FAQ Friday: Questions About Responsive Website Design

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Are you considering a website redesign? Have you identified a few target areas of improvement within your current design? Perhaps you recognize that your site is a bit dated and could use a modern refresh to drive new business?

Well, you are certainly on to something. Many businesses fail to realize that their website alone is affecting their bottom line in ways they haven’t considered.

In this week's FAQ Friday we are helping you shake the dust off your current website approach and helping you target those gap areas that are causing you to miss out on large leads and profit.

Here are 10 answers to your most frequently asked website design questions.

To maximize leads a responsive website is crucial to capturing all audiences. If a viewer opens your site on a desktop, tablet or mobile device of any screen size your responsive design will accommodate them.

Why is responsive design the standard?

  • Maximization
    • Over half of all website browsing is done via mobile devices. If your site is not yet responsive you are missing out on 50% of potential business.

Pro Tip: A responsive website can increase your business leads by 50%.

  • Adaptability
    • Let viewers know via social media you want them to visit your site via their mobile device. Think of ways to maximize your investment and use responsive design to expand community engagement.
  • Modernization
    • A responsive design also sends a message that your business is applying modern best practices.

Why is a mobile-friendly site important?

Mobile is now the leading digital platform, with total activity on smartphones and tablets accounting for two-thirds of digital media time spent.—comscore.com 2016 Mobile App Report

In 2015, Google rolled out a mobile-friendly update which altered the search algorithm. This update affected:

  • Search rankings on mobile devices
  • Search results in all languages globally
  • Individual pages and not websites

Your website's ability to be mobile compliant can either negatively or positively affect your search ranking.

 
 
 
 
 
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Why is a responsive site important overall?

The key to generating new leads is to maintain visibility before your prospects. If your site is not yet responsive you are not maximizing your visibility online. With Google's current algorithm optimized for mobile browsing you are drastically hurting your bottom line without a responsive site.

Google processes over 3.5 billion searches a day.—www.internetlivestats.com

Responsive design:

  • Makes it easy to share your site content with one URL
  • Supports Google’s algorithms to assign index properties to the page
  • Reduces common mistakes that affect mobile pages
  • Reduces load time, as users are not redirected to a device-optimized view page
  • Makes it easier for Googlebot to crawl your site

With billions of queries daily you want to make sure your site is optimized to populate on that first Google page. Without a responsive site your business may be penalized.

How can I test my site to see if it is responsive?

As a rule of thumb here are a few standard responsive website design best practices:

  • Design for multiple devices
    • Keep in mind when designing your site and content that the site will be resized depending on the viewing screen. So generate content and a design that reformats seamlessly and clean across devices.
  • Dynamic simplicity
    • Yes, have an engaging website but consider balancing it with effective white space and simplicity so viewers can focus on sections of your site that matter most.

Checkout our previous post on website design trends for 2017 to get tips on how to create a simple yet dynamic website design.

Get responsive now:

  • Prioritize content
    • Draw attention where you want it with content that has been prioritized for your personas.
  • Easy navigation
    • Keep your navigation bar scalable and optimized for all devices.
  • Font sizes
    • It is important to find the sweet spot text size that translates well across platforms.
  • Images and video
    • Site interaction is great and using images and videos to engage viewers works like a charm. However, placement within your site layout becomes important to your user experience.
  • Download speed
    • A high graphic and interactive media site may affect download speed. For an optimized responsive site this is certainly something to consider.
  • Drop down tabs and input forms
    • When creating these sections of your site consider that some users will be selecting icons or inputting information via their fingers. Keeping responsive design top of mind will help you identify how to best build content that is user friendly across devices.

After you complete your design you can double check your site compatibility through the following methods:

How is responsive design optimized for SEO?

Google Placement

Googlebot’s are going to crawl all over the web to bring your prospects results on their search. Since a responsive design is preferred by Google, a responsive site makes it that much easier for Google and its spiderbots to find your site.

