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The web has spread to mobiles, tablets, netbooks and other handheld devices. The site must be appealing to the consumer on any device.

Studies have shown that 2/3 of consumers are more likely to purchase from a mobile ready website than one that is not; that 3/5 of consumers would quickly move to another site if the mobile site did not quickly provide them with what they were seeking. Significantly, these studies also show that over 90% of smart phone users look for local information online, and over 80% of those user act upon those results (i.e., they become customers). These studies are a reminder that technology must be embraced by all businesses regardless of their size if they wish to be competitive; and a reminder that consumer attitudes are shaped by their online experiences with your business.

A website that is incapable of handling multiple devices is essentially a problem for a business. A website that requires the users to pinch or zoom in order to read the content is certainly not a pleasant experience for a consumer. Studies show that an unpleasant user experience leads consumers to quickly abandon sites and move on to others, and possibly abandon the business.

While one may consider employing additional websites for mobile devices, this approach has its drawbacks. For example, separate desktop and mobile sites would require separate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaigns. Managing one website and one SEO campaign is far easier than managing two websites and two SEO campaigns. This is a key advantage of a responsive website has over a separate website for mobile devices. In addition, a multiple site approach means that changes to one site must be propagated to the additional sites; and the use of multiple domains would mean additional costs for the registration of said domains.

Google has already recommended employing a RWD approach to website development, and stated that those sites that lack a mobile capability are likely to be downgraded in their search results. Essentially, the most popular provider of search results is stating that they are going to give responsive websites an edge over those that are not. Simply stated, if you do not employ RWD then you are going to reduce, if not eliminate, an opportunity for your business to reach the consumers that research local businesses online.

A single website that employs RWD techniques allows for the website to provide a great user experience regardless of the device employed. Also, a single website ensures that the consumers have a consistent experience across devices, and this is certainly important. After all, it is impossible to anticipate all the devices and screen sizes that consumers may employ.

Therefore, a business should make a conscious decision to employ RWD to effectively market their brand upon the internet. A failure to develop a responsive website is essentially giving your competitors an edge.



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