June 19, 2013
Internet on the Go: Your site must be viewable on every device!
By Maureen McCabe
Like me, you are likely frustrated when viewing a website on your handheld device. When I use my Blackberry (I’m proud to be Canadian!) it’s apparent that 98% of sites were developed for viewing on a desktop or laptop. Today, new sites should be developed as “responsive” sites. This type of site provides the best viewing experience on any device!
Why is this important? Mobile users will leave – or – as I prefer to say ‘evacuate’ your site in seconds (never to return again!) You can verify this statement by looking at your Google Analytics ‘bounce rate’.
Google Analytics, GA
Google provides a free tool that every business should use. I have been a marketing consultant since 2007 working with small business owners and start-up companies. I estimate that 75% of these people were not aware of this tool. GA enables you to generate detailed statistics to analyze your website traffic e.g. visitors to your site. For the purpose of this blog, look at the tab on the left-hand navigation called “Audience” for mobile device statistics. It may help you to justify the expense of a responsive site.
If you don’t have GA, sign-up for Google Analytics now! Remember, it’s free. Your web developer will need to add a snippet of code to your website to track the visitors and may agree to set up your GA profile for free. NOTE: within 24 hours you will get your first report.
TIP: Hiring a website developer
When you are engaging a web designer you cannot expect them to set up automatically Google Analytics. Why? It takes time to set up and who volunteers to do extra work when not requested?
You must request that the developer set up GA and do it for free. Please ensure that it is noted in your contract! I suggest you also request that Search Console (previously known as Webmaster Tools, WMT) is set up by the web developer for free. You can learn about your website speed, broken links, and many more things.
If you already have a website, request your web developer to add GA which is a short snippet of code to your website. Ask nicely, perhaps they will set up your GA profile for free – in addition to adding the code.
A responsive website is designed to provide the best viewing experience whatever the device. Simply put, it provides easy reading and navigation with a minimum of re-sizing, panning, and scrolling across any type of device from desktop computer monitors, laptops, ‘smart’ phones, tablets, to hand-held devices.
Google recommends responsive web design for search. “Webmasters should follow the industry best practices of using responsive web design – serving the same HTML for all devices and using only CSS media queries to determine the rendering on each device.” Does that mean your business should not have a separate mobile site? Not necessarily. What you should do is use the approach that is best for your content and your audience.
It takes more time and effort for a website developer to code a responsive site. It’s understandable that the cost for a responsive site is more. Whether you are creating a new site or redesigning your existing one, request a price quote to explore your options.
Mobile / Handheld Devices
A small screen size makes it difficult or impossible to see text and graphics dependent on the standard size of a desktop computer screen.
The bottom line
Mobile Internet usage is overtaking desktop Internet usage, it is only logical that making the move to a responsive website is what you need to stay competitive. I recommend that responsive is the way to go.
If you would like help to evaluate a website development company or need content written for your website, book your free marketing assessment today.
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