If you have shopped around for a web developer you will have likely noticed that large website firms, independent SEO specialists and everyone in between charges a higher rate for having a responsive website. And like any fiscally responsible business owner, you are probably trying to determine if it will cough up a return on your investment. Let’s begin addressing this question by painting a common scenario: imagine you own a scuba diving business in the Miami area. You have a staff of diving instructors, plenty of equipment to rent out, and all the latest gear for sale hanging on your display racks. Tourists are flooding in and out of the area by the millions every year. Do you really think most of them will perform Google searches when they are in their hotel room? According to Google the smartphone revolution is sweeping across the globe and smartphone web searches are revealing some facts that every business owner should have engraved on the back of his mind:
- 95 percent of smartphone users use their device to access the web
- 91 percent of adults keep their smartphones within arm’s reach
- 4 billion of the 6.8 billion people in the world own smartphones
- 9 out of 10 smartphone searches lead to action
If you think you will save money by opting out of a responsive design, you may want to stop and reconsider consumer search behavior.
The Crystal Ball of Mobile Data
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In your attempt to understand the value of a responsive website, it is important to see what the future holds in terms of mobile data usage. According to the mobile technology giant Ericsson, 3G coverage will be enjoyed by 85 percent of the world’s population by 2017. Considering that 95 percent of smartphone owners already rely on their devices to access the web, the continuously evolving spectrum of technology will usher in faster connections on more devices that, ultimately, translate to more people being able to access mobile websites and therefore creating a greater need for a responsive web presence.
Does Getting Social Signal a Need for Responsiveness?
In looking at social media statistics, 73 percent of all American adults use Facebook on a daily basis. Pair this figure with Facebook’s continuous strive to provide innovative advertising opportunities, the growing number of mobile social media users, and the fact that mobile sales have already buried desktop sales along with Microsoft’s prediction that mobile Internet users will outnumber those accessing the web via desktops by the end of 2014, and you will likely conclude that spending a few extra hundred dollars on that responsive site will be well worth it. Social media is a driving force behind these numbers. People are obsessed with sharing their cat photos, checking in to restaurants and tagging their friends at parties. Furthermore, there are multiple studies showing that Facebook addictions are more potent than alcohol and tobacco dependencies. As a marketer and business owner, having a responsive website that allows you to tap into this influential sphere of mobile social addicts is essential to growth.
Another Matt Cutts Proclamation
Finally, when Matt Cutts speaks, search marketers, SEO gurus and businesses seeking better organic ranking listen. According to Google responsive web design has been heralded as an industry best practice. The data previously mentioned should be tantalizing enough to get your mouth watering for a responsive web design, but when Matt Cutts proclaims a truth through his mighty Google horn, you would be wise to subscribe, shell out the extra cash, and get ready for a sweet ROI.