever someone arrives on your mobile website and is frustrated, or doesn't see the content that they are searching for immediately, there's a 61 percent chance they will leave and head to another website. However, whenever a user has had a positive experience with your mobile website, that individual will be 67 percent more likely to buy a product or use a service. Furthermore, 48 percent of users stated to Google that when a site doesn't function on their mobile device it makes them feel that the company does not care for their business.

A better user experience also makes it easier to be reached and complain. If people are able to contact you and find a way to complain, you have a much lower probability of them going online through social media and complaining.

Easier to Manage

phone users browsingPhone Users BrowsingGoing back to SEO for a moment, if you have separate desktop and mobile sites, you're going to have to run separate SEO campaigns for each. Wouldn't it just be easier to manage only one SEO campaign and one website? That would make not just your customers happy, but also your team including everyone from developers to content marketing managers. More importantly because you only have one site, responsive design is more cost effective as well

Stay Ahead of Competition

In the business world, you have to stay ahead of the competition. So, if more and more users are using their mobile devices to search and make purchases online, you have to cater to that audience by having a mobile-friendly site. In fact, 85 percent of adults believe that a mobile site must be as good, if not better than, a desktop site.

If that doesn't convince you enough. Around six months ago I redesigned my personal company site to have a responsive design. My mobile conversion (people contacting me) tripled overnight as well as people coming to my site doubled. I've also worked with several clients that have had similar results. Stay ahead of your competition and have a site that stands out. It'll make the difference.

Chances are that your competitors aren't making use of responsive designs, which means that they are losing out on potential customers. And, that is where you can stay ahead and take those customers away.

For more information, or a free quotation, please contact us today

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Storm Biz - Website Management, Responsive Mobile, Tablet and Desktop Design

Can you really afford to lose almost 60% of users browsing your website?

Business Website Design, Mobile Website Design, Speciality Website Design, Joomla Website Management, Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing.

Storm Biz Responsive Design

small business

From the 1st October 2013, all websites that are designed by Storm Biz will now be Responsive Websites, fully view-able on mobile devices, tablets, desktops and laptops. What is Responsive Websites, why have we moved into this direction, and how does your website, traffic and users benefit from this, and finally what is the cost involved?

What is Responsive Websites Design?

We use the term responsive website design for websites that have a "different" display on tablets and mobile devices, compared to normal desktops and tablets. This is not the same as the old "Wap" websites, as the mobile and tablet version still contains graphics, and even image galleries and forms, or any components still found on a normal desktop version, the only difference is that the layout "responds" to the device that you are using, and there is no need to use the "Zoom" function on your phone to make the website readable and images view-able. Users do not want to keep scrolling up, down, left and right to view your content, they want it readable as it displays on the screen, anyone who has used an e-book device will know exactly how easy it is to read content that only scrolls down, and this is essentially what a responsive template creates.

joomla-management-450Why have we moved to Responsive Websites?

We were approached by one of our Graphic Design clients to redo his clients website into a responsive website, as the website was getting 70% searches on mobile devices. Although we have played with the idea of turning to responsive websites, we were never really sure the extra costs to our clients would justify the demand to change to responsive websites. So we did the research, discussed the issues, pros and cons, and what costs and time would be involved in turning normal websites to fully responsive websites. It turns out that 60% of searches on Google are done on mobile devices. This statistics has almost doubled since last year, and this is now the trend, as more and more people use their mobile devices to browse the internet. The statistics also show that 95% of people will leave your website if it does not display a mobile version of your website. Can you really afford to lose almost 60% of users browsing your website?

How does a responsive website affect your traffic, website look and feel, and user experience?

Our main objective is still to provide websites which are search engine friendly, displays beautifully on desktops and laptops, and now with the added advantage of displaying correctly on mobile devices and tablets. We have already stated that the need for mobile websites have increased dramatically over the past few years, with more searches being done on mobile devices, than any other devices. Since your website is responsive, your users will not skip your site and move on to one of your competitors whose site is already mobile friendly. This means that your traffic is increased, page hits are increased, and your users are now enjoying their experience on the mobile version of your website. Many people still assume that a mobile website is dull, boring, and contains no graphics, this assumption is incorrect, a mobile version simply compresses your website graphics, text and components into an easy to view style that is fully view-able on your phone, and enhances your users experience. Your users will know that you have taken the time and effort to provide them with a user friendly, mobile version of your website, without losing the quality of your desktop version.

What costs and time are involved in changing your current website to a responsive website?

At Storm Biz we don't believe in gradually learning how to do things... We jump in to the most difficult website we can do, as this teaches us everything we need to make future designs easier. Well this turned out to be true, as our first fully responsive website turned out to have 9 different colored themes, 12 different contact pages, 22+ different galleries, and over 30 Content pages. This complex website took us almost 3 weeks to complete. We have since changed our own website and accounting system to a responsive design, this only took us 4 days for both systems. The websites that we now design that are responsive, take an additional 1 - 3 days to design, implement and test (dependent on website and component complexity). Considering the increase of traffic that your website will now receive, the initial investment is minimal.

Since our main concern is that your website succeeds, we have re-looked at our pricing and adjusted it accordingly to include fully responsive websites. The time spent on a website design has now doubled, and time spent testing has almost tripled.

Please click below to view our packages and pricing:
Business Website Design Packages

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