Responsive Website Design: A Smart Long-Term Investment

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Your website isn’t just an online brochure. Done well, it’s an efficient lead generation machine and the centerpiece of your marketing strategy—as long as it works on all the devices your customers are likely to use. If not, you’re missing opportunities.

When businesses grow, expansion is necessary: over time, you may need bigger space requirements, more stock, or you may even open new locations. You get bigger; you get more business. Mobile-friendly responsive website design (RWD) is another booster to business growth. Similar to opening a new location, launching a mobile-friendly website helps you reach a new audience and draw in new customers.

Responsive website design (RWD) isn’t a temporary or quick fix. It’s a long-term investment that allows you to build a dynamic website that can automatically adapt to new technologies. This means you won’t need to manually respond to each new device or screen size as it hits the market. Instead of playing catch up, you’ll be prepared and poised for growth.

The ROI on RWD: Get More Out of Your Site Design

Redesigning your website might seem like an unnecessary expense, but with responsive design, it’ll pay for itself in customer satisfaction and sales. Here are 5 ways you’ll see return on your investment.
 

1. Enhanced User Experience

Responsive web design maximizes your investment through user experience. Customers will get the same quality of content on any device, so they can find your website no matter what device they choose. And if they recommend your content to friends who are using different devices, responsive website design (RWD) adapts to show the same content in a readable and accessible format.
 

2. Reduced Update Time

In the long run, you’ll save time and money. Anticipating the needs of mobile and tablet users used to involve creating all sorts of different websites and each site had to be updated with new content, which meant at least triple the man-hours spent doing the same updates over and over with every change. Responsive website design (RWD) means one site and one update—which also reduces the number of possible mistakes—and the time it takes to correct them.
 

3. Increased Reach

More than 60% of all web searches are performed on smartphones nowadays. Responsive web design ensures user searches will be successful, your website will load quickly, and buyers will find the information they need to make an informed decision.
 

4. Increased Conversion Rates

While it’s difficult to predict how your customers will respond to your new mobile site, other businesses have been reporting significant boosts in conversion rates for years.
 

5. You’re Prepared for the Future

Updating your website now will prepare you for the foreseeable future. While it may not be 3D-hologram-compatible, as long as we’re still using screens, responsive website design (RWD) will dynamically respond to any size device that might hit the market. You won’t be scrambling to adapt to whatever the next big thing might be.

 

Investing in a responsive website design (RWD) now will create an enhanced user experience, boost your SEO, and cost you less on maintenance in the long run. If you’re ready to expand your business and reap the benefits of your investment, RWD is the way to go.

To learn more about mobile web design, download our free mobile-friendly guide below!

 
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Not sure if your site is mobile friendly? Use the free and easy Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool to find out. Now’s the time to go mobile, but how? Check out this handy and comprehensive FREE guide to making your website mobile friendly.

Download: The Smart Marketer's Guide To Making Your Website Mobile Friendly
 

5 BIG Reasons Why You NEED to Be Mobile Ready for 2016

Modern computer media devices

2016 is coming up fast, so you’re already thinking about how to grow your business next year. If your business strategy doesn’t include a mobile version of your website, you’re already missing out on hot leads. It’s time to turn the mobile web into a lead generation machine for your business.

Not convinced it’ll be worth the money to build a mobile site? Here are 5 reasons why you should reconsider.

1. The Growing Number of Mobile Users

Mobile is BIG. Roughly 2.16 billion people will be using smartphones in 2016. That’s 198.5 million in the U.S. alone—and B2B isn’t exempt: Executives and decision-makers use mobile technology. In fact, 72% use their smartphone to conduct research on products or services for their business. This represents an upward trend reaching critical mass. There are more active mobile devices in play today than there are people.

2. It’s All About the Mobile Search

At Recode’s recent Code Mobile conference, Google’s senior vice president of search, Amit Singhal, said more than 50% of Google’s 100 billion searches originate on mobile devices—plus, he was only referring to screens smaller than six inches. That’s a lot of traffic to leave on the table if your site isn’t mobile friendly.

3. Inbound Marketing Strategy is Must

If social media and inbound marketing are part of your marketing strategy, you’re wasting your time without a mobile website. 71% of social media access happens on mobile devices. So what happens when you tweet out your awesome new content? Your page won’t load, your readers get ticked, and your visitors bounce without ever reading that blog post you crafted so carefully.

