bhm account photoYou may have been told that your website should be ‘responsive’ or, if you’re in the process of building one, your web guys will probably be bandying the phrase about. So, what does this mean?

Advances in mobile and tablet technology means that they are predicted to overtake desktop internet usage in 2014, so your potential and existing customers will probably be accessing your website through their phones or iPads.

If your website was built more than a couple of years ago it probably isn’t responsive. This means it was built to be viewed on a desktop pc with a much larger screen size, therefore mobile users will see just a fraction of your website when it views it on a phone or tablet and moving around your site will be incredibly difficult. Take a look at your site now on your phone and see what it looks like.

A responsive website is designed to take this into account. It responds to the device you’re accessing it on. So this could be a massive Mac like we have in the office, a desktop, a tablet or a smartphone.  The site looks great regardless of what you view it on and, crucially, it changes the way the content is displayed to optimise the user experience.

But if your website isn’t responsive, why is it important for you to make it so:

# 1 Google wants you to

When Google tells you to do something with your website then it’s usually a good idea to do it. A responsive website means that, regardless of device, it’s easier for them to do the stuff they do. But they also prefer it because it’s easier for users to search, share and interact and improves the user experience which is what they want above all.

# 2 Your customers want you to

A recent survey found that 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they are more likely to buy or use that site’s product or service.

# 3 It’s future proof

The huge development round the corner that is probably going to change all our lives and how we consume media is wearable technology ie Google Glass (also known as the internet on your face) and the new Smart Watches, a responsive site will deliver your content to this audience in a way that it can be digested on the move.

Now, don’t worry if you have a website that you love, but it’s not responsive. You don’t have to jack it all in and start again. It is possible to build a mobile version of your website by adding extra coding to your existing site. Speak to your friendly web guys and find out if it’s possible. If you don’t have any friendly web guys in your life, then I’m always happy to take a look and give you an assessment of what can be done.

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