Responsive design refers to a website build that automatically adapts content to display ‘correctly’ on any device – whether mobile, tablet, desktop or laptop. Google is championing it, and it’s rapidly growing in popularity among retailers, but there are many more reasons why content marketers and marketing technologists need to think hard about responsive design.
Here are five of them:
1. Your audience is everywhere
StatCounter data suggests that, globally, 32% of browsing currently happens on mobiles, and 6% on tablets. The remaining 62% is on PCs, but that figure is falling month on month. Catering to all of these audiences is vital, and so is gaining an understanding of how user journeys are changing. Users switch between devices now more regularly than ever, which means that if your content can’t seamlessly switch from desktop to mobile or tablet, they may abandon you altogether.
2. It’s important for SEO
We mentioned that Google is championing responsive design. They’re also punishing non-responsive design. According to a report from Adobe Systems, ‘Mobilegeddon’ (Google’s algorithm update that favoured ‘mobile-friendly’ sites), lost non-mobile-friendly sites as much as 12% of traffic. Hubpages says it lost 22% thanks to the update, which is a huge audience to lose.
3. It improves UX
According to Forbes, 46% of mobile users reported problems when viewing static pages, and 44% had trouble with the navigation. If users can’t find the content they want, or they can’t engage with it, they won’t connect with your brand. According to Hubspot, when they find what they need and have a positive mobile user experience, 61% of users have a better opinion of brands.
4. It attracts social audiences
If part of your content marketing strategy is to get things shared and engaged with on social media, ensuring that your content is accessible on mobile and tablet is essential. A Business Insider study found that approximately 60% of social media time is spent on mobile devices – a stat you can’t afford to ignore.
5. It affects article structure
As well as affecting how users find articles, responsive design affects how they connect with it. Writing on LinkedIn Pulse, Jose Berengueres rightly points out that the brain relies on locations to store memory. If content changes shape on different platforms, picking up articles mid-stream on a different device is no mean feat.
How do you help? Do you add design features? Write shorter, punchier content? Arrange your content differently?
Finding the right answer to questions like these is essential to the success of a cross-platform content marketing strategy.