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Why Your Business Needs A Responsive Website Before 2014

If you’ve ignored previous warnings and your business isn’t taking advantage of responsive web design right now or planning on it in the very near future, you are in danger of going out of business in 2014. There are three exceptions to the rule;

  1. you don’t depend on your website to stay in business,
  2. you have no competitors, or
  3. you are familiar with responsive design, you’ve already verified it’s not the right fit for you, as Linkedin has, and you have an alternative mobile strategy.

If any of these three apply to you, then you’re ok, carry on. But if your company depends on its website enough that losing the business it brings to you would be a serious blow,

Getting a responsive website before the end of the year should be your#1 online marketing goal.

If the term “responsive web design” is new to you, don’t feel bad, I promise you’re with the majority. In about 20 seconds you’ll know what it is and be able to look smart by talking about responsive design at dinner parties. Responsive web design is simply this–a website design that adjusts gracefully to fit on desktop, tablet, and smartphone browsers. Ever pull up a website on your smartphone and it was just a very tiny version of what you would see on your desktop, so you zoomed way in, and then moved the website around and enlarged and shrunk it as needed to read text and click on things? That was not a responsive website. Or if it was, it left out the key point of adjusting “gracefully.” A responsive website looks good no matter whether you’re looking at it on a phone, tablet, or desktop.

If you read Peter Cashmore’s piece from almost a year ago proclaiming 2013 to be The Year of Responsive Web Design you might wonder if you’re too late. No, you’re not, because in all likelihood all your competitors are late to the game as well. 2013 turned out to be the year when those companies and industries that tend to stay somewhere just behind the cutting edge of online marketing and web design got their acts together when it comes to responsive design. Most businesses lag behind the cutting edge by at least a year when it comes to such things. You’ve been safe for the time being, but now your competitors are figuring things out.

Why Does It Matter?

Because it’s better, and everyone else is doing it.

To illustrate why responsive is better, I’ve taken the stats from an anonymous website that is widely representative of many others. If you use a tool like Google Analytics on your website you can look at these same stats and gauge how urgent the matter is for your company.

Mobile vs. Desktop.

This pie chart  shows the percentages for visitors coming using mobile, tablet, and desktop devices for the past 12 months. You can view this pie chart for your own website by first selecting the past 12 months for your date range, and then on the left navigating to Audience > Mobile > Overview in Google Analytics. On the lower right you’ll see a small pie chart button. Push that, and you’ll see a chart like this one.

In this case the website receives almost 40% of its traffic from mobile devices (for the purposes of this post I’m going to lump tablets into the “mobile” category). Given that this website is not responsive, nor has a mobile version, that’s a hefty chunk of visitors who are receiving a sub-optimal experience. But wait, it gets better! And by “better” I mean worse.

What this chart does not show us is the trend. This second set of pie charts shows us the direction in which things are headed. To get this chart I went to the date range in Google Analytics and checked the “Compare to:” box and selected “Previous period.” Now we are seeing a comparison between mobile vs. desktop visitors for the past 12 months and the 12 months preceding those. The bottom line–this website’s mobile visitors doubled in one year. That by itself should be a compelling enough reason to go responsive.

In an example of the benefits responsive design can bring, in August of this year my online marketing firm launched a new, responsive website for The Storage Center, a self storage company with locations in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. In the United States the self storage industry is seasonal, and it is normal to see reservations decline each year between August and November. As expected, The Storage Center did see an overall decline in reservations, but whereas that decline was quite pronounced on the desktop, mobile reservations (which were taking place on the previous website, despite it not being mobile friendly), increased by 5.5% rather than dropping by 20-30%.

Responsive Design, What Does It Cost?

If you have a relatively simple brochure website for your business, modifying your existing website to be responsive design may cost you as little as several hundred dollars to perhaps a few thousand. That is assuming the design lends itself to becoming responsive. But if you haven’t redesigned your website in several years chances are you’ll need to go through a complete redesign process and the answer to what it will cost is, as usual, “it depends.” If you have a vendor you work with you on your website, simply ask them if it’s possible to overhaul your existing website to be responsive, and what it will cost.

