Mobile Responsive Web Design (& Why You Need It)

Mobile Responsive Design is an approach to web design in which your content is presented differently depending on how your visitor is viewing it; this addresses one of the fastest changes in the history of the internet.  Over the last few years the proportion of people surfing the net using a desktop or laptop is stalling, while the number of people using mobile devices like iPhones, iPads and their Android, Nokia, Windows and other equivalents is exploding.

Mobile Websites Aren’t Necessarily the Answer

Mobile websites, tablets & notepads: responsive design

Mobile Responsive Design helps your website look great on any device

One common response to this issue is to create a separate mobile website.  This can be great because you can ensure it looks great on a mobile device, but it encounters some serious problems:

  • Not all mobile devices are the same.  Some mobile devices have tiny screens, while other devices like the newer iPhone’s and Samsung S3s have higher resolutions than many laptops; presenting them all with the same mobile website won’t work that well, and in fact many high resolution mobile devices happily display the full website very clearly.
  • Mobile devices are becoming even more different.  Two years ago no one imagined the iPhone retina display, or the range of tablets that are now popular; designing for mobile devices is hitting a moving target.
  • It’s not just mobiles – people are using all sorts of different devices. Tablets are the hot product this year, but next year it could be computer phones or Google goggles.  More and more people are using widescreen HD computer monitors and HD televisions to surf the net.  Designing for mobile ignores these devices completely.
  • Maintaining and updating two websites can be a real pain (most people can barely manage one!)

In all this tech talk its easy to miss why we should care.  The bottom line is – your customers have moved online, and most of them are going mobile.

Your customers are looking for you online, where 10 years ago they would reach for the phone book; now they are more likely to search for your business using their mobile phone, tablet, computer or telephone. Getting your name and phone number in front of them is as important as ever, but you need to go where your customers are.

Mobile internet usage is predicted to exceed desktop usage over the next 12 months.  If your website doesn’t work great on a mobile device you may be ignoring 50% or more of your potential customers.

Business SEO spends a LOT of time getting our clients on the front page of Google; most of this comes down to a great website which people love to visit, plenty of useful content and being active on the wider internet including social media,  industry specific sites, paid online advertising… whatever it takes to find the decision makers who are looking to buy your product or service.

This is all a waste of time unless your website looks great on the device they are viewing it on… whether that is a desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone or mobile phone.

For many businesses, customers need your services the most when they are on their mobile phone.

Some prime examples include:

  • Travel, hospitality, food and beverage industry.
  • Emergency services like locksmiths and car breakdown services.

People are also more often willing to try something new when they’re away from home, and those who travel often have higher incomes than those who don’t.  Think about the ads and shops you see in airports – it is critical that these advertisers have a mobile website.

Mobile responsive design adapts to your visitor, while preserving your content and making it easier to update and maintain.

Mobile responsive design adjusts the screen display to suit the device; this can include resizing images, rearranging blocks of images, or text to better communicate on a different sized screen.  It lets you choose the layout that looks best on a given device.

To get some idea how mobile responsive design works, try resizing your browser window now if you are on a laptop or desktop (or rotating your screen if you’re on a smartphone)

To get some idea how easy we can make your business website mobile, contact us now.

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