One URL and One Website

For optimized SEO having one url and one website that all your traffic is funneled to really supports your overall visibility and search engine placement. Instead of having a website and a mobile site diverting your traffic having one responsive website really maximizes your SEO.

Bounce Rate

We all get the same view from this beach. A responsive design allows just that for your viewers—a non-obstructed view of your site and content from any device anywhere. With consistent content across platforms your site bounce rate should decrease as you deliver customer delight through a dynamic user experience.

It’s like watching the perfect sunset over a Caribbean Sea without a boat, tree or house insight.

Enhanced User Experience

Responsive sites are user-friendly as they are created with the consumer in mind. Make it easy for your prospects to visit, comment and share your content across all their devices. That is really what it is all about delivering great content to your prospects. A responsive site allows you to execute just that.

Are there drawbacks to responsive website design?

Google loves responsive design for a reason. Even if it seems like an unnecessary extra step, for 2017 consider it necessary. With tablet and mobile web activity surpassing that of desktop your business could see more than a 50% increase in new leads just by going responsive.

The only drawback here is that by not going responsive you can negatively impact your sites search engine position—by decreasing in rank. With a site populating low within a search engine your prospects have to work that much harder to find you and many of them simply will not put in the extra leg work.

In 2013 Microsoft found the average human attention span is 8 seconds.—microsoft.com Consumer Insights

If your prospects can not find your site in 8 seconds or less chances are they will not find you. This is a major drawback to your business.

Can I have a mix of responsive and traditional pages?

Yes you can, though it is not recommended nor is it the industry standard.

A successful business best practice is to have an entirely responsive site to maximize on all potential leads.

Web design is responsive design. Responsive web design is web design, done right.—Andy Clarke

Is a mobile site the same as a responsive site?

No, a mobile site is not the same as a responsive site. Many companies choose to divert all mobile traffic through their “mobile site." This is completely different than their main website. It is a site specifically built for mobile users.

A responsive site is a site that automatically alters depending on the viewing screen no matter if it is mobile, tablet or desktop.

While a responsive site creates for a more streamlined process of accessibility across all platforms perhaps your company sees benefit in having a specific mobile site for customers.

Would you say a decision to have a mobile site would work best for your prospects? If so, leave us a comment below or send us a message @Directimage letting us know why you would prefer a mobile specific site. We would love to hear your feedback.

How do I get more traffic to my site via mobile?

First, sites like Google analytics or HubSpot will help you gather valuable data to help you identify your online traffic. Once you identify where your traffic is coming from you will be better informed in how to organize a strategy to further engage your personas.

The key to inbound marketing is understanding your personas and creating content that services their needs and answers their questions.

Here are a few actionable steps to drive traffic to your site:

  • Review site data
  • Cross-reference personas
  • Develop concepts to touch personas pain points
  • Create content that speaks to pain points
  • Implement content within distribution channels
  • Track changes

Perhaps you may benefit from developed social media outreach? Or perhaps your company would benefit from implementing video marketing? Your data will help you organize a strategy and help you identify how to draw more site traffic to you.

Should my mobile site look identical to my desktop site?

We recommend making the sites look as identical as possible minus the fact that your site should be responsive to each unique device. Your desktop site should be similar to your tablet and mobile versions of your site. Other than screen size the following should be consistent:

  • Icons
  • Links
  • Your logo
  • Color scheme
  • Contact information
  • Content

Following these best practices will allow for your site to “feel” the same to your viewers no matter how they access your site. This consistency builds trust across your platforms and establishes brand validity and recognition.

I know if I visited Google on a desktop and then visited it on my phone and the site was blue, black and white via mobile my first thought would be “this is not the same site." Consistency goes a long way for viewers in feeling confident that they found the right company.

If you have questions you would like to see featured in our weekly FAQ Friday, please submit them in the comments below, mention us @DirectImages on Twitter, or submit your questions HERE. Until next FAQ Friday, keep your communication lines open. Don’t know the answer—just ASK.

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Topics: Online Design, Responsive Design, Website Design

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