It’s no secret that mobile devices are taking over the world. More and more individuals are finding mobile devices to be much more convenient in day to day task. Our world is more connected now than it has ever been before, and this is not a trend that will fade out. Businesses need to adapt to support this behavior, and that includes making your digital marketing efforts be optimized to work on mobile devices.
Looking at internet traffic trends from a study done at comScore, mobile internet usage has surpassed standard desktop usage. This happened sometime around 2014, but you can see the obvious trend line. Mobile is still growing, and it’s only going to continue to grow.
Now, obviously device usage can vary by industry. Depending on the type of work you do can alter your specific technology uses. But there is no denying that mobile has effected the way everyone works in some way shape or form. Even if it’s not your primary device for heavy usage because of the required software, doesn’t mean that mobile isn’t a form of usage for some types of internet usage. Further analysis from comScore shows deeper insights to how mobile usage is used across different industries.
So regardless of what you are doing, mobile effects it somehow, especially when we talk about your digital marketing. Mobile usage has become a staple in the marketing industry. Your marketing has to take account for mobile. In fact, Google even says so. If your site is not mobile responsive, you get dinged in your rankings and you get this nice little tag next to your site in search results telling users that you’re not optimized to work on mobile. So not only does mobile provide a better user experience on the front end, but it also prevents you from losing rankings in search results. Want to see if your site is responsive? Google has a free tool for that.
Back in the day, websites were built with fixed ratios. A webpage was a specific height and a specific width. Regardless of your monitor size, the site’s size stayed the same to the proportions that were set when it was built.
Have you ever been on a website that is NOT mobile responsive? It’s awful. The text is so small that you have to pinch zoom super far in. But as soon as you zoom in, content expands beyond the width of the display so now you have to scroll in every direction (up, down, left, right) in order to see everything. In today’s world, there is no standard screen size. Every device you see has a different sized screen. Desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones all have different screen sizes. And then when you look at each device manufacturer (Apple, Samsung, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Gateway, Windows, Nokia, and many many more), they each use their own standard for screen sizes. But it doesn’t stop there, each model of each device from each manufacturer has a different screen size. So how do you build a site that can work on all these different screen sizes?
The solution became Responsive Website Designs. This means exactly what it says; the design of the site is responsive. Elements on the page resize themselves, reorganize, and move to adapt the content to work with whatever size the browser currently is set to. It eliminates the left and right scrolling needed to see content so you can see and read the content on the display working in a more natural vertical flow. It automatically zooms in on the content to make it easy to view on the device instead of not being able to read items on the page. This allows for a much more optimized experience for a user when trying to few content on a much smaller screen.
The basics behind this functionality is working off of a common grid system. Using the grid system allows your content to follow a specific set of rules and break points as it recognizes smaller browser sizes. If you are reading this on a desktop or laptop, you can see how this works right now by grabbing the edge of your browser and shrinking the width. You’ll notice content starts to auto adjust immediately the smaller you get. It’s responding to your screen size. There are a lot more details that go into making this a reality, but it gives you a quick idea of what being responsive means and should look / feel like for a user.
Responsive web design is basically a requirement these days. If you’re not strategizing your digital marketing to include mobile users, you are alienating an extremely large part of internet users and more than likely losing potentials customers. Having your site be responsive is a must have.