Here at DCD an Inbound Marketing Agency in Atlanta, we have been asked many times why we went with a responsive website vs a mobile website. After considering many factors we narrowed it down to 3 key reasons why a responsive design worked better for our business than a dedicated mobile website. I’m here today to share with you our story how and why we went in this direction.
Reason #1: We Need A Website for Mobile Devices
Before the upgrade we had a beautiful website that received a lot of comments about it’s professional design and ease of navigation. It converted well and we benefitted greatly from this. There was one problem… It wasn’t optimized for mobile devices. I still remember getting a phone call from an inbound lead (who later became a client) that was calling while driving and visiting our website. He had a hard time tapping the phone number on the screen to call us. This was a big red flag for me. When I heard this I knew that we needed to get a mobile website fast.
I don’t want to throw him under the bus for browsing and driving, he could have been at a stoplight or something like that. How many of us browse the web between red lights when we are driving? According to Google Mobile Ads Blog 77% of smartphone users use their phone to search. Does this surprise you? It doesn’t surprise me when I go through our analytics and see that just under 10% of our website traffic is from a mobile device. Since we redesigned the site to a responsive website design, more than 15% of our traffic is from mobile devices. Needless to say, we needed to be mobile friendly.
Reason #2: A Mobile Solution That Would Not Increase Workload for Updates
As for any inbound marketing agency or any company that deploys inbound marketing strategies to generate leads, you’re constantly creating content. You’re creating offers, blogs posts, embedding videos, etc. You’re creating a constant flow of new resources to your website to attract visitors. The last thing that we wanted to do was increase the amount of time that it takes for us to publish said content. If we went with a mobile website app or dedicated mobile website experience we would be forced to update our content in two places. This means twice the work for 15% of the traffic. This didn’t sound good to us so we looked for alternatives.
Yes, we could have installed a WordPress plugin to automatically convert our desktop website to a mobile version but then it presented additional hurdles. We would then need to manage two designs and multiple stylesheets. Update the branding of one version and you have to update the branding to the other. We don’t want to upset Google with duplicate content so we would need to have canonical URLs pointing to the original page. Double work is never fun and if you know me I’m a measure twice, cut once kind of person. So we decided to cut the double versions and go with a simpler solution.
Reason #3: Provide An Amazing Experience for the Website Visitor
The number one reason for us going with a responsive design for our website is the visitor experience. We needed a website that would give the visitor exactly what they were looking for, exactly when they needed it and make it simple. So often we get caught up in what we want. A flashy new website with a bunch of bells and whistles but when the user needs to find something they have to go 5 pages deep.
The focus of your website should be three things: attract visitors, provide superior visitor experience, and capture leads. They should be in this order. We found that we could accomplish these three essential website requirements with a responsive website.
Summery: Mobile is Different For Everyone
In the end, you must consider your own business model and clients/customers. You’ll need to go through the same process that we did in order to choose between the two options. Which options are going to give you the results that you’re looking for? What is the best route to take to achieve these goals? Does our business require people to use our flash application or do we have an HTML 5 version that works on any browser? Answer these questions like we did and you’ll be on your way to providing an amazing experience to your visitors on any device that they choose.