4. The Need for Speed…Loading Speed

Speed is key to customer satisfaction. Web surfers don’t have much patience. If your site doesn’t fully load in 3 seconds, they’ll move on and you’ll lose business. Or worse, you’ll lose that coveted customer loyalty.

Pro-tip: Check your mobile speed here.

5. Dominate Local Search

More than 90% of smartphone users use their mobiles to find local businesses. What’s more, people who use their phones to search are likely to act on that information within 24 hours. Mobile presence puts your business in front of people who are looking for answers on the way to buy. It’s point-of-sale web. When customers are in a buying mood, you need to be accessible.

Let’s Get Ready to Go Mobile in 2016

Mobile presence is crucial for any growing business, whether B2B or B2C. The most popular activities on mobile devices include social media and opening email. Isn’t that where most of your customer reach is centered?

How you go mobile matters. There are multiple design options and each has strengths and weaknesses. You can read all about your options (plus common mistakes) in this comprehensive FREE guide to making your website mobile friendly.

Not sure if your site is mobile friendly? Use the free and easy Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool to find out. Now’s the time to go mobile, but how? Check out this handy and comprehensive FREE guide to making your website mobile friendly.

Download: The Smart Marketer's Guide To Making Your Website Mobile Friendly

No matter how you choose to implement your mobile site, it should be optimized for usability, speed, and SEO. To truly engage your audience, you need to go where they are—on their mobile devices.

Becoming mobile ready may seem like a big step, but with the growing dominance of mobile search and commerce, it’s the best way to move forward with a strategic marketing plan in 2016. Choosing a responsive mobile web design prepares your business for the future. No matter what screen size or screen configuration comes with the next big thing, your site will respond and you won’t have to scramble to update or revamp. A worthwhile investment now can make a huge impact on your bottom line now and for the foreseeable future. It’s time to go mobile!

 

Why Your Website Must Be Mobile Friendly Right Now

Transitioning to a mobile friendly website is no longer a maybe--it's a must. Learn why and how to go mobile friendly here...

Mobile users have taken over the Internet—so if your website isn’t mobile friendly, you might already be in trouble. The days of being chained to a desktop are long gone. Users have more options than ever before and what used to be downtime (commutes, a stop at Starbucks for an overpriced latte, or even a relaxing day at the pool) has turned into time spent browsing, checking emails, and making purchases.

Google responded to this mobile tsunami in a predictable way, by changing its search algorithm last April to prioritize websites optimized for mobile devices. What does that mean for non-optimized websites? Say goodbye to up to 60% of your traffic. No wonder marketers were quick to dub the change “Mobilegeddon.”

Don’t know if your website meets Google standards? It’s easy to check using the Google Mobile Friendly Test tool.

It All Comes Down to Enhanced Customer Experience

Repeat web traffic is all about great user experience. Customers who find themselves on a site that’s not mobile friendly bounce…and buy from your competitor.

You only have a few initial seconds to get a visitor’s attention, so if your website doesn’t fit on their screen or your links are difficult to click, your visitor will never get to the next page…or click your call to action (CTA). They certainly won’t sign up for your mailing list. Every visitor you lose to poor mobile display is a lost opportunity.

Load time is another argument for mobile optimization. Non-optimized sites load excruciatingly slowly on a mobile device. You have about 6 – 10 seconds (if you’re lucky) before visitor patience is strained to the breaking point.

“But I’m B2B…Why Bother?”

This is a surprisingly common argument—and the answer is just as simple. Corporate decision-makers act exactly like other human beings. The 2014 State Of B2B Procurement Study by the Acquity Group found that 94% of them research purchase online before making a decision. More to the point, 44% have used mobile devices to do their research.

Sounds like the move to mobile is essential for B2B and B2C businesses alike.

Advertising Benefits of Mobile-Friendly Websites: The Push

A “push” is a message sent directly to a user’s phone. With integrated social media and a team that’s on top of it, you can offer information, special pricing, or coupon codes while customers are doing product research.

Mobile advertising offers businesses the opportunity to tailor ads to personal browsing habits and social media cues. Research by Neustar shows that targeting an engaged audience can lead to a huge increase in conversion rates, ranging from 6 times more conversions in the health industry to 56 times more conversions in the retail sector.

