Mobile internet surfing has been gaining ground on desktop internet usage during the past few years, and it is expected to match and possibly surpass its stationary counterpart by the end of 2014.  Is your website ready to accommodate the ever-increasing wave of mobile visitors? Most businesses aren’t.

So why all the fuss about responsive design? Websites with responsive design are developed to automatically adjust to any screen size, offering website visitors an optimal viewing experience no matter what device they are using. Here are some of the most important reasons to consider making the switch:

  1. Social media and blogs encourage mobile use. Are you using social media marketing and blogging as a part of your marketing strategy? According to recent studies, over 55% of social media viewing now happens on a mobile device. If you are using these methods to drive traffic to your static website, you risk frustrating visitors once they land on your site, causing higher bounce rates and missed conversion opportunities.
  2. Responsive websites load faster. Slow and steady doesn’t always win the race. Internet users, especially those on mobile devices who are often on the go, like to get their information quickly. Responsive websites generally load much faster than a desktop website loading on a mobile device. The longer your potential visitor has to wait to access your website, the higher the likelihood that they will look elsewhere. Curious about your site’s speed? Check out this nifty PageSpeed Insights tool from Google to see how your website ranks for mobile and desktop.
  3. Websites with responsive design are ready for current and future mobile devices. Responsive design is key for the forward-looking business. Not only does a responsive design automatically fit the screen sizes of our current mobile favs, it will also accommodate future devices that could become popular (think watches and glasses). How? Websites with responsive design automatically adjust to fit screen sizes, not device sizes, so bring on the funky glasses.
  4. Mobile-friendly sites do a better job converting visitors into customers. According to a study by Google (conducted by independent research firms Sterling Research and SmithGeiger), 74% of those who visited a mobile-friendly site said they were likely to return to the site in the future and 67% said they were more likely to buy a product or service from a mobile-friendly site.
  5. Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly can get a bad rep. In the study noted above, 48% of users expressed frustration when landing on sites that weren’t mobile-friendly. That same percentage indicated that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphones, they felt like the company didn’t care about their business. Additionally, 36% felt their time had been wasted, and 52% indicated that a bad experience would make them less likely to engage with a company.
  6. 80% of local searches on mobile devices convert. Is local search important to your business? A recent Local Search Study by Neustar Localeze and 15miles shows that four out of five local searches result in a purchase—and 73% of those purchases were done in a brick-and-mortar store.
  7. Mobile sites outrank static sites in SERPS. Because Google is always looking for ways to improve the user experience (i.e. make more money), it favors mobile sites over static sites due to the improved user experience and faster loading times that mobile-friendly sites provide.
  8. Businesses with static sites risk looking antiquated. And not in the cool Antique Road Show kind of way. Having a website that can’t be easily navigated by mobile viewers can make a business look out of touch or run-down, much like a store front on a brick-or-mortar building that hasn’t been kept up. When you think about it, where would you make a purchase—at the shiny, new store with the latest gadgets or the dumpy, outdated store on the corner with the Atari set in the front window?
  9. Responsive design can help your business stay ahead of the competition. Responsive design has taken off in the last couple of years, so most businesses have not switched over yet. Get a leg up on your competition by upgrading to a responsive website before they do. One quick way to tell if a site is responsive is to minimize the width of your browser window. If the site automatically adjusts to the new size, it’s mobile friendly.

Hopefully this helps you make an informed decision on whether or not to upgrade your site to include a responsive design. Still unsure whether or not your business needs a website with responsive design? Contact us. We would be happy to discuss your current site to determine whether or not a responsive design is right for you. 

Image © Depositphotos.com/bagiuiani