The Importance of Responsive Design in Technology Solutions

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Responsive design is one of the most important design tenets in 2017 and will likely hold that distinction at least through 2018, perhaps longer. Google and other search engines are making changes that prioritize mobile-friendly, easy-to-use websites in their results listings. Marketers and business leaders need to be aware of the ever-growing trend of mobile internet use and respond by creating web-based applications with responsive design.

What is Responsive Design?

Responsive design is:

“An approach to web page creation that makes use of flexible layouts, flexible images and cascading stylesheet media queries. The goal of responsive design is to build web pages that detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly.”

Trying to access (and subsequently, use) a web page that is not optimized for mobile can be a frustrating experience. Responsive design makes sure that every page of a website is optimized to work best on each specific device. That means the site may look slightly different, have different functionality, or a different layout depending on the device.

There are many reasons why responsive design is an essential feature for any modern website. A responsive site will improve the user experience, create less work for marketers and increase conversion rates by making your digital presence more user-friendly.

1. Higher Engagement Rates

Once upon a time, the only way to access the web was with a desktop (or laptop) computer. Mobile devices were still in their (relative) infancy and could not access the internet. Today that has changed. Thanks to reduced costs for a smartphone and the accessibility of data plans, more and more people are accessing the internet through their smartphones every day.

You can use this trend to increase the number of customers your brand earns through digital channels. If your website has a responsive design, customers using mobile devices can easily use your website to gather information. A mobile-friendly website allows users to easily get in touch with your business, closing the distance between your brand and qualified prospects.

2. Improved User Experience

A website built with responsive design enhances the experience for users. Even desktop users accrue the benefits of a site with responsive design. The site will have the same feel and provide the same experience to a desktop or mobile user, bringing consistency to your digital presence. This consistency makes it easy and intuitive to navigate your website, regardless of the device, making things better for the users of your website and making them feel valued.

Look at some of the most popular websites and apps on the market. Companies like Uber, Google, Netflix and Facebook ensure that their products are fully functional on (or expressly designed for) mobile devices. People have come to expect the ability to do anything on a mobile device. If they can’t, because the process is too difficult, they will abandon your website and move on to a competitor’s. Responsive design makes your web presence more appealing to users, and in turn, increases your brand’s ability to attract new users.

3. Less Work for You

In addition to an improved experience for mobile users, a website with responsive design will make life simpler for those tasked with digital marketing initiatives. A responsive website is easy for mobile users to use, making it easier to convert qualified leads into customers.

Many people searching for something online are already in “buy” mode. With an easy-to-use, responsive website, you will barely need to sell qualified buyers on your service. Simply provide them with a call to action, and they will take the next steps, making life easier for marketers and members of your sales team.

Making it easier for qualified buyers to make purchase decisions is only one instance of a responsive website making life easier for marketers. Another work-saving benefit of a responsive website is the fact that only one version of the website needs to be updated. In the days before responsive design became the industry standard, many marketers maintained two separate versions of their website. One optimized for desktop, one for mobile. Responsive design takes that work out, allowing marketers to put all their focus on creating one excellent website, instead of maintaining two.

4. Better Search Engine Ranking

Since late 2016, Google has maintained they will one day move to a “mobile-first” method of indexing. That means Google’s web crawlers will primarily index the mobile version of your website, instead of the desktop version. That means if your website is not built with responsive design (or a “mobile-first” framework), your search rankings will suffer.

While the search giant has not made the move to “mobile-first” indexing yet, the transition is well underway. Google already favors sites with responsive design, putting them higher on the results page. Search ranking has a dramatic impact on how much traffic a website receives. Over half of all website traffic is driven by organic search. Not only to people search often, but they usually don’t dig very far into the search engine results page (SERP).

In fact, 9 out of 10 searchers don’t go beyond Google’s first page of organic search results. It’s important to have a mobile-friendly website. Build it with responsive design.

