With the increase in people accessing the web via mobile devices, responsive web design has seen a sharp rise in adoption. For those of you unaware of this term, don’t feel bad—the term was just coined in 2010. Responsive web sites are simply sites that are coded to adapt to a variety of screen sizes/resolutions. Whether you are viewing on a smartphone, tablet, desktop or laptop, responsive sites will adjust to fit your screen.
It was only a couple of years ago that most sites weren’t responsive. Thus, slow adopters represent the majority of web sites. As of December 2013, one tech blogger’s statistical analysis stated that only one in every eight websites is responsive. Mobile is in charge—it’s time to get up to speed and make the change to a responsive web design.
Mobile is in charge
Not only is mobile predicted to match desktop usage this year (2014), it’s predicted to surpass the PC. It’s common sense: Mobile is more accessible to the masses and since many people are constantly on the go and check their handhelds or other mobile devices every few minutes or seconds, mobile is king for real-time data access. Here are other corroborating stats from Smart Insights:
- More than 20 percent of Google searches are performed on a mobile device
- In 2012, more than half of local searches were performed on a mobile device
- In the U.S., 25 percent of internet users only access the internet on a mobile device
- 61 percent of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience
- 25.85 percent of all emails are opened on mobile phones, and 10.16 percent are opened on tablets
According to Charles Refshauge of A-Line Interactive, an increasing number of his clients are realizing the benefit of going mobile responsive. “Just take a look around you the next time you walk into the grocery store —odds are you’ll see several folks on their smartphones checking email, interacting on Facebook or surfing the web,” he said. “With mobile responsive technology, we can ensure an optimized user experience for visitors regardless of the device they are using. In the past year, more than 50 percent of our clients have opted for a mobile responsive solution.”
Why aren’t more sites responsive?
Short answer: cost, time and know-how. While many people think they can program/design their own web site, it’s not that simple if you aren’t a coding and/or design professional. So outsourcing a new site or revamping an old unresponsive site can cost—at the low end—a few thousand and $20,000 or more at the high end. Again, there are many variables, and site costs depend on content, features, whether you involve databases, member-only sections and/or e-commerce.
Why responsive is good for content marketing & business
Google says responsive sites get ranked higher than mobile templates. This is one of the primary reasons to go responsive since you don’t want your competitor’s snazzy site to rank above yours—primarily because it’s responsive.
Responsive is a speedier and a better conduit for social media and overall content. A recent study by ComScore cites that 55 percent of social media consumption happens on a mobile device. Thus, if you are promoting content via social channels and you direct people back to your site (as most companies do), you want a site that is easy to view. This lessens the bounce rate and increase the time spent on your site.
Most websites will (or should) be responsive soon (at least those businesses whose livelihood is more digital dependent). If you’ve been procrastinating on that new responsive design, go ahead and take that step into the 21st century—it’s good business sense.
Holly Rollins – President of 10-x Group