Website's are a large part of many company’s advertising budget but there is a tendency to let it go once the website is up and running. Unfortunately, with such a rapidly evolving sector, this can leave a business seriously disadvantaged and there are some who would go so far as to say that unless your website is responsive, you might just as well not have one at all.
Having ruled the roost for two decades and more, the desktop PC and laptop are on the brink of extinction, thanks to the proliferation of other devices – once the auxiliary keypad for a tablet was introduced, the writing was really on the wall and anyone whose website is not ready for it will be left behind.
Change with a changing world
The important thing is to think like a consumer. If you are out and about and need to know something or buy something, you use your phone or tablet. You only wait until you get back to your PC at home if the search isn’t urgent and by then you may well have forgotten anyway. So it is vital that your website is responsive for those people searching on the go. Recent research by Search Engine Land shows that 90% of all mobile searches lead to action, and more than 50% of those leads turn into sales. This is way more than you would get from any searches on a PC or laptop. Google are quoted as saying, ‘Responsive web design is recommended because having a single URL for desktop and mobile sites makes it easier for Google to discover content and for Google’s algorithms to assign indexing properties to the content.’ The important word here is ‘content’, which is more important now than simple SEO.
Making your site responsive
Making your site responsive isn’t hard and if you have a good website designer they should be able to have it up and running in a very short space of time. Essentially, you (or they) need to create some style sheets, which will make sure that the website has the appropriate appearance depending which kind of device your customer is using to view your website or content. Although the methodology is not intrinsically difficult there does need to be some very serious planning before going live with a responsive site or content. Not only do you have to choose your content with care, but you must also make sure that everything is working properly across the whole range of devices; smartphones, tablets and different device operating systems. This means that you have to check everything, especially forms, communication, videos etc because there is nothing more off-putting to a potential consumer than a page not working. They are unlikely to revisit at a later time if they hit problems.
Is it really responsive?
This may sound like a silly question, but it is not unknown for a website designer to deliver a ‘responsive’ design which in fact is simply mobile friendly or mobile ready. All this means is that the site resizes to suit a mobile; responsive sites actually change the way your content is presented when accessed on different devices. If you are planning to change your site to keep up with trends, then it is important to make sure the job is done properly. Not having a fully responsive site may mean that you are helping the competition – failing your customer when he or she visits on a mobile device may well mean they just go to another provider and usually they never come back.
Check your website out today
It’s easy to check whether you have a responsive website, even if you are not much of a computer whizz. Access it from various devices and find out whether it is responsive or not by simply comparing what you see from various different ways of getting there. It may be that it is simply mobile-friendly and this is certainly a start, but don’t stop there – get back to your designer and start the process going to make it responsive. If it isn’t even mobile-friendly then that is really bad news and you should get it to at least that standard as a matter of urgency. When it comes to web content, you can’t just keep up with the Joneses – you have to stay ahead of the game.