The present smart phone age has put the world in the palm of your hand. Things are slowly reaching a point where laptops and desktops are taking a backseat and are no longer indispensable if you want quick and easy access to information. If you have a business website and want to be available to potential customers or business partners round the clock, you have to keep up with the times and have a mobile friendly website with all the attributes that your desk top friendly website always had. In fact an authoritative study conducted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) shows that as of June 2013, 7.5million people accessed the Internet day from their mobile devices to get information or know about products and services. Even if you miss out on a fraction of that number because of a web site looking ungainly on a mobile device, it will be a huge setback for you, more so because correcting this anomaly is in your hands.
The debate that is raging today is whether a business web site should have two separate adaptations – a normal site and a mobile friendly site – or one that optimises both. However, research has shown that having one comprehensive site that enhances viewing and navigating experience in both desktops and mobiles is far more preferable to users. Such a site is high on functionality, easy to maintain and facilitates higher search rankings. The specific reasons for this are –
Compatibility across devices – If you see a desktop compatible website on a mobile, the first casualty will be viewing experience apart from navigation problems and excess scrolling and resizing. A responsive website solves this issue by allowing a 1092 pixels wide 4 column layout on a 1025 pixels screen. This auto breaks up the screen and makes it well-matched with computer, tablet or smart phone resolutions. Images too are affected by different screen resolutions. Latest responsive design tools make images change seamlessly and adapt to any screen size or resolutions with the same clarity and sharpness.
Another advantage is that once a visitor accesses your site he need not switch between mobile and desktop versions. This is the point where a frustrated potential customer might leave the site and you lose one possible conversion. With responsive site, he goes straight through to what he is looking for without having to face unwanted extra links.
One Website One Domain – The problem in different websites for desktops and mobiles is that there is a necessity for sub-domains with different individual domain names. This puts the site owner and web developer in a fix – which content will interest the visitor to a specific site and what to upload where, which domain to host it in and most importantly, what designs to use. Hence, there will be major changes in content in the two sites leaving the visitor confused and your business credibility affected. But a responsive website opens to the same domain every time leaving behind a flawless viewing experience.
Search Engine Optimization Aspect – An update from Google about a couple of months back literally shook up the world of mobile – friendly websites. It said, “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” Hence web masters are now in a frenzy to get the best out of mobile websites by reviewing traffic behaviour, appraising the competitiveness of mobile web search and evaluating web search visibility. This all leads to Mobile Web Optimisation.
The question then is will it affect related desk top rankings. The answer is NO because there will be a divergence of desktop and mobile rankings. However considering the importance of mobile compatible websites now in search engine rankings, it will be wise to switch to responsive websites as they will get higher rankings than separately hosted sites just by the sheer weight of numbers. Moreover, since the traffic from mobile devices is much greater than desktop versions, there will be a significant rise in business turnover. Hence a mobile ready web site can pull up your site in rankings even though the desktop version may be lagging behind. A well designed responsive website can surely work wonders for you.
Being future ready – Responsive websites are designed using the latest codes, tools and technology with an eye on the booming futuristic mobile innovations. Hence, even a small business or fledging start-up need invest once only in responsive web design and development and that will be good for years to come. Once you have a responsive website up and running you don’t have to go back to it unless of course you want to fully redesign and develop it again.
Another advantage is that there is no need for the content to be replicated. If you have two versions of your website and need to update it, you will have to do it twice. This in the modern age is a total waste of time. With a responsive website all that you have to do is update the site from your mobile or tablet on the go and the same will be automatically done on the desktop version too.
With so many advantages at your command, it only makes sense to have a responsive website and not miss out on business opportunities.
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