The days of simply buying a domain name and slapping on some content are forever gone!! Everyone uses the internet, but not everyone accesses websites using the same methods. It’s the era of techies and non techies who are equally dependent on all of their tech gadgets (Smart phones, tablets, smart watches etc.) For business owners, bloggers, and others who depend on web traffic, Responsive Design is increasingly important. It might mean the difference between them surviving, striving or drowning online. Customers want to visit a website and experience a page that appears to speak directly to their needs. And nothing says “we don’t want your business” like an improperly configured non responsive website.Are you wandering if your website is outdated? Here are 10 surefire ways you can find out if your website is a dinosaur
According to recent reports, the number of mobile users accessing the internet surpassed the number of desktop users in early 2014. These mobile devices come in all shapes and sizes. And screen size has become a major factor in the responsive design industry. Websites can no longer be designed with a fixed number of pixels. Even gaming consoles, e-readers, and web terminals can now surf websites. Static Website Design has become a thing of a soon to be forgotten era. Find out the difference between static and Dynamic Website Design.
Interacting with websites using a touch screen is often extremely clumsy. Usually, just to scroll and see what you want, you need to resize the page several times. So ask yourself, when you load your website on a smartphone or a tablet do you have to zoom in and zoom out to see all the content you have listed. If this is true you are probably in trouble or surely will be very soon. Remember, the content you provide and the experience one has on your website will be a direct reflection on your attitude towards potential clients because nothing says “we don’t want your business” like an improperly configured non responsive website.
Websites not optimized to vary screen size and content means scrolling in two directions to read a few sentences. Smaller devices also experience long loading times to access all of the content and images. These images often are ridiculous in size.
Why Do You Need Responsive Website Design?
One of the best ways to reach your customers and show them you care is by redesigning your site using responsive web design. Responsive web pages automatically adjust themselves to any screen size and reorder content based on the device. Smaller devices need to load just as fast as your desktop or laptop devices. Account for weaker processing power in smaller devices and optimize your content and code for faster loading with and clean organization of your content versus a graphic heavy design you might chose to use for bigger screens.
Content often needs to be edited and rewritten. For smaller devices you want concise, easy to understand text. Images should be smaller in size. Get rid of all the heavey graphical elements that might not mean much when surfing through a phone. Responsive design is about enhancing the users’ experience by anticipating their needs and re-organizing your content and links. For instance, by providing the most relevant links on your mobile landing pages, you reduce the need for typing in text boxes, a strenuous activity that is difficult on some devices.
Search Engine Optimization and Responsive design
If you don’t think responsive design and proper optimization matters in your SERP results then think again as this will become a major factor in the upcoming months. Responsive Website design and Search Engine Optimization are 2 sides of a coin that are equally important in the realm of the World Wide Web.
February 2011 – Google’s Panda Update introduced a search filter that is meant to stop sites with poor quality content from working their way into Google’s top search results. Panda is updated from time-to-time. This leads to the latest changes to Google Search Engine Algorithms. So remember quality content that speaks to your customers are very important.
April 2015 – Googles Mobile friendly update is meant to boost search engine rankings of mobile friendly / responsive websites. With this update now searchers can more easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling. AS I have highlighted above horizontal scrolling and having to zoom to read content are major indicators of a non-responsive website.
Here are some tips for a successful responsive approach
- Figure out if you need to update your website – Use the Google webmasters mobile testing tool to see if your website is Responsive/ mobile friendly.
- Build a responsive Website – There are many options for you to build a responsive website. If you are not able to spend the time to do so, Hire a designer or a hosted design service and let them know you requirements for a responsive / mobile friendly design
- Think of mobile users first – As more people now use mobile devices, you want to use mobile design as your ground zero. By designing for tiny touchscreens, you’ll focus on the most relevant content first. The chances of the information being optimized for any device drastically increases, as scaling up is easier than trying to remove content you’ve deemed critical.
- Write Relevant Content – Think “Customers First” It’s not always about what you want to say and how you want to put it out there. It should be more about what your customers are looking for and how much they will find the content relevant. By looking from the customers’ point of view, you can better tailor your content. What products and services are web users typically looking for when they visit your landing page?
- Optimize for better SEO – Optimize your content and the website code so you can expect better results on SERP results. Find out more about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as there are many verticals to what SEO will have to offer your website. Read more about Organic and Non-Organic SEO.
These tips and advice can help you make an informed decision about your website and your strategy in moving towards a responsive design. After you launch your responsive website, adapting to future changes is much simpler and you will be glad that you made the necessary changes.