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
 

7 Pro-Tips: Get the Blueprints Right Before Your Website Contractor Starts Working

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Building a website is much like building a house; every little detail matters. Long before you watch contractors pour the foundation concrete, you go over the blueprints with your builder to ensure you get what you want and stay within your budget.

Imagine this: “I want a 2-bedroom 1300 sq. ft. house with 1 bathroom and an open floor plan. I’m on a tight budget, so I want simple, functional, and efficient use of space.” Cool. The builder drafts up your house plans. They’re exactly what you asked for, they fit the lot, and the build falls within your budget. The builder goes to work. He lays a precise foundation and puts up the walls. Plumbers and electricians come and go.

And that’s when you decide you need an extra bathroom. Two bedrooms should have two bathrooms, right? What if you have guests?

You wouldn’t really do that to a builder (we hope)…or if you did, you’d understand that changing something that significant is going to cost a lot more. Walls will have to come down and be rebuilt, the plumbers and electricians will have to come back, and the whole project will take more time.

A Beautiful Buildout is in the Blueprints

Much like building a house, when it comes to building your website, you’re going to want to avoid all the headaches and hassle.

The answer lies in the planning stages. It’s all about crafting blueprints that take both your short-term and long-term marketing strategy and website goals into account. Ok, ok, adding a webpage isn’t like adding a bathroom, but what if you suddenly realize…

So how do you know what to include? How do you even start crafting website blueprints that include everything you need for a site that fits within your budget?

Follow These 7 Tips for Website Blueprint Success…

 

#1: Pick the Right Web Development Team

Trust is everything. An experienced web design/development team has the real-life experience to go over all the pros and cons of your website design, structure, and feature options…before you begin your build. Find a team focused on marketing strategy, rather than website design alone.
 

#2: Be Prepared

When you have that first conversation with your website development team, have your ideas, questions, and budget organized and ready to go. Start with the basic framework, which includes all the must-have items on your list, then go from there. If you’re entirely revamping your website and/or your brand, showing examples of what you’d like to see can be helpful. Note what you like about each example: the colors, layout, speed, features, clean lines, striking images, etc.
 

#3: Be Honest About Your Budget

It’s human nature to lowball, but your contractor needs to know what they’re working with, so they can help you think forward and build out a plan for achieving your goals in affordable steps.
 

#4: Share Your Ideas…ALL of Them

What does your dream website look like? What are all those “it would be SO COOL if we had that” features you’d love to see? Spell everything out to your dev/design team up front. If you have big website dreams, there’s no reason you can’t unfurl them over time so they fit your budget. However, it’s important to respect the scope of each phase of the project. If phase one is building a 2-bedroom house on a budget, don’t be surprised when it lacks a grand entryway with Italian marble tiles.
 

#5: Avoid Committing to a Proprietary Site

Some creative teams will insist you commit to their homegrown web solution…but what you’re really getting is a huge pain in the you-know-what. If your website is built on proprietary software, you’ll have to hire that same development/design team ANY time you want even the smallest update. (That’s how they getcha.) Plus, down the road, when you want to move your website off their servers or software, it’s really going to cost ya. The answer? An open-source CMS platform you can update in-house, any time you want, without permission or help from your web dev team. In most cases, this means working with WordPress, Joomla!, or Drupal.
 

#6: Demand Responsive Design

First and foremost, your website should always be designed with the customer in mind. User experience for both desktop and mobile is your strongest asset. So you need a website that will render beautifully on any device, now and into the future. Mobile is a must these days, but you have options for how to build out your mobile-friendly site. We recommend responsive design. It’s easier to maintain than some other options and much more budget friendly as well. (*Psst: Google recommends responsive design, too!)
 

#7: Again: Plan, Plan, PLAN

Maybe you can’t afford a finished basement from the get-go. However, smart homebuilders lay in the basement electric and plumbing so you don’t have to tear the house apart when you’re ready for that fancy basement. Same goes for your website. Lay the foundation now and build out your website over time. Get the details right up front and you’ll be able to craft a strong website that grows with your business.
 
…and hey, please don’t be this guy.
 
Questions? Comments? Leave a response 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
 

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.