There was a time just a few short years ago when local businesses were questioning whether or not they needed a website. Business owners and directors wanted to know how an ecommerce web design could benefit them, especially if their business was also in a physical brick-and-mortar establishment. Once they began to see just how much foot traffic they could realize as the result of visitors to their web pages, few businesses ever questioned this again.
However, now there is a push towards responsive web design and those same owners and directors are now questioning why they would want to put money into a site that has been working well up until now. The answer to that question is really based on the operative phrase, ‘until now.’ Actually, if you have a local business and do not have a website that is responsive, you will soon see why it is so important to update your site so that it is responsive. Here are the three good reasons why your local business needs a responsive website.
But First – What Is a Responsive Design?
Before talking about why it is important to have a website with a responsive design it might be a good idea to understand what that means. An RWD, Responsive Web Design, is one in which anyone viewing the website from any devise whatsoever is able to see it and easily navigate it. From viewing a website on a large flat screen monitor to a small mobile phone screen, it will automatically resize itself to promote easy reading.
1) Mobile User Experience
So, that leads to the first reason why your local and ecommerce business would want a responsive web design. Anyone viewing your website from a mobile phone would see it in a form and size best suited for a small screen. This ensures that a mobile user’s experience will be pleasurable and not wrought with frustration. Not only is the page resized but in a responsive design some elements are eliminated altogether. For example, sidebars and large graphics and pictures. Anything that is too large or takes too long to load would be eliminated from a mobile friendly responsive design.
2) Frequency of Mobile Searches
When operating a local establishment, it is good to know that most people searching for your location are apt to do so from their mobile phones. Each year fewer and fewer people conduct searches for local businesses from their desktop computers or from a telephone directory. One reason for this is because so many people now own mobile phones but also because they are often out and about when looking for a place of business. With GPS functionality, it is easy to look for your address and then use the GPS on your phone to find that address quickly and easily. A great improvement over asking for directions, wouldn’t you say?
Here is the final motivator for wanting a mobile friendly (responsive) web design. Having been billed Mobilegeddon this recent change to Google’s algorithms is due to the overwhelming need to improve the user experience. Because the search giant knows that increasing numbers of people are conducting searches via their mobile phones, Google is now penalizing those sites that aren’t responsive.
Those sites that don’t have at least a few key pages optimized for the mobile experience will simply not be listed in the SERPS. One thing which could be pointed out here is that these changes will only affect mobile searches. If a searcher conducts his or her search from a desktop computer, non-responsive sites will come up in the SERPs. However, only responsive sites will show up in mobile SERPs. What does this mean to your business site? It means that if you intend to be found by the maximum number of searchers, you will want to account for both desktop and mobile users.
If you already have a site that is doing well but just not mobile friendly, there are ways to transition to a responsive format. Your web development company can often change some of the key pages so that they will be picked up by Google and if you are using a WordPress design, there are plugins which can also change the format of some key landing pages as well. In any event, if you run a local business and want to keep your competitive edge, it is imperative that you understand these three good reasons why your local business needs a responsive website.