5. Flexibility

A website built with responsive design gives brands flexibility than a non-mobile-friendly website does. There are several options and features that a responsive website provides marketers and web developers that other websites do not.

A website with a responsive design gives the option to only display certain types of content on specific types of devices. For example, a quiz designed for a mobile phone or tablet, may not work as well on a desktop. With responsive design, marketers may only display that quiz for those using a smartphone, effectively segmenting and targeting content to relevant audience members. Some content works better on certain machines, and responsive design lets brands take advantage of that fact.

A responsive website gives marketers more options to create experiences tailored to a particular device. This ensures that users have an excellent experience regardless of their device. Without a website with responsive design, marketers have less flexibility. Meaning they will have to work harder to find digital marketing success.

Takeaways

Without a website with responsive design, your brand will be left in the past. There is no other option but to update your website, making it mobile-friendly. If you do not take action soon, bad things will happen. Your search ranking will plummet, your website will receive less traffic and your business will suffer. If you have already made the change, congratulations, you are part of the twenty percent of people who have already made the change. Veriday can help you create an engaging, mobile-friendly digital presence that will increase your conversions and help your business grow. For more information, you can follow us on Twitter (@VeridayHQ) or get in touch at our Contact Us page.

The Anatomy of an Optimized Web Page

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Website Optimizing is a phrase that describes the techniques and strategies used to effect the visibility of a website or web page in search engine results.

So, why optimize your website?  The fact is, if you aren’t optimizing your web pages, you’re ultimately losing business. Optimizing your website properly is crucial to getting your website seen and clicked on in search engines. Your website must be optimized so that your target market can find it, and use it effectively, even if they don’t yet know it exists.  Ultimately, optimizing your web pages will increase the quantity and quality of traffic you are getting.

In the Infographic below, courtesy of  SurePayroll, you will learn which elements of your web pages you should focus on optimizing, and what you can do to optimize them.

The Anatomy of an Optimized Web Page

So what do you think of the anatomy of an optimized web page? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ

How Advisors Can Market To The Millennial Generation: Responsive Design

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A Millennial weighing in on how to market to the Millennial Generation. 

This is the third article in a series of tips and techniques for Advisors trying to reach the Millennial Generation. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 before moving on.

This instalment will focus on why having a mobile strategy is key to reaching this demographic, as well as the the significant changes that Google is making to their algorithms come April 21st.

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We, Millennials, have adopted digital like no other. It should come as no real surprise that mobile is our choice. Today’s Millennials are the most mobile device population. So, just how much time does this demographic spend with their beloved smartphones? Here’s what us Millennials are saying about mobile:

  •  90% of Millennials have a mobile phone. (Cohen, 2014)
  • The average Millennial checks his or her smartphone 43 times a day. (Entrepreneur, 2014)
  • Mobile search will surpass desktop in 2015. (eMarketer, 2014)
  • Millennials spend 14% more time (than any other group) interacting with their mobile devices during the average week. (Cohen, 2014)
  • 47% of Millennials access businesses via mobile at least once a day. (USA Today, 2014)
  • 36% have made a decision on where to spend money or have switched companies based on what they let them accomplish on mobile (USA Today, 2014)
  • 14% say they wouldn’t do business with a company that doesn’t have a mobile site or app. (USA Today, 2014)
  • 86% say there are still a lot of websites without good mobile functionality. (USA Today, 2014)

 Actionable Millennial Marketing Tips

Advisors that don’t speak mobile are losing out on business.

With 90% of Millennials saying their phones never leave their side, it would make sense that Millennials turn to their mobile devices to research and find the information that drives their buying decisions. However, surveys suggest that this group is not always thrilled by the mobile experience that they receive from businesses. Millennials expect, even demand that your business be accessible by mobile, and if it isn’t, they will leave.

Advisors looking to target Millennials need to adapt to mobile in order to best reach them on their preferred devices.   The first step for Advisors is to ensure that their website is mobile by designing it responsively. Responsive website design refers to a website designed to adapt to any device a visitor is using. It is a single website that intelligently adapts to the screen the visitor is on without compromising functionality or aesthetics.

