It’s a safe bet now that “the Internet thing” is probably here to stay. And, for a little more truth, it’s getting smaller. Not smaller in its expanse, smaller in the way people access it. As in mobile. As in it’s been predicted that this year the number of people accessing the Internet via a mobile device will surpass the number using a desktop.
So this begs the question: Is your site ready?
The benefits of a responsive website are many, but the biggie is that regardless of the type of device being used to access it, your site will render appropriately. It won’t just shrink, but instead will adapt to the screen size so users can access content in a way that makes sense for the particular device.
Of the world’s four billion mobile phones, 1.7 billion of them are smartphones. Because Google makes search so easy, if a visitor lands on your site from a smartphone and finds it difficult to read, they’ll simply move on to one that’s easier to navigate. You’ve probably heard the phrase “user experience,” otherwise known as UX? Well, that’s bad UX.
Google also recommends responsive design (rather than a mobile site) as industry best practice for mobile configuration. Since Google is the behemoth in search market share, their opinion on this is kind of a big deal. Content that lives on a responsive site is much easier to share, interact with, and link to because it’s one URL rather than many.
Another benefit of responsive is that it frees up valuable resources and cuts down site maintenance. With responsive sites, there’s only one site for which to develop content and optimize for search engines.
With that being said, there are benefits to having a mobile strategy for search engine optimization (SEO), as there might be specific keywords that are more likely to be searched for on a mobile device. Lastly, mobile applications might also be appropriate for, say, the current student audience who doesn’t want to have to wade through your entire externally facing, marketing-focused, website to find content relevant to them.
In any event if you haven’t yet thought about transitioning your site to responsive design, I can tell you your competitors have and your target audiences are demanding it.