Mobile-friendly websites are no longer an option for business owners who want to remain competitive. To improve your mobile ranking, attract a larger audience, and gain more sales, ensure your website is easy to browse from any device.

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Have questions about going mobile? No problem. Download this FREE GUIDE, The Smart Marketer’s Guide to Making Your Website Mobile Friendly.

Download: The Smart Marketer's Guide To Making Your Website Mobile Friendly
You’ll learn how to:

  • Identify if your website is mobile friendly, plus learn why the answer matters
  • Use your mobile-friendly website to gain big-time lead generation and superior SEO
  • Strategically choose the best mobile-friendly design options for your business
  • Create a mobile-friendly website designed to grow with your business
  • Go mobile-friendly without breaking the bank

DOWNLOAD NOW.

What are the top 4 things I should know when building a mobile-friendly website?

On April 1st, ESPN rolled out their new mobile-friendly website and detailed why they chose a mobile-first design: in January, they clocked a record 94 million unique visitors to their site—and a staggering 61% (57 million users) accessed the site on mobile devices only.

What are the top 4 things I should know when building a mobile-friendly website?…and they’re not alone.

Last year, mobile use surpassed desktop use by a wide margin. It’s clear the “days of desktop dominance are over” and mobile-friendly websites are a necessity for every business today. In fact, in a rare move, Google recently announced that as of April 21st, websites without a mobile-friendly version risk penalization in search rankings. That’s a BIG deal, folks.

Ready to make the move to mobile? Here are 4 things you should know.

Responsive web design is more important than ever with the variety of devices available today. Find out why your business needs a responsive web design.1. Google recommends responsive web design.
Not only does Google recommend responsive web design (RWD)—it’s a lot more practical for you. See, there’s a difference between mobile-friendly and responsive design. If you create a separate mobile-friendly version of your site, you’ll have to update both your original desktop version and your new mobile-friendly version.

But with RWD, you get an elastic style that adapts to fit and be readable on any device (desktop/mobile/tablet/etc). Users simply go to the same URL from any device and the responsive design makes your website look great on any-sized screen. This way, all your readers see the same content on any screen—and you can update all versions of your website at once.

2. To be cost efficient, invest in a design that can expand and grow with your business.
One of the best features of mobile first design is clean, uncluttered pages with easy navigation. Choose an extensible, dynamic template or design that that can expand and grow as your business grows. Your design should allow for added features and functions down the line, without sacrificing clean layout or readability.

Your readers are looking for great content, so it’s imperative to select a great design that lets you give it to them whenever you need to, in a format they can read wherever they happen to be.

3. Don’t handcuff yourself to one vendor.
Choose an open source website platform and design so you’re not tied to proprietary software, website design, and/or website development from a single vendor. It may be good for the vendor, but it limits your options if you want out. Down the road, if that one vendor doesn’t deliver quality, it may be difficult to take control of your own website, and even more problematic to move or expand your content.

You’re looking for a widely used, easily updatable platform (like WordPress) that you can update internally at any time, or externally by the creative vendor of your choice.

4. Hone in on your lead generation strategy with strong CTAs.
The success of your website depends on how well your users can navigate and accomplish their objectives—and how well those objectives go hand-in-hand with your lead generation goals. Prioritize your mobile design and layout by focusing on your users. Analyze and decide which features are most commonly used by your website visitors, then be sure each one stands out as easy to find and easy to click—pushing each user from visitor to lead with a strong call-to-action (CTA).

When designed properly, your new mobile-friendly website will be call-to-action (CTA)-friendly, because meeting your lead generation goals requires those strong CTAs. Use compelling, actionable language, and highlight and isolate CTA links so customers can see and click each one without any issues. Don’t let your leads escape by crowding your mobile site with too many links, making it impossible for your customers to hit the one they want. Give each visitor a reason to click and an easy way to get there. Be sure each page has the targeted content your customers came to see.

Making the move to mobile-friendly is a great opportunity to enhance your marketing strategy. Website design and marketing strategy are two sides of the same coin, so this is your chance to reevaluate how your prospects experience your website, connect with more customers by adding more targeted content, and take the time to strategically turn your mobile-friendly site into a lead generation machine. When website design and marketing strategy go hand-in-hand, you win—and so does your customer.

10 Reasons Why Your Customers Leave Your Website

If you’re getting the clicks and not the sales, it’s time to take an objective look at what might be driving your customers to your competitors.