A responsive website is crucial for Advisors to reach the Millennials, who access the web through their mobile devices at an increasingly high rate.  If your website isn’t mobile friendly, most Millennials will assume your practise is out of date, and will likely leave your website for one of your competitors. Offering a great mobile experience on your website helps you stay relevant and competitive, and makes for a great user experience.

What change is Google making to its algorithm on April 21st?

In 2015, the number of mobile users will overtake the number of desktop users. Google has released a statement that starting April 21st, Google will begin considering mobile friendliness as a factor when determining how to rank your website in Google searches. This will help users to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices. If your website is not responsive, expect your search engine ranking to take a hit in just a couple weeks.

How do I know if my website is mobile friendly?

It is actually really simple to test your website and check whether it is mobile friendly or whether you need to update it. All you need to do is run your pages through the Mobile-Friendly Test.   Click on the test and input the URL of the website you would like to check, hit the blue ‘’analyze’’ button and the tool will determine whether your site is mobile-friendly.

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To find out how you can go responsive, get in touch with the Digital Agent team today!

The Top Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Responsive Website Design

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The mobile takeover of online surfing is growing rapidly each year.  Consumers now expect their online experience to be consistent no matter what device they are on.

Have you ever tried accessing a website from your mobile device only to find that it is slow to load and difficult to read? If so, this means that you have landed on the site of a business that has not yet adapted responsive website design. Responsive website design refers to a website designed to adapt to any device a visitor is using. It is a single website that intelligently adapts to the screen the visitor is on without compromising functionality or aesthetics. With the increasing amount of Internet traffic coming from mobile devices, it has become clear that responsive design is no longer a trend, but a must for any website. Businesses that have not designed their websites with mobile users in mind are set to fall behind the pack but fortunately, responsive website design is an easy solution.

Is your website responsive? If not, what is holding you back?  What are the top reasons why your business should hop on the responsive website design train? Marketpath outlines the following 8 reasons in the Infographic below:

  1. Mobile usage is on the rise.
  2. Shopping on mobile devices is steadily growing.
  3. Social media increases mobile visitors.
  4. Responsive sites improve SEO rankings.
  5. Responsive designs adapt to multiple sizes.
  6. On site is easier to manage and increase R.O.I.
  7. Responsive sites provide a better user experience.
  8. A better bathroom experience. (Say what?)

Responsive Design

Web Design Trends to Watch For In 2015

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”Great design is proliferating both online and offline. Web and app design has grown up to embrace many strong principles that have been in print design for decades. The Internet has allowed graphic designers to share and be inspired by great works. What does 2015 hold?’’ (Coastal Creative, 2015)

As technology changes, so does web design. In the past year, we’ve seen that mobile viewing shows no signs of slowing down. Websites will be designed first and foremost for excellent mobile viewing experiences. Responsive design has become an essential part of the modern web as websites are being created for smartphones and PCS along with devices like smart watches, appliances, and cars.

What are the emerging trends marketers and designers need to stay on top of? What other web design trends should you keep an eye out for this year? Check out the Infographic below, courtesy of Coastal Creative, for some of the top web design trends going into 2015.

design-trends-2015-coastal-repro

Why Mobile Optimized Websites Are More Important Than Ever

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The mobile industry is booming. There’s no question that mobile devices have become a staple in everyday living around the world. The sheer volume of mobile users is reason enough to embrace a mobile website. Mobile searches are on track to exceed desktop searches; therefore, designing for the mobile demographic is important for providing a great user experience.

Now, more then ever, mobile optimized websites are as important as ever given Google’s announcement of a new ‘’mobile-friendly’’ label on its mobile search results page. Google will start indicating in mobile search results which sites are optimized for your phone. This label will tell users in advance the kind of mobile experience they can expect when going to the site. Here is the new Google label in action:

Mobile Friendly Label

A recent Google survey of mobile users found that 72 percent of mobile users say it’s important to them that websites are mobile friendly, yet 96 percent have visited a site that doesn’t work well on their device. The new label is a significant update from Google and will most definitely impact websites that have not been optimized. Sites with the mobile-friendly label will likely see an increase in traffic and receive a better click-through rate than other sites without the new label.

