Responsive Web Design – For many of us more mature folk, it feels as if websites have been a part of our lives forever. But believe it or not they have only been around for just over 30 years. In fact, the first official website was launched on 06 August 1991. That’s almost impossible to believe, given how they have been integrated into our lives.
Today there are over 1.18 billion websites globally, with 17% of these being active, and 83% inactive. Websites are fast becoming the number one touchpoint for consumers, in their search for information about products and services.
Along with the internet and websites, has come the introduction of new electronic devices, like portable computers, cell phones, tablets, and digital watches to name a few, all driven by the fourth industrial revolution that is AI.
As with most exciting new technologies, we accept these things into their lives, they become the norm and we move on, without a second thought. Websites are now just something that we can’t do without. The go-to place for any information. But few of us give thought to just how much they have adapted to changing technology.
Today, more than 50% of website visits originate on mobile phones and other devices. It is this trend, that has forced website designers to adapt, and to develop more mobile friendly and sophisticated websites.
The old days of website text and visuals not fitting comfortably on your cell phone or tablet screen, are over. The need to adapt to changing consumer behavior and to provide customers with a seamless and high-quality experience, has resulted in more innovative website design in the form of responsive websites.
What is Responsive Website Design?
Responsive website design is a technique developed to optimize a user’s browsing experience, by creating a responsive and flexible web page, that adapts to the screen size of any device that is being used to access it. This replaces the need to create separate web pages for different devices and leads to greater efficiencies in maintenance.
Being ‘responsive’ in marketing means responding to customer needs, as quickly and efficiently as possible. This is exactly what responsive web design is all about. It results in a website that adapts to satisfy the user’s need for quick and easy access to the site.
Responsive website design takes advantage of the global user trend towards mobile browsing, particularly on mobile phones. It enhances the look and feel of the site and as a result improves the user experience on any device.
The Advantages of a Responsive Website?
There are a host of reasons why responsive web design is better. Here are five of the more important ones:
Enhanced Corporate Image
Current consumer trends show a rapid migration, from shopping at physical stores to online purchasing. In keeping with this, websites are fast becoming the most important platform for interaction with the brands that they love.
In many respects corporate websites have become the flagship for brands, where brand image and personality are showcased, and where consumers can truly experience a personal relationship with their favourite brands if so desired.
What better way to enhance corporate image, than by having a flagship responsive website, that makes a positive statement for your company, helps to differentiate it from competitors, and that is instantly accessible to consumers on whatever device they may be using.
More Effective SEO
Level of exposure means everything for a website, and SEO is the most important factor in achieving this. Search engines like Google, use algorithms to determine what websites will be the most relevant, when someone searches for information on a particular topic.
Factors like content quality, quality of backlinks and keywords, are just some of the factors that determine success. Algorithms change over time, based on user’s needs and behaviour and as a result, responsive website design has become as important to search engines as content quality.
Increased Sales Conversion
If sales conversion is an objective of your website, then there are a few important factors that determine success or failure. It’s all about ensuring a positive site experience for users.
Customers want to be able to search and navigate easily, find relevant information, and interact if required. They want to do this on a platform that feels familiar to them. If persuaded, they want to be able to buy something in a quick and seamless manner. Most importantly, they want to do this when and where it is suitable for them, 24/7.
Responsive web design delivers a more positive site experience, by allowing for a unified design approach, a consistent look and feel and better navigation across all devices. These factors, along with enhanced functionality and performance, help to make a responsive website a no-brainer. Better on-site experiences lead to happier customers, and better sales conversion rates.
Having a single responsive website that adapts to different devices, significantly cuts down the cost and level of maintenance that would be required for separate device specific sites. Essentially you are managing one site, rather than a selection of individual web pages.
For instance, take the task of updating or correcting content. Publishing new content on a responsive site can be done once, and it will automatically be applied to all relevant pages for different devices. This differs from static sites, where content must be updated separately for each different page, even if the content is exactly the same.
And then there’s the matter of website analytics. Analysing user interaction and behaviour on-site, is key to monitoring performance of a website and making improvements. Rather than having to analyse and report separately on each of multiple website pages, Google Analytics can provide one condensed report, covering performance for the single responsive website, across all devices. This makes the job of analysis much simpler and less time consuming.
More Speed Less Bounce
The bane of most frequent user’s lives and the cause of much frustration, is usually slow loading speed. Nothing is guaranteed to make a user click away from a site faster, than watching the timer revolve. This phenomenon is measured as the bounce rate.
Three seconds is about the max that most people will tolerate while searching. Modern techniques like vector graphics and caching, help to ensure that responsive websites load their content quickly and make navigation less frustrating.
Who Needs It?
Who needs a responsive website? Basically, anyone who is in business, big or small. That’s where it’s come to, if you want your business to compete in the burgeoning world of e commerce.
If your business prides itself on being customer orientated, then you need to ensure that you are satisfying their basic needs. And right now, your customer requires safety, convenience and 24/7 personal attention, all available through e commerce.
Suffice to say, that the cost of not ensuring a fast, interesting, relevant, and agile platform for your customers, will far outweigh the cost of doing so. You cannot measure the actual cost of a lost customer, nor that of the friends and peers that he influences. Do it right however, and you will grow the customer base and your business along with it.
Who Does Responsive Website Design?
Companies like Cliqued Media, Ireland, specialize in designing responsive websites, using the latest website design technology. They are genuine web wizards, who work closely with their clients, to design and manage effective websites. Their aim is to design bespoke websites that will attract more traffic, generate more sales and provide a good return on investment (ROI).