social media how to Are more of your blog visitors coming from a mobile device instead of a desktop computer?

Do you wonder how responsive design can increase customer satisfaction and improve your marketing?

In this article I’ll explore three ways incorporating responsive web design into your online strategy can benefit your business.

What is Responsive Design?

Responsive web design means that your blog or website will automatically appear properly formatted on any device: a desktop computer, a tablet or a mobile device.

In What Users Want Most from Mobile Sites Today, Google reports that 61% of mobile visitors who click through to a non–mobile-friendly website will return to Google to find a site that’s more easily readable from their device. It’s become critical for companies to have a responsive design for their sites.

Let’s explore how responsive design can help your business:

#1: Obtain Higher Conversion Rates With an Easy Mobile Experience

In the same Google report I mentioned above, 78% of users want to find what they’re looking for on a mobile site in just one or two clicks, and 64% of users only want to scroll up and down on a business’ mobile site, not left and right.

Why is this important for you, as a marketer who sells products online?

If mobile users come to your website and see that they have to zoom in to find everything they need and constantly scroll from left to right and up and down to browse pages, they’re most likely going back to Google to find another website that is mobile-friendly.

However, if your website is easy to use, they’ll be able to access the information they’re looking for and make purchases quickly.

For example, let’s look at Godiva. This is their website as viewed from a desktop or laptop computer:

godiva desktop

The Godiva website as viewed from Chrome on a desktop computer.

This is Godiva’s website as viewed from a mobile device.

godiva mobile

The Godiva website as viewed from an iPhone.

To buy some chocolate from Godiva, you have to zoom in, scroll to the left, click one of the options on the toolbar and click an item from the dropdown. And you’re still nowhere nearer to buying chocolate!

When you get to the next page, you have to do it all over again, because the website isn’t responsive.

Now let’s take a look at Hershey’s. Their responsive website allows potential customers to purchase products in a few simple clicks.

hersheys desktop

The Hershey website as viewed from Chrome on a desktop.

hersheys desktop

The Hershey website as viewed from an iPhone.

When mobile users go to a website, they expect to be able to access links just as easily as if they were on their desktops.

Hershey’s mobile website experience is comparable to that on a computer. And what does that mean? A much higher conversion rate.

#2: Attract Customers as They’re On The Go

Not all websites are looking for a lot of online purchase conversions from their mobile site. Instead, they may rely on a ton of traffic from the site to drive brick-and-mortar location purchases.

For example, take Hubway, a bike-sharing company. A lot of people walking around see bikes that say “Hubway” on the side and wonder what it’s all about. They don’t have their laptops with them when they’re outside, but the chances are pretty good they’ve got a phone in their pocket.

hubway desktop

The Hubway website as viewed from Chrome on a desktop.

hubway mobile

The Hubway website as viewed from an iPhone.

Unfortunately, Hubway’s website isn’t responsive, so a number of would-be customers are likely frustrated with the jumbled display and click out of the site before they even learn how or where to rent a bike.

If you look up Citi Bike from a phone, the responsive site immediately shows you how to access pricing, how the program works and how to get more information with one click.

citi bike desktop

The Citi Bike website as viewed from Chrome on a desktop.

citi bike mobile

The Citi Bike website as viewed from an iPhone.

On Citi Bike’s mobile website, users can access links just as easily as if they were on their desktops.

Responsive design lets you give your on-the-go visitors a better user experience and decreases the likelihood that they will leave your website in search of something easier to navigate.

#3: Manage Multiple Displays With a Single Edit

Imagine the number of hours it would take you to update different versions of your website for mobile, tablets and desktops. Whether you’re publishing a blog post or updating a web page, you don’t want to have to do the same task multiple times.

With responsive design, you update your website with an edit once, and the changes automatically translate onto the mobile, tablet and desktop versions.

Responsive design actually saves you valuable time that you can use for the many other responsibilities you have.

How to Make Your Site Responsive

Now that you understand the importance of responsive design for your marketing efforts, let’s discuss ways that you can make your site responsive.

First, you can always hire a developer or designer to make the changes in the code to make your website responsive. The complexity of your site will determine how long it will take, but it will be worth it to increase your conversion rate.

Another option is to use a responsive theme, which you can find from all of the premium theme providers.

Over to You

Responsive design is beneficial for conversion rates and usability, and the amount of time it saves marketers and designers is astronomical. But its greatest strength is the difference it can make to a customer who’s viewing your site from a mobile device.