So, how do you qualify to show the ‘’mobile-friendly’’ label for your web pages? Google says a page will be eligible if it meets the following criteria as detected by Googlebot:

  • Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Uses text that is readable without zooming
  • Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

Is your site Mobile Friendly?

To ensure your pages meet the mobile-friendly criteria, run your pages through the Mobile-Friendly Test.   Google has also provided a guide for building and improving your mobile-friendly websites

Responsive Website Design: You are losing business without it

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The game has changed. Consumers now expect their online experience to be consistent no matter what device they are on.

Responsive website design refers to a website designed to adapt to any device a visitor is using. It is a single website that intelligently adapts to the screen the visitor is on without compromising functionality or aesthetics. With the increasing amount of Internet traffic coming from mobile devices, it has become clear that responsive design is no longer a trend, but a must for any website.

Need reasons why responsive design is a wise investment for your business and all businesses, of any size, and any industry? Look no further…

Mobile Web Growth

The world is going mobile and so are our websites. Imagine if movies were only available in the dimensions they played in the theatre.  How would this affect your experience watching a movie at home?  The same can be said for a user accessing your website on their mobile if it is not responsive.

Worldwide, mobile traffic has doubled between 2012 and 2013.  Hubspot reports that in 2014, mobile devices will account for 25% of global Internet traffic and by 2015 mobile Internet usage is predicted to overtake desktop Internet usage.  Not only are people using their mobile for social networking, checking and sending email, and surfing the website, they are also making purchases from their devices.  By 2016, revenue from mobile content is predicted to reach $65 billion.

Your website is likely receiving a high portion of mobile users and given it isn’t responsive, nor has a mobile version, that’s a lot of visitors who are receiving sub-optimal experiences.  According to Hubspot, if a user lands on your website on their mobile and is frustrated or doesn’t see what they are looking for, there is a 61% change they will leave immediately and go to another website (most likely a competitor).

Mobile is growing and isn’t going to slow down any time soon.  If you don’t have a responsive website design, you are losing business to someone that does.

Recommended by Google

Google is the main search engine for many users, and has 92% market share in mobile search engine. Pierre Far, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, announced that Google recommends responsive web design as the primary mobile configuration. Having one single URL makes it easier for Google bot to index and organize one version of the site (Hubspot, 2014).

If Google is recommending something that is sure to help with your SEO, I’d say it’s probably a wise idea to listen.

Increase sales with a better & faster user experience

An effortless online experience is key to a visitor coming back.  Responsive design allows your visitor to browse your website with ease placing emphasis on designing for the user.

Responsive website design provides users with a better and faster user experience. When a user has to wait for a page to load, there’s a high change they will leave your site before it opens on their mobile phones. Responsive design eliminates the need for site redirects, improving the overall speed of the site, allowing users to get their information quickly.

Responsive design removes some of the barriers that having multiple sites can present such as performance and consistent look and feel. It allows your website to adapt to the visitors’ screen automatically, presents your content in a user-friendly format and does a better job of converting visitors into customers.

Ready for current and future devices

A responsive website will automatically adapt no matter what new technology is thrown our way, whether it be a new screen size or new tablet dimension.

Responsive design is one of the most effective ways to ensure every visitor has the best possible user experience.  It offers visitors an optimized experience regardless of their choice of device.  If you don’t have a responsive website, you are losing business to someone that does.

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It is still an emerging practice, so it’s natural that you may have some questions, and that’s what we are here for.  We are always happy to discuss, just drop us a line.

Has your website been converted to responsive design?  If you haven’t, what is holding you back?  If you have, have you seen benefits from the change?  We’d love to hear about your experience.