As a kid growing up, my brother and I would always look forward to going camping with our grandparents for a weekend every summer. We could hardly wait to spend the weekend swimming, sitting around campfires and making new friends. One of my fondest memories of those weekends was our grandfather teaching us how to do different tasks around the campsite. While teaching us, he always used his Swiss Army knife. I was quite fascinated with his knife and would watch in amazement as he used it for a variety of tasks that required us to cut, fix or build something.
Fast-forward to today’s business landscape and it’s amazing to see how much has changed over the past decade. Businesses have gone from having their information in YellowPages and a few newspaper ads to having a website, social media platforms that help brands interact with their consumers and a little something called search engines that help people find businesses. All of these tools now make up your extensive marketing mix and are essential to generating leads.
The biggest search engine of them all a.k.a. Google has decided to put an emphasis on featuring websites that are optimized for mobile devices. This puts a huge emphasis on making sure your website can be viewed on smartphones and tablets. In the past, many businesses built a mobile version that was essentially a second version of their website. This method is quite primitive and can confuse Google since there are now two versions of your website. So how can you ensure that your website is optimized for mobile devices without building a second version? The answer is responsive design a.k.a. your Swiss Army knife.
One Size Fits All
Responsive design essentially acts as your Swiss Army knife by making your website automatically adjust its shape and size to whatever device the website is being viewed on. This is crucial for business owners because they no longer need two versions of their website (desktop and mobile), where the mobile version featured less content and did not offer users the same experience as their desktop version.
How does responsive design work? If you were viewing your website on a computer and began shrinking your browser screen, your website would automatically alter your layout so that everything would still be viewable and look aesthetically pleasing. This same concept applies to mobile devices, meaning that your website’s visitors will no longer have to pinch and zoom in order to find what they are looking for and can now have the same website experience on their smartphones as their desktops.
Another great aspect of responsive design is that since you only have one version of your website, you no longer have to alter your content and update both versions. For example, you post a blog to your website. Before responsive design, you would have to not only update both versions, but also ensure that the content you were adding to the mobile version was altered so that it could be easily viewed on mobile devices. However, responsive design eliminates the need to alter your content and you can now easily add content without having to worry about whether or not smartphone users are able to view it.
Search Engine Ranking
So everyone can now view your website on any device. That’s great, but there’s more! There’s something that we haven’t talked about yet and that is the mobile market. Did you know that 4 out of 5 consumers use their smartphones to shop and that the mobile shopping market is set to have increased by 800% by the end of 2015 compared to last year?
Google has even responded to this by changing how they rank websites by down-ranking websites that are not optimized for viewing on mobile devices and increasing the ranking of ones that are. This has put an even bigger emphasis on ensuring that your website is mobile friendly because, if not, everything you do to increase your search engine ranking will work to counteract the decrease in ranking that Google is giving you because your website isn’t mobile friendly.
From increasing your search engine ranking to simplifying your website design and editing process, responsive design is at the forefront of the website landscape. Furthermore, with so many users now viewing your website on their mobile devices first it’s becoming increasingly important to ensure that your website can be viewed on any type of device. Interested in learning more? Feel free to visit our website or contact us to learn more about technology’s new Swiss Army knife: responsive design.