– Cultivate Communications

10 Reasons Why Your Customers Leave Your Website *Great listIt’s the eternal question—what makes a website sticky? Ok, maybe not exactly eternal, but certainly foremost on the minds of business owners who need smart marketing. When you evaluate your site analytics, can you pinpoint how, why and when people stay…or leave? Lofty promises might earn you the click, but are you losing the sale with bad design or bad delivery?

People leave websites for a lot of reasons. If you’re getting the clicks and not the sales, it’s time to take an objective look at what might be driving your customers to your competitors.

1. The sound and the fury.
Anything that plays automatically is going to turn off some customers for a number of reasons. Websites that play music or video on pageload are annoying, slow and often buggy. Worse, dedicated shoppers with a dozen browser windows open at once may suffer a complete browser meltdown. That’s where the fury comes in. Think they’re coming back after you crash their browser and force a reboot? Not likely.

2. Your website is a slow starter.
Keep your content light and easy to load with low-resolution graphics sized to fit your space and a minimum of scripts. If load time goes over 5 seconds, you’re likely to lose your potential sale. In today’s high-speed world, a slow loading site just ain’t going to fly.

3. You’re forcing people to sign up.
Recently, a ton of retail sites decided it would be a good idea to require customers to create a profile and login before they can even browse. Forcing people to give out personal information before ever seeing the product? Fail! If you’re seeing visitors walk away from your login page, you might want to reconsider this approach. Get them to create accounts after they’re already interested…not before. Offer something in exchange for their details, like special discounts, unadvertised sales, or a useful downloadable freebie.

4. You threaten to hijack Facebook.
Another downright disturbing trend: Apps that ask a potential customer to sign up using their Facebook or Twitter account. Once logged in, the apps nabs permission to post spammy ads all over your wall. While this may seem like a good way to spread your brand name fame, it’s way more likely to increase your bounce rate and generate really bad press. Don’t try this tactic. If you create great content and you make it easy to share your content, people will do so voluntarily.

5. Your content stinks.
The grammar police are in full uniform on the web…and they’re patrolling YOU. Every word on your website should be spelled correctly, every sentence should be grammatically correct, and every fact should be accurate and up-to-date.

Growth Cycle Marketing: Free White Paper DownloadPoorly written, irrelevant or outdated content makes your business look unprofessional and untrustworthy. Never slap up a bunch of content just for the sake of “having content.” You don’t need to “have content.” You need excellent content that appeals to your target market at each and every stage in the Growth Cycle Marketing process.

Download our FREE Growth Cycle Marketing eBook to learn all about how to hit up your potential and current customers with great content at every stage in the buy cycle!

Download Free White Paper

6. You’re not telling them enough.
Whether you sell products or services, the customer is going to want to know everything there is to know. Be sure you include an attractive description, technical specs, what it is or what you do, and anything else that makes the buying decision easier. To really drive the sale home, include customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies. Customer input and real-life experiences are incredibly important today.

7. Visitors can’t find the good stuff.
Remember back in the 90s when navigation got artsy and websites substituted pictures for words? Navigating pages should not be a game of Clue. If you have artsy little graphics instead of words, people are going to bounce. Pertinent information, including company and contact information should be obvious and easy to find if you want customers to give you money.

8. You’re not delivering on your promise.
False advertising is a surefire way to drive away potential customers. When you put out a teaser for a product or service, it’s important to deliver on that promise. The ol’ bait and switch is bad for business.

9. Did you forget about mobile?
More people are using cellphones and tablets to shop and that’s not going to change. If your site is not mobile friendly, you’re losing business. Make it easy for mobile customers to browse and buy…and they will.

10. You aren’t paying attention.
To really understand what’s driving your traffic, you need to keep track of the traffic patterns and have a solid understanding of what visitors are doing at your site.

It’s not enough to know how many people see your page; you need to know where they come from, how much time they spend on a page, and where they go next.

In-depth data analysis, or analytics, can give you a highly detailed picture of what’s working and what’s not, so you can do more of what’s working and stop wasting time and money on what’s not.

Improving your conversion rate is often a matter of understanding visitor behavior. If your products or services are attractive and customers are leaving your website, understanding why is half the battle. Once you’ve got a handle on what makes visitors bounce, you have a much better chance of making your website satisfyingly sticky.