What do you think? What other benefits do you see in responsive design? Please leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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  • Responsive design is incredibly important. Along with that, I would say responsive content is the next piece of the pie. I think that has to come with geo-targeting, eg closest store or browsing history and habits. Preferences should be remembered and any other habits. I love the mobile-friendly sites, but I also appreciate the ability to view the full site. Finding specific articles or links to share if much more convenient if the option to toggle between is apparent.

  • deb1221

    Great piece, Rachel. I’m happy to see the topic discussed here–truly essential these days.

  • Agreed, responsive design is so important! Great article!

  • AmandahBlackwell

    I think the major benefit is that mobile is not going anywhere. It’s important your website looks good on all devices, e.g., iPhone and desktop. You may need to hire a web designer to help you. I know I’d love to hire a web designer. The ones I’ve contacted are busy with other projects. I guess that’s a good thing . 🙂

  • Great article, Rachael! I definitely agree a responsive design will help everyone with their switch to mobile platforms. We already like when we visit a site on our phones and everything clearly adjusts to your screen automatically, so why not do the same with ours?

    No one enjoys manually adjusting a screen to suit their needs. Those who save their readers and customers from having to do that will have the best turnout of all of us.

    The future is visual and mobile! That’s the new mantra I’m reading more and more for 2014.

  • Hey Rachel – very cool post, and such an important topic. Mobile is becoming more important every single day. I would add an extra scenario for mobile: product comparisons or research : we see that people in B2B and B2C do more and more research on-line for each purchase intent. And the research on mobile devices is already equalling that on traditional desktop devices. Which means that marketeers who are not looking at mobile are missing out – not only on location-based impusle buying, but on all purchase intents in all categories.

    For that reason it is important not only to make one’s website and one’s blog mobile-friendly, but ALL content which is placed on-line. We are not there, by far. Research shows that over 40% of the Fortune 100 does not have a mobile-friendly website.

    But even worse, marketeers use print-friendly formats on-line: PDF. Totally not mobile-friendly, yet PDF’s are extremely pervasive on websites. An example is white papers in inbound marketing, or annual reports. Technologies like used by the FT, the NYT, give an app-like experience for deeper reading yet are web-based. Just like tools like the Readz or Flipboard platforms.

    The point I am making is that ALL content on-line needs to become mobile-friendly. We got our work scoped out as marketeers.

  • Great tips to consider here, Rachel. Well thought out designs can definitely help
    increase conversion rates and usability, and providing an easy and
    convenient desktop/mobile viewing experience to your customers is a
    must! Thanks for this!

  • Tasneem_Alnajjar

    Amazing new web fashin, Responive design also replace the need to have a mobile app for your webiste 🙂

  • Bugcom

    The Godiva page you use as a bad example is perfectly responsive — please check your own link.

  • Gavris Matei

    Good article! Responsive design is important, people want instant information and instant access.

  • lucy4440

    Thanks for the great article, I make all my clients sites responsive now as a matter of course, its so important, and it looks great on all formats,

  • Rachel Sprung

    Hi James! I think that’s the perfect way to put it. We prefer that when we visit sites they are responsive, so we should follow the same practice for our own companies!

  • Rachel Sprung

    Hi Bart! You have great points – thanks for adding them! I think we will see a trend as more and more marketers and Fortune 100 companies begin to make the switch to responsive.

  • Rachel Sprung

    Hello there!

    You are right. The Godiva page is now responsive. When I originally pulled the example it was not responsive (as shown by the screen shot). I’m glad they are realizing the value in responsive design!

  • Thank you Rachel for this amazing article. You have described it in a very pretty fashion that how responsive design effect click through rate of a website. Now a days a website must be enough responsive because everyone has smartphone to access the internet. Thanks once again for this fantastic idea.

  • Thanks for sharing Rachel. I will be shocked if any websites are not responsive in the next couple of years! I already have low patience with non-responsive sites. Great article!

  • Jane

    Hi Rachel, great article. But just to highlight that Godiva seems to have revamped their mobile design as it is much more mobile friendly now.

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  • Akash Agarwal

    I was little bit confused about responsive design and how it’s help on blog. Thanks for sharing this informative information. It’s really very helpful to me.

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  • I totally Agree! It’s definitely important to maximise your blog’s traffic across different devices. Nice post.

  • I agree with you Rachel. Responsive web design help to increase your business profit’s because users are more friendly to use mobiles as compare to system’s. Responsive web site build B2B and B2C friendly environment.