What are the benefits of a mobile responsive website? B2B responsive web design optimizes your online website for visitors based on the screen size of the device they are using to view your site. Today we review four benefits of responsive design.
For B2B companies, having a mobile responsive web site is becoming increasingly important. Since 2012 89% of B2B researchers use the internet during the research process. Over the last two years, however, there has been a 91% growth in B2B researchers using smart phones throughout the purchase process. How your website presents itself on different size devices is becoming more critical every year.
There's two significant reasons why mobile B2B research is growing so fast.
Most of the people identified by these two statistics have grown up with technology and are comfortable utilizing mobile devices for personal and business reasons.
One of the things that I dislike most about mobile sites that have alternative websites, for desktop and mobile devices, is that they often display information differently from the desktop version I am used to. Often the mobile site is trying to present information relevant to a person on the go, so site content gets streamlined. If we were only dealing with smart phones this might make sense. With the increase in tablet devices, though, people are often utilizing these devices in place of their desktop, but still want access to the same content available as the desktop. With responsive design all of your content is equally available across devices, though it is simply formatted differently to present better on smaller screens.
Large businesses have IT staffs; small to medium size businesses often have small marketing departments or just a general marketing person to manage their online presence. With a mobile responsive designed website there is only one website to deal with. You can manage one site, verses having separate desktop and mobile versions of your site where you have to update each separately. From an search engine optimization perspective it makes sense to manage a optimization campaign for one site verses several iterations of your site. In both cases a responsive website saves time and money which in today's economy is critical.
If your visitors are familiar with your site they will be immediately comfortable with your site on mobile devices. The links and content they are familiar with on their desktop are the same. This makes for a good user experience. One blog that I like to read has less than half of its content immediately available on the mobile version of their site which I find frustrating. Make sure that your mobile responsive site has a clear and intuitive navigation so that it is easy to move around your website to find content.
Google Recommends It
In June (2014) Google identified responsive design as their recommended configuration for websites that target smart phones. Here is specifically what they said, "Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices and using only CSS media queries to decide the rendering on each device." From an SEO and link perspective, having one site makes sharing, tracking and indexing links much simpler.
Why Responsive Design Might Not Be A Good Solution
As much as we love responsive design we do recognize that it isn't the right choice for every site. Sites that rely on heavy web development technologies may find that performance on mobile devices is slow and sub-par. Using a responsive design also means that all of the content on your site will be served up, where with a separate mobile site you could only serve information relative to mobile use. People often look for a different experience on mobile devices than on desktops. But, as tablets become more common they are replacing desktop usage in the home and office.
In the end you have to determine what is the best option for you. Their are costs involved in changing your site to a responsive design, since your site may have to be rebuilt from the ground up. If you are launching a new site or are planning a redesign, then it makes sense make the new site mobile responsive. If you use Wordpress most new themes are mobile responsive, though you may need to do some custom responsive coding for some plugin features or functionality
If your website is outdated, not mobile responsive, or not helping you capture leads it may be time to consider a redesign.