What does responsive design mean?
Last week I asked if your site is secure, this week I am asking; Is your site is responsive? Let’s define what responsive design:
Responsive design is an approach to web page creation that makes use of flexible layouts, flexible images and cascading style sheet 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.
Why Use Responsive Design?
If your site is not responsive, you may be thinking “why do I need to invest more time and money in my website to make it responsive?” The simple answer is that people are changing the way they search for things and the shift is on to utilizing their mobile devices rather than a computer or laptop. You want your site to look good regardless of how it is viewed.
There was a time when people only accessed websites from a desktop computer. The vast majority had the same size monitor. Websites were designed for the average visitor. Today, people access websites from a variety of different devices with screens ranging from a few inches all the way up to 27″ or more and expectations have changed. Consumers expect the website they’re visiting to know that they’re using a tablet vs. a PC. They expect the site to adjust to them—not the other way around.
Additionally, having a responsive sites is part of what affects your ranking within search engines.
- In April Google announced mobile-first index; assets have to be easily accessible across all devices. Small Biz Trends
- The vast majority of Americans – 96% – now own a cellphone of some kind. The share of Americans that own smartphones is now 81%... Pew Research
- BrightEdge research confirms the powerful and continuing trend towards mobile and mobile search with 62% of traffic in a large sample coming from mobile and tablet search. BrightEdge
How Does This Benefit My Business?
The information above is great and compelling on its own, but since investing in your website will require some combination of time and money, you might be looking for more reasons to make this a priority for you. Google’s VP of Marketing for the Americas Lisa Gevelber explains why “near me” searches are no longer just about place, but about time and things as well.
- 150%+ growth in mobile searches for “___ near me now” (for example, “food near me now,” “gas station near me now,” and “delivery near me open now”).
- 900%+ growth in mobile searches for “___ near me today/tonight” (for example, “open houses near me today,” “cheap hotels near me tonight,” and “movies playing near me today”).
- 200%+ growth in mobile searches for “Open” + “now” + “near me” (for example, “restaurants near me open now,” “stores open near me right now,” and “pharmacy near me open now”).
That is a lot of growth in mobile searches and it would be a disservice to your business if you neglected to update your website to look good on mobile devices. Think of the variety of searches that someone could be doing that would apply to you. Here are some real examples that I have done:
- Electrician near me
- HVAC service near me
- Landscaping near me
- Fall clean up near me
- Snow removal near XYZ city
- Contractor near me
I am sure I am not the only one that has done similar searches Alarm.com commissioned a survey about a ‘handy Dad’:
- 61% of Millennial Dads would rather hang out with their kids than do DIY.
- Modern technology is harder to install or fix without an element of professional support. Installing a smart lock or a doorbell camera, for example, requires more support than installing their old-school equivalents.
- Another finding: younger Dads are less likely to own tools that older Dads would consider essential. 46 percent of Millennial Dads reported not owning a cordless drill. 48 percent don't own a stepladder, 38 percent don't own a set of screwdrivers, and 32 percent don't own a hammer (a tool owned by 93 percent of Baby Boomer Dads).
While I am not a Millennial I have done some of those searches because those are not my areas of expertise and it ends up being more cost-effective for me because then I didn’t need to purchase specialty tools, supplies, or question if I had done something safely, and finally because I just didn’t have the time to get it done.
Who else would do searches like the ones I mention above? People that have elderly parents or relatives that can live in their home but may no longer be able to do some of the more strenuous home repairs or maintenance. I have personally looked for someone that could do snow removal near a relative that could not physically handle snow removal but was otherwise very capable of living at home.
Your website is like any other tool you use, it must be maintained and kept current as trends and technology changes. The trends of increasing 'near me' searches and using mobile devices to perform searches, means that now is the perfect time to invest in your business by creating a responsive website or updating your existing site to incorporate responsive design.
NOTE: I am not being paid for my mentions of people, articles or books I used above nor do I receive referral compensation. The links I provide are for your convenience only.
DISCLAIMER: This advice is general in nature and not to be taken as personal professional advice. This blog does not provide legal advice if you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.