Why You Need a Responsive Website

The website for Caviness Landscape as it appears on an iPhone. - Click here to see moreThe website for Caviness Landscape as it appears on an iPhone. - Click here to see more

In our fast-paced world where mobile is becoming the new standard, there's never been a greater need for businesses to deliver a convenient user experience on the Internet. What you need is a website that works equally well on every device. What you need is a responsive website.

One of the most important elements of online marketing, responsive design streamlines the development process for both desktop and mobile website design, ensuring consistent content across all device sizes. In essence, you build a website once and it works seamlessly on any screen. It takes care of any extra effort and money you would've spent on separate mobile web design. And that's huge when it comes to branding your business.

Just take a look at the statistics:

  • 36 percent of all websites are responsive
  • 46 percent of mobile users report having difficulty interacting with a web page
  • 40 percent of people will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
  • 62 percent of companies that designed a website specifically for mobile had increased sales

And there's never been a more important time to take action. Google announced that beginning April 21, 2015, it's expanding its use of "mobile-friendliness" as a ranking. That means you have less than two months to make sure your site is on point. It's imperative for the life of your search results.

Get responsive, get the right response.

If you're embarking on a new website design, redesigning an existing site or considering a mobile strategy, there's no reason not to take advantage of responsive web design. Here's why:

Google recommends responsive websites.

Since 2012, Google has been touting the use of responsive website design, considering it a best practice for smartphone-optimized websites. Why? On the web, responsive design maintains a single URL for your desktop and mobile content, which is much easier for users to interact with, share and link to. Plus, it helps Google discover your content more efficiently because it doesn't have to crawl a page to retrieve and index all the site content.

That's why adhering to the April 21 deadline to improve mobile friendliness is so critical. Google will find you and your content easier once you get responsive. You don't want to get lost in the crowd.

It's cost-effective.

Responsive web design offers the benefit of requiring only one website. That means there will only be one version of the code and one content management system for updating content. The result? Your site is saving you time and money.

You'll experience a lower bounce rate.

An unresponsive website can lead to a high bounce rate—the amount of visitors that leave your site after visiting one page. Researchers found that a staggering 28 percent of all Internet users used their mobile phones to access the internet in 2013, so that means your mobile strategy has to be spot on. Responsive design is proven to cut down on bounce rates because the CSS values keep changing with different devices.

You'll stay ahead of the competition.

Statistics show only 3 percent of websites are currently optimized to take full advantage responsive website design. That means your business has a huge opportunity to gain a significant edge over the competition by hiring a professional web design company and jumping on this new trend. And with a lower maintenance requirement, your responsive website will allow you to focus on your business.

You'll have a guaranteed return on investment.

All of these benefits have a common thread—they each yield maximum ROI. If your website is not responsive, there's a good chance your business will suffer as you won't be able to compete with rival websites that are. To grow your business, you have to reach more people than your competition. You have to have a solid mobile strategy. A responsive website ensures a larger audience, which increases your chances of conversion. And that also hinges on them taking the right action.

Don't Forget Your Call to Action!

What do you want people to do when they visit your website? Should they call you for a free consultation? Sign up for a newsletter? Fill out a form? Download an ebook? Watch a video?

Cluttering up your page with multiple requests will only end up confusing visitors—but don't limit your call to action to just the landing page. You have the opportunity to inspire action on EVERY page, so use that to your advantage. This way, you can make different requests depending on the page, but again, make sure it's only one request per page. Repetition is an excellent way to reinforce your message and boost conversions.

Consider form and function

To build traffic to your website, an effective call to action can take the form of copy or design. Maybe it's a simple call-out with text and a phone number to call. Or perhaps it's a link that takes visitors to a new page with a form to complete. Whichever call to action you choose, make sure it's communicated clearly and the functionality makes it easy for the visitor to complete. And make sure it's the most visible, emphasized element on the page. Here are some quick tips:

  • Make it large enough to stand out, but keep it in proportion to the page
  • Incorporate color to attract the eye
  • Use a compelling design element that complements your website
  • Choose a font that's easy to read rather than something decorative
  • Be consistent with the call to action on every page

Keep it short and simple

Your call to action shouldn't be funny, gimmicky or verbose. Get to the point quickly. To generate traffic to your website, begin your call to action with a verb like "share" or "get." This invites the visitor to pass on some good information or get some benefit for themselves. Consider including a time element, such as "now" or "today" to give a sense of urgency and/or show that your site is current and up to date. Some good examples, depending on your type of business, include:

  • Call today for a Free consultation
  • Save 50 percent on shirts, click here
  • Follow us on Twitter

Don't Forget to Track and Analyze

To make the most of your online marketing efforts, do yourself a favor and set up tools to track and analyze results. Start simply by monitoring your keywords. Online tools like Google Analytics make it easy to track keyword rankings and mobile search results. Check out Google Webmaster Tools weekly to keep tabs on the impressions and clicks on your keywords. Use Google Analytics to analyze your organic traffic and see if it's improving. Chances are you'll see a traffic increase within a few weeks. While you don't have much control of these numbers, monitoring the trends can keep you moving in the right direction and learn what is working and what is not.

Stay Ahead of the Pack

Stay tuned for next month's tips and tricks that will help you boost your online visibility—and your bottom line.

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