If you aren’t already familiar with the term ‘responsive web design,’ you’re in the majority. Understanding of what it is and why it matters can give you the advantage in a crowded industry.
Forbes.com contributor Joshua Steimle defines responsive web design as, “A website design that adjusts gracefully to fit on desktop, tablet, and smartphone browsers.” The keyword here is ‘gracefully.’ One of the biggest online turnoffs for consumers is the lack of a functional website, regardless of the devise it’s on. A responsive web design creates a consistent design that doesn’t change from device to device. It looks good no matter where you see it.
Reasons to Believe in Responsive Web Design
In December 2012, Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO of Mashable, claimed 2013 would be ‘the Year of Responsive Web Design.’ While he wasn’t incorrect, it seems 2013 was more of a preparation for 2014. Here are three reasons why your company needs to pursue a responsive web design this year:
- Google is a fan. If its 67 percent market share carries any weight, you should listen when Google speaks. Most recently, Google has opened up about responsive web design and how it views mobile configuration. The popular search engine says it favors mobile-optimized sites when choosing which results to display for searches made on mobile devices. That means a responsive web design can help your company get on Google’s good side.
- The Growth of Mobile Usage. Unsurprisingly, mobile usage is exploding. Reports show that 20% of Google searches are performed on a mobile device, and that 25% of users in the United States only access the internet via a mobile device. That’s millions of potential customers you could lose due to a lack of responsive web design.
- Better Marketing. With so many brands focusing such a large portion of their marketing efforts on social media, it is increasingly likely that customers will access your site from a mobile device. A responsive web design ensures that your website is prepared for mobile viewership, and allows for easier-to-manage SEO and marketing campaigns.
The Future is Responsive Web Design
Steimle believes so strongly in responsive web design that he recently wrote, “If you’ve ignored previous warnings and your business isn’t taking advantage of responsive web design right now or planning on it in the very near future, you are in danger of going out of business in 2014.” Sometimes it’s the truest words that hit the hardest.