Responsive website design has fast become a standard in web development. You may have heard this term before or heard from someone that your website has to be responsive in today’s market. But you might be asking, what is a responsive website and why does it matter me?
Let’s put it like this, if a potential customer comes to your store, restaurant, or office, your team is going to respond to their needs as best as they can. It’s good business to understand a customer’s desires and address how your business provides the best solution. When you are responsive to them, your chances of getting the sale are increased because the customer feels taken care of and understood.
Now think about your website. It’s a safe bet that your website gets more traffic than your physical location. Our virtual brick & mortar has become more important to sales and company perception than the physical location because our websites get hundreds or thousands of visitors each day.
So what do we do about this? We need to optimize our websites for the customer. We need to build responsive websites that respond to the goals we have for our customers. Responsive websites are sites that actually respond to the size of the users screen and can do so dynamically. You can test whether a site is built to be responsive in a couple of ways. You can visit the site from different devices (desktop, tablet, phone) or you can watch it scale by dragging your browser width from as wide as it goes to as small as it goes. If you see it changing on the fly, it’s a responsive website. If a horizontal scroll bar pops up at the bottom, the website is built for desktop purposes only. You can try it now with the Anchor website which is built in a responsive framework.
Not only do responsive websites respond to screen sizes, you can actually adapt the information you want to display based on which device is being used. For example, when someone is browsing on a mobile phone, they probably don’t have the time commitment to read through your whole website, so you might want to condense or re-prioritize the information on your site. Some of our clients are restaurants and retail stores and we know that often, when customers are visiting the site on their website, they are looking for directions to the store. For that reason, we can put a map or a link to directions on the home page to show users that we understand one of the main reasons they are visiting the website from their mobile phone.
People are on the go these days and have an “on demand” mentality. If they can’t find the information they need right away, you’ve lost a customer. Our agency monitors the website traffic and user activity of hundreds of sites and when we run our analyses, we are able to see the number of people visiting from mobile vs. tablet vs. desktop. A little insight for the readers of this post is that people average about 55% viewership from desktops and tablets and mobile phone split the remaining 45%. However, forecasts predict that mobile phones will take over internet usage at more than 50% in the next 1-2 years.
If you have a responsive business and want your online presence to reflect that, it’s time for a responsive website.
– BJ Caldwell