Is Your Mobile Responsive Design Right For Your Content Marketing Strategy?by: Dustin Hawley | Wednesday May 8, 2019
It's 2019, and we now live in a mobile-dominant era. The reason behind this is clear: people are addicted to their mobile devices. Whether it's a smartphone or tablets or something in between, consumers spend an abundant amount of time every day using one device or another. And there's no end in sight for this growing infatuation with our usage of mobile devices.
So in an environment of this nature, responsive design is no longer viewed as an innovation that keeps your brand ahead of the curve. Instead, it has become an industry standard; a crucial component of any SEO strategy applicable to nearly any industry, and one of the trends that will shape mobile marketing. And while there is a great emphasis on the 'mobile first' approach every brand seems to be buying into, is your mobile responsive design right for your content marketing strategy?
Why Your Brand Needs Responsive Web Design
The web has evolved at an incredible rate over the past calendar year. Among the many shifts that took place was one that many experts knew was an inevitability: Mobile web browsing supplanted desktop as the primary choice of device for internet users. In a study published in late 2016, it was discovered that, of individuals who only use one type of device, twice as many were using smartphones than those who were using desktop computers.
These observations would not come as a surprise to people like web designers and marketers. Yet somehow, both business and the online industry have been slow to respond to the new state of the web and the mobile-first mentality. In today's world, where users are accessing the web predominantly on mobile devices, companies like Google are acting accordingly. Google is a company with a relentless focus on user experience. So it makes sense that they favor sites that meet the needs of users. Basically, what we are trying to say is, Google is going to favor websites that are optimized for people using mobile devices. Those websites typically are the ones that have incorporated a mobile responsive design.
But let's say you are one of the companies who had the foresight to embrace the growing trends of mobile and have already optimized your site with mobile responsive design. Though you may have created an enhanced, fluid user experience with your design, how do you know if it's right for your content marketing strategy?
IS MY MOBILE RESPONSIVE DESIGN RIGHT FOR MY CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY? ASK YOURSELF...
Does my M.R.D. maintain a consistent user experience?
The primary benefit of a responsive layout is the promise that any user on any device will have the best possible experience on your website. Also, the most consistent and universal experience to match. Website responsiveness also presents a great opportunity to refine the content on your site. Ensure that those who are using a mobile device only see the most essential information. This plays a huge role in the user experience.
A caveat to the recent Google algorithm updates is that a responsive web design increases visibility on search engines. Why? Responsive design is mobile-friendly. Sites with an effective mobile experience are prioritized and populated much higher on Google results than those without.
Is my M.R.D. Improving The User Experience?
It's quite simple, really. If users are unable to navigate your website with ease, they are unlikely to be around for long. Google recognizes ‘time on page’ as a core indicator of a site’s value for a particular search. Responsive web design makes your website a lot easier for visitors to read and navigate through. This results in an improved user experience, which typically leads to an increase in time on site.
This begins a bit of a domino effect. Good usability scores generate repeat visitors and a boost in conversions. Google is in the business of satisfying the needs of its users. Mobile responsive design is paramount in creating a positive user experience, and Google rewards sites that tailor their site experience to the needs of those users.
The focus on customer experience and site usability can’t be emphasized enough. Website traffic, positive reviews, and increased branded searches all can deeply impact ranking. And they all come as a result of the customer experience. The universal advice of late has been about building around a 'mobile first' mindset. But that generalization can be somewhat dangerous. At the end of the day, brands should be designing for users, first and foremost.
Does my M.R.D. Reduce My Bounce Rate?
For those who may be unfamiliar with the term, bounce rate is related to users time on site. It's a data point on how quickly visitors backtrack or leave your website. Our good friend Google pays attention to user behavior when it comes to points of entry or exit for a website. The bot-crawlers may interpret short dwell time (basically leaving a site immediately after entering it) as a sign that the content the user searched for and discovered on your site wasn’t particularly relevant to their needs.
Google essentially penalizes websites for this lack of time on site. The consequences result in a negative adjustment to the sites ranking in Google search engine results for that inquiry. However, the quality of your site's content isn't the only factor that determines if users stay or go. In fact, a strong argument could be made that on many occasions, design outweighs content. The logic is simple: the content of your website may be amazing, but if the design is lackluster or makes it hard to understand, users will leave your site before ever even considering to consume your high-quality content.
A mobile responsive design allows you to not only publish relevant content but also display it in a mobile-friendly fashion.
Is my M.R.D. Boosting My Social Sharing?
Mobile responsive design is fashioned to make social sharing a breeze for mobile users. And while social media does affect SEO, social shares don't have a direct impact on Google rankings. However, it does help you grow an audience, which alone begins to build more buzz and interest around your brand, in turn hopefully resulting in an uptick in web traffic. This is one of the reasons social media content creation is imperative to building a brand online. The utilization of an influencer marketing agency can also help bridge the gap in your content creation strategy, and optimize your brand for social in the same way M.R.D. does for your website.
A larger audience can translate into more traffic and engagement, as well as more search demand for your brand – which definitely makes Google take notice. Websites that are not optimized for mobile users are going to have an increasingly difficult time convincing its users to navigate awkward, poorly designed social sharing buttons designed solely for desktop use. If you want to be relevant on social and see your content shared, you have to make it both appealing and simple for users.
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