You know that your website looks awful on mobile. You’re in “good” company. Surprisingly, only a fraction of sites are responsive, even though more and more transactions are conducted on the go.
Getting your responsive website strategy right
A mobile strategy and a responsive site will translate into a competitive advantage even in B2B, so you need responsive web design that runs smoothly on smart phones and tablets. Before embarking on this path, ask yourself these key business questions:
- How are our customer purchase decisions made (customer journey)?
- In what way will mobile add value for our customers (competitive advantage)?
- How will we measure how our responsive site affects customer behavior?
- What KPIs should we use and how will the responsive site impact our goals (analytics)?
- How will mobile affect our marketing & sales process (CRM integration)?
Depending on what industry you are in, mobile is being used more or less frequently, but with the overall trend that mobile is overtaking desktops in purchase decisions (2014 study by Xad).
Monica Ho, senior vice president of marketing said that “…two-thirds of mobile consumers are starting their process with mobile, not just ending with it. So it shows that mobile can be used throughout the purchase process, not just at the lower end of the funnel.”
Mobile decision-making is increasing rapidly at all stages of the funnel (Xad), see infographic
Also, digital native millenials are playing an increasingly important role in both research and purchase decisions, even in B2B.
“42% of researchers use a mobile device during the B2B purchasing process. Of those, there has been an impressive 91% growth in use over the past two years throughout the entire path (instead of just at the initial stages of research),” says the Getting Mobile Right study by Millward Brown Digital and Google.
Now is the time for responsive website design
With today’s high smart-phone penetration and expanding tablet use in most markets, it’s hard to think of a good reason not to make a new website work on mobile. Nevertheless, what often mandates a site upgrade requires an investment in time and money for a business when both can be a rare commodity. The responsive website benefits however are compelling as we have seen and therefore an investment that will pay off.
This is something CEOs and CFOs like to hear, will understand, and more likely fund.
There has never been a better time to renew your website. With Google’s recent algorithm upgrade in April 2015 giving preference to websites that are responsive coupled with the fact that to date only 11% of websites are responsive, the opportunity for getting a leg up on the competition by leveraging the benefits of responsive website design is considerable, and the investment required is often quickly returned in additional traffic and revenue.
Small companies and nimble SMEs now have a rare opportunity to surpass their competitors by driving more qualified traffic through (free) Google search (not paid AdWords), especially if they embrace content marketing and the inbound marketing strategy.
Benefits of responsive design
Sites that are easy to consume on any device clearly have benefits for both users and owners. In addition to usability, consider the following responsive web design benefits:
- SEO benefits: Google points to a number of algorithmic advantages of responsive sites. For technical information, see this and related Google guidelines. Mobile search is overtaking web search, so mobile-optimized sites will obtain better mobile search rankings.
- No additional engineering time and complexity in maintaining more than one system. The same content is displayed on all screen dimensions by using the HubSpot COS smart content feature (unless the site is custom-coded).
- Faster mobile load time: while a non-responsive site loads on a desktop in a couple of seconds or less, it can take up to 60 on a mobile device (!) according to studies by performance specialist Keynote
- Lower bounce rates: mobile users get frustrated with slow load times and needing to re-size screens. They will quickly leave such a page.
Choosing the right CMS for your responsive site
With a new website comes the fundamental decision of choosing the platform which will bring you the biggest bang for your buck (and effort). Some companies choose open source platforms like WordPress, others proprietary solutions like HubSpot. Both offer responsive solutions but not all are built equally.
First off, what you really want is responsive design with a CMS (Content Management System). With most systems in use today, however, making a site mobile-ready requires extra coding, time and budget. Such is the case with the popular WordPress platform and many others, including other open systems sites (Drupal, Joomla). These systems were built long before mobile and are therefore not at all mobile-friendly.
Many marketers are seduced by the HubSpot platform as it includes its own powerful CMS platform known as the HubSpot Content Optimization System (COS) that works seamlessly together with other key online marketing tools built to drive more traffic, leads and customers, including sophisticated analytics.
The proprietary HubSpot COS has built-in responsive design at its core. Any website executed with this system is out-of-the-box responsive. Since such a site is also optimized with SEO, you are sure to be on the right path both strategically and with your marketing.
For many marketers the HubSpot COS offers a technology that no other solution on the market offers. This technology is the built-in contextual marketing functionality that displays alternate content on different devices based on who is visiting the website (i.e. unknown visitor vs. known lead). This contextual personalization is also built in to display different content for mobile phones, tablets and desktops. This powerful utility provides an additional dimension for marketers to make their messaging more relevant and build brand loyalty.
HubSpot “Smart” built-in content feature enables content distribution for all screen types