Rise and Shine

Why Your Business Site Needs To Be Responsive

responsive designBuild A Responsive Website That Is Fast And Mobile Friendly

Building a responsive website is much like building a business. You have to create something that not only serves a particular purpose and fills a gap in the market, but is optimised for a particular environment – in this case, a specific device.

The growth of mobile digital media engagement

Over the past 10 years there has been a remarkable shift in the way people search for information, products and services. Back in 2008, the overwhelming majority of online searches were conducted via a desktop or laptop; today people spend more time interacting with digital media via their mobile than any other device.

According to data from KPCB mobile technology trends by Mary Meeker, adults spent 2.8 hours a day accessing digital media from their mobile, compared with 2.4 hours for desktops or laptops. In 2008, daily mobile digital engagement was just 0.3 hours, compared to 2.2 hours for desktop/laptop. Therefore, in terms of time spend browsing your products and services online, mobile is now king.

A responsive website is customer-centric

Giving your customers the best experience is so much more than offering a great selection of products and services. You have to make sure they can find the right products at the right time so they get what they want and you achieve the fastest, highest possible ROI. For example, imagine you have a surplus of stock that you’ll no longer have space for in a few days.

Selling as many of these products would be your priority, so you have to make your customers feel like it’s their priority to buy them. So on a desktop-oriented website this could include a big red banner in the top-right hand corner with a discount sign in bold capitals. On a mobile-optimised website, however, it is likely the banner would need to take up a much larger proportion of the screen space in order to have the same level of impact.

Using WordPress to build a responsive website

Still the world’s most popular CMS platform, WordPress is incredibly easy and quick to set up and can be used for everything from business portfolios to personal blogs. There are dozens of responsive WordPress websites, from book-review-themed BookRev Lite to magazine-style Semicolon.

One of the most effective is the Responsive theme, which enables you to customise the framework of your website to different mobile devices. You’ll have full control of the CMS, various template options and widget areas, and a WooCommerce feature so you can create an e-commerce section for minimal effort.

Achieve better search engine rankings

Because responsive websites provide a better user experience, they can achieve higher search engine rankings. After all, Google recommends this type of website approach, suggesting that owners focus not only on a responsive web design, but also on using the same URL for every device (dynamic serving) and using a different code for each device (separate URLs).

Asking your customers to provide feedback on their website experience will also help you to correct any mistakes and improve the user experience.

Sam Johnson is the editor of the Essex Business Hub, which is the newest business support network in Essex.

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