When the first iPhone came out in 2007, many assumed it would never take off. People scoffed at the iPad when it premiered, calling it an oversized iPhone that couldn’t make calls. Now, a majority of web activity – 60 percent – takes place on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Wearable tech, such as Apple Watches and Google Glass, along with in-car tech and “smart tables”, appear to be the next big trends. (Although Google Glass may have been over-hyped…)
With the future of web browsing uncertain, the best bet is to remain adaptable. This is why many experts are predicting that responsive websites are crucial for maintaining a solid web presence in 2015 and beyond.
What is a Responsive Website, and Why Should I Get One?
When it comes to how your site appears on a tablet or smartphone, you have three options:
- Do nothing. Your site will show up as is, possibly with tiny text, menus that don’t transfer properly and images that block the content. Not recommended.
- Create a separate mobile version. These mobiles usually have addresses like “m.website.com.” This is a completely different website specifically formatted to look good on a mobile device. These are meh.
- Create a responsive website. A responsive website appears the same on desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphone, smart watches and every other screen imaginable. The site automatically rearranges itself to fit whatever screen you are using.
Google prefers responsive websites out of all of these. An improperly formatted site on mobile can create a negative user experience, which drives away customers and tanks your Google organic placement rankings. Google hates multiple versions of the same thing, so it can penalize a site with a mobile clone. By creating one version that is accessible across multiple platforms, you can optimize both your visibility and conversion rates.
Additionally, a huge chunk of mobile traffic happens on social media sites and apps (24 percent of mobile web activity occurs on Facebook alone). Engaging social media and mobile-friendly sites dovetail to create a positive user experience and better SEO.
Is Your Site Ready for 2015?
Organic search remains the biggest driver of revenue and engagement for commercial outlets, and Google is continually revising its algorithms to better satisfy mobile users. Switching to a responsive website is the best way to meet demands and stay visible on whatever devices we’re using in the future.
If you want to learn more about switching to a responsive website, talk to our legal marketing specialists. We stay up-to-date on the best SEO practices to keep our clients visible.