What is responsive web design? What should marketers need to know about responsive web design?
What is responsive web design?
Responsive web design (RWD) responds to the size and scale of the screen being used to read a website’s content. This type of design utilizes Cascading style sheets (CSS) and HTML5 web design in order to adopt to different screen sizes. When a laptop or desktop computer is being used, the site displays at its full width. Sidebars are visible and usable while the site size for screens in general are at least 11 inches wide.
On mobile devices, responsive web design shifts its presentation to meet the demands of each individual device. Tablet devices which typically range from six to nine inches are treated as smaller desktops and include a smaller sidebar. On mobile devices, with screens typically between three to five inches, responsive web design eliminates the sidebar, creating a traditional single-column design filled with the site’s main content.
A responsive web design recognizes the resolution constraints associated with the device that is accessing it (desktop, tablet or mobile) and makes adjustments to presentations layers based to best fit that particular device. Responsive websites eliminates multiple versions of a site and allows the same content to simply be reformatted automatically, based upon the screen size of the site visitor.
Responsive Web Design 101 – What should B2B marketers know about responsive web design?
The goal of responsive web design is to have a sound presentation of content on multiple platforms. Every website you create can be a useful mode of communication to both mobile, tablet and desktop users without much added re-design work. Instead of having multiple sites, responsive web design enables the same content to be optimized for use on multiple mediums, meaning you can write your content and publish once instead of keeping up with a mobile version of a site.
As new devices are being released, marketers and designers are using responsive web design to deliver experiences that are aligned with how their buyers and prospects want to engage. By incorporating responsive web design, marketers can significantly improve the user experience across a variety of devices (mobile, tablet and desk-top uses) delivering the right user experience for the right screen size at the right time.
Incorporating responsive web design into your business can save you long-term costs and can be easier to maintain. Consolidating content management will allow for greater efficiency and consistency and enable better Search Engine Optimization (SEO), building better traffic to your website. Beyond increasing website visibility, responsive web design is considered “future-proof” for an organization’s mobile strategy as it can help prepare an organization’s online presence for the future.
Google officially recommends that website owners use responsive web design when possible, serving all devices (desktop and mobile) on the same set of URLs, with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices. According to Google, responsive web design “keeps your desktop and mobile content in a single URL, which is easier for your users to interact with, share, and link to and for Google’s algorithms to assign the indexing properties to your content.”
One way to tell if your company should incorporate responsive web design is to look at your search metrics. Tracking mobile visits versus desktop visits can provide you with insights into how your prospects are finding information about your products or services. If your search queries are similar for mobile and desktop users, you may be a good candidate for responsive web design.
Remember, the online experience your brand delivers becomes your brand to your potential buyers. Ignoring or providing a subpar user experience on any platform translates into lost opportunity. If you’re not providing a mobile friendly website, you’re likely killing your brand. For more information on responsive web design, download our free white paper.
Is your website mobile friendly? As marketers, what are you doing differently to ensure you are keeping pace with the mobile revolution?