Businesses Need to Be Responsive – Now, So Does Your Website
On April 21, 2015, Google will be implementing a “mobile-friendly” update to their search engine formula that will preference sites that have been optimized for mobile devices. It’s believed that this change will have more of an impactful than both Penguin and Panda, with websites that have been optimized for mobile viewing getting a rankings “bump,” and those that have ignored mobile getting pushed down the list of search results.
The update will occur in real time (e.g. your site will be impacted the moment it occurs rather than weeks or even months later as in some previous updates)
What this means for your business depends solely on how your site has been designed. If you have a website that has ignored mobile, or if you decided to create a separate mobile site to attract that audience, your search results are going to take a bit hit that could severely harm your business. However, if you opted to have your web designer craft a responsive site, there’s a great chance that you’ll see your rank in search results get a nice boost.
What Exactly Is a Responsive Site?
Responsive websites meet the needs of your visitors by automatically formatting the site to fit the screen of whatever kind of device they’re using to look at it. In other words, if someone visits your responsive site from a desktop computer or laptop, they get the full, typical layout. Tablet and smart phone visitors, however, will see a different version of the same site that has been optimized for the size of their screens so that it is much easier for them to navigate.
There are two key points here:
That no matter what devices people use to come to your site, they will be getting the best possible experience.
That even though the site may look different depending on the device being used, it is still always the same site.
The second point is incredibly important to understand, because there are a lot of businesses out there that opted to create a mobile site that is completely separate from their main site. If you have done this, your mobile site will not be penalized by Google’s update, but your “regular” site will.
Benefits to Having a Responsive Site
Of course, there are many benefits to having a site that is responsive that go beyond Google’s new update to impact your business in a number of different ways.
Reach more people. More people now use mobile devices to access the internet than those who use desktops or laptops. That means the mobile audience is somewhere in the neighborhood of 9 billion people.
Give visitors a better experience. You know that mobile optimized sites look better to people browsing on their smartphones and tablets, but did you know that responsive sites are faster, too? Standard sites can take longer to load, and even if you have a separate mobile site, visitors have to wait while they are redirected to it.
Improve conversions. 61% of mobile users say that they leave sites that are not mobile-friendly. That means you could be losing out on more than half of your mobile audience if you don’t have a responsive site.
Spend less time tracking analytics. A separate mobile site means separate analytics that you have to track. Consolidating everything in one site makes it easier to understand and will cut down on the time you need to spend on it.
How Do I Know If My Site Is Mobile-Friendly?
Not sure whether your company’s site is mobile-friendly or not?
Well, you’re in luck. Google has been kind enough to provide site owners with an incredibly handy mobile friendly testing tool. All you have to do is copy and paste the URL of your site into the box on the page and Google will tell you whether or not you need help. Additional resources include Google’s mobile usability reports and mobile guidelines.
White Rabbit is also happy to provide a free responsive design consultation where we’ll look at your site and tell you what we think you need to provide users with the best possible experience. Our analysis will include:
User experience recommendations
Analysis of your site as it is
A breakdown of what we would need to do to transform your site into one that is responsive
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At White Rabbit, we bring your company values and mission to life with innovative and groundbreaking strategies. We understand that no single solution will usher your brand to the front of the competition, but rather, that you have to use a combination of the latest strategies, practices, and techniques.
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