The Future Is Mobile

While going responsive can present challenges for website owners and online marketers, I return to my previous point that without a mobile-friendly website your future online is bleak. If you’re not providing a mobile-friendly experience for your customers, they’ll bounce off your website and go to your competitor whose website is easier to use. The future is mobile, as we see people increasingly favoring their mobile devices over desktop computers. Nielsen says that over 60% of all mobile phone owners in the US use a smartphone.  A recent study by Walker Sands Digital showed mobile traffic to its client base increasing by 171 since Q3 2011. Statista says that 5 billion people will use mobile phones by 2017. Making your website responsive is a small price to pay to reach all these people.

By the way, in case you feel like I’m being a bit preachy, I’m preaching as much to myself as to you–my own firm’s website doesn’t have a responsive site yet. Yeah, yeah, the cobbler’s children have no shoes. But we’re working on our new site which will be up before 2014, you can count on it.

Have you taken your website responsive? Have you seen benefits from the change?

………………………………………….

Article sourced from Forbes.com and written by

Joshua Steimle

Joshua Steimle, Contributor- writes about startups, Hong Kong, and online marketing.

Connect with Joshua: 

Google+ | @donloper | Facebook | Linkedin | Goodreads | Medium

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

Your facebook page is NOT enough of a web presence for your business

Some of you may or may not have a facebook business page  and some of you may or may not have a business website.

If your target market or customers are on Facebook,  obviously you need to be there as well, just don’t make the mistake of using your Facebook page as your website simple because it is popular and free.

Your website is all about YOU and YOUR BRAND,

it has your branding, your market positioning and when people are on your website that’s all they see, and that’s all you want them to see!

Also, not everyone uses Facebook; yes they do have one billion active users but that’s not everyone, and not everyone wants to do business on Facebook or learn about a business on Facebook.

Finally your website is focused on your calls to action, Facebook isn’t. On your website you get to dictate what people do, by setting up scenarios that they can possibly flow through that end in a result you want, whether that be buying a product or service, signing up for a newsletter or generating a lead, you can’t do that all the time on Facebook.

Don’t fall into the trap of allowing another company to dictate how you do business.  Facebook should be a side dish, not the main meal.

If you only have a facebook page and no website, you need to contact us NOW.

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

Common mistakes in web design part1

1. Don’t think it’s finished

It’s a big mistake to think a website doesn’t need any more work once it has launched. This would be like settling on a single marketing strategy to last the life of the business. Instead, it should be treated as a constantly changing project.

Kind of like a diet…. if you lose all your weight and then forget about dieting and exercise, then all the hard work you put in was for nothing!

“These days, your site is in perpetual beta. It is forever evolving in line with audience needs and technology,” says Denise Shrivell of digital consultancy MediaScope.

“That’s a challenge for businesses these days who are developing a web-based business. Ten years ago, when you developed a website, you could pretty well sit on it until a redesign or relaunch. Now the challenge is determining that you need an ongoing budget to keep up with the ongoing demands of your audience.”

Visitors will expect different things of your website’s functionality and navigation in two years than they do today. This is why it’s crucial to continually test its effectiveness, and to allocate a portion of your marketing budget to its upkeep.

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

What is SSL?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a protocol for enabling data encryption on the Internet and for helping web site users confirm the owner of the web site. SSL is most commonly used to protect communications between web browsers and servers.

However, it is increasingly used for server to server communications and for web-based applications. SSL Certificates help you keep your customers’ transactions secure with strong encryption, and you’ll speed through enrollment with automated domain control validation.

They are also used so that the web browser / visitor / customer to your website knows that your site is secure and can trust that their details will be safe.  This is especially important if you have a payment gateway, shopping cart or need to take credit card details for any online payments.

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

Developing a good website – to bring in customers!

Take this one question quiz:

What should be the first step in developing a website?

1. Creating a design to use as a basis,

2. Deciding how the content needs to be integrated and managed,

3. Gathering content from corporate collateral,

4. Developing a strategic plan for your specific needs, or

5. Choose the most cost-effective hosting plan.

In just about any profession, your answer would be choice 4. After all, you couldn’t build a house without considering the layout, number of bathrooms, and features of the home. You wouldn’t create a design for a major advertisement and then plan the content and message of the ad. Yet, when it comes to website design, often the design comes first and the strategic plan for the site comes last.

Most design companies usually:

1. Create a design.

2. Add content. (most plans end here because there usually are no marketing goals for a site.)

3. Contact SEO firm who performs keyword research based on content of site.

4. SEO firm proposes keywords.

5. Site is optimized by SEO firm by editing original site to make it more SEO friendly.

6. Results vary.

7. Usually followed by redevelopment IF business doesn’t lose faith in the internet.

All the details are usually never dealt with because the average designer doesn’t know they exist.

I think the reason the internet world can get away with a backwards strategy is because the design portion is fun, is more tangible, and looks impressive. It gives a client the opportunity to suggest colors, logo position, interactive media, position of the navigation system and other elements. The process usually goes smooth because the developer gets the excitement from the client and the client is impressed by the nice design work. BUT… that’s also why over 99% of all internet businesses FAIL.

Because there is no quality infrastructure and strategic plan in place. Either the site is poorly marketed, keywords are unfocused, or it doesn’t fit into the overall business marketing plan. In most cases, this is where the business owner begins to think the internet is all hype and will not work for their particular business. They disregard stunning statistics, such at 65% of all Americans begin their search for local services on the internet FIRST. This is followed by a competitor leveraging the internet as a strategic advantage and ultimately leads to a loss of revenue by the disillusioned company. So What’s the CURE?

Your website needs to be planned. A thorough understanding of your expectations, target demographic, and geographic influences have to be considered. The proper research needs to be done to assure your internet marketing plan has the right infrastructure and architecture and then you can eat the “cake” (design).

This is why Jungle Design Studios always starts with a consultation where we fill in and go over our comprehensive website planner.  We do this prior to any design work so that we can strategically plan what your site needs to do and how to structure it.

BUT…

This is easier said than done for the following reasons:

* It’s more expensive to create the right plan.

* It’s not as fun to start off with planning, expectations, and realistic goals.

* A good team to create your plan has to understand design, marketing, social media, SEO/SEM, custom development, and customer service to get the job done.

* Most website developers mask their weaknesses. Some are good at design, others technical work, others SEO, but few are good at it all…

* College students and novices practically give away website design which is hard for the business to turn down.

* Consultants usually do not have a complete understanding of the entire process.

AND THE WORSE PART…

Is now the internet developing world has realized that cheaper, do-it-yourself systems sell better than a comprehensive plan. (See our article on “canned solutions.”) So companies like Intuit offer “simple solutions” (because it is high profit, low overhead), and the only one who ends up suffering is your business. Be Smart and Eat Your Vegetables First… Then have Dessert.

Proper planning is the only cure. Hiring an experienced company to help you is the only way you will truly have an opportunity to dominate your market online. It will cost a little more, it won’t be as fun up front, but it will be worth it in the end.

………..

thanks to John Carroll  founder of www.MaxWebGear.com for his article.

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

Why do you need Social Media Optimization?

I’m sure you all have heard of facebook and myspace, twitter or even linkedin and konnects.

If you are reading this on one of these sites, then you are probably in the loop…

But what are they exactly?

They are social networking websites and they utilise social media.

Social Media is the new age of communication to build a solid brand and send referrals to your business.

“The amount of time people spend online has, for the first time ever, surpassed the amount of time spent watching television.”

The major attraction for a business to start building their “Social Brand” is:

  • Creating brand connection by engaging with your visitors
  • Creating sales opportunities without selling
  • Increasing the popularity of your business amongst a targeted audience, resulting in building your brand
  • Generating traffic to your website, thus creating new business opportunities
  • Interacting with your community, providing you the opportunity to build business intelligence which will assist in refining your business offering

With their popularity only growing, it is important to leverage social sites as a platform to boost your business, through content and links that get exposed to the user community. In a rapidly transforming digital world, Social Media Marketing offers a new avenue in online marketing.

Do you need help getting your business noticed?

Do you realise that back links (links from other sites to yours) are the answer, but you don’t know how to get those links created?

Are you so busy building your business that you are overlooking the most powerful and cost effective marketing tool on the Internet today?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then contact us today so we can help you.

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

Jungle Design Studios now has a blog page!

welcome to my jungle design blog!!!

