In today’s digital marketplace, return on investment relies upon fully integrated marketing programs. If your website does not view well or is cumbersome for users to interact with on different devices, you are losing business. Few customers or clients have the patience today to figure out how to work with a difficult website. This is especially true as they can simply do a quick search and find a company with an easier to navigate website for quick satisfaction of their needs.
Since 2013, pre-existing businesses have been in a mad rush to ensure their websites work best across all available platforms. Such a well-tuned website is said to be responsive, a site which responds to different platforms and devices and adjusts itself according to those platforms. This responsive nature of design creates a site which provides seamless viewing and interaction for web surfers, whether viewed on iPads, Android tablets, smartphones, desktops, laptops or even large screen televisions.
One fact is clear in business web design today. That is, all brands need to use responsive design to better provide for customers and encourage them to engage in business. Still, many companies have not invested the required resources into conversion of old websites into responsive ones for multiple devices. Those companies holding fast to their old ways are losing customers every single day.
Responsive Website Design Versus Mobile Websites
Earlier in eCommerce and smartphone technology, companies rushed to develop what are commonly referred to as mobile websites. But a mobile version of a website will do little good these days. Such a site is almost as antiquated as a static HTML design for the web.
Mobile websites are just an alternative website to which users are directed. In other words, mobile sites are a second environment for marketing and IT personnel to manage. If a change is to be made on the primary website, it then must be made on the mobile website for everything to remain consistent. This is a workload nightmare for everyone involved. In essence, workload is doubled at a minimum.
A responsive website is one site suited to all users and platforms. Therefore, every update, upgrade, change and implementation is immediately pushed across all platforms to all viewers. This unified approach is the most simplified and effective manner of managing online marketing.
Responsive website design also simplifies processes such as SEO. With only one site to optimize and available for use, multiple sites of one brand are not competing against each other or cannibalizing traffic. This also streamlines analytics and provides a clearer image of user activity and behaviors from the very start of their experience, through to the end.
Additionally, marketing strategy for a responsive site is one strategy for the entire brand. For a mobile-specific site, there must be a second strategy with separate actions for that secondary site. Again, workload is doubled for the team and messaging, updates and quality fall through cracks.
Finally, responsive websites are easier for customers or clients to find. Sites designed using responsive coding rank higher in Google results and other search engine rankings. Responsive designs are rewarded with enhanced traffic.
Expectations for the Future of Responsive Design
Responsive design is new but always growing and changing. Mobile websites were just a bandage on the problem of new technology emerging more quickly than designers could keep up. Responsive design is different, in that it is thoughtfully conceived for growth and revision to suit emerging technologies. Because of this fluidity and scalability, the future of responsive design is very bright.
One of the most promising areas of responsive design is that of 3rd party integrations on the back end of websites. Business partnerships and back-end solutions will work better together as time moves forward, as they are already improving today. Social media, accounting, inventory, CRM and other solutions integrate well and those relationships will become even more symbiotic as time marches forward.
For companies debating whether the expense of a website overhaul toward responsive design is justifiable, there is really no alternative to making the change. Beyond initial investment required in design, costs are much lower and revenue potential much higher for deployed responsive websites.
Change toward responsive design from static and mobile websites is inevitable. This change, although initially a big move, leads to much greater promise and potential for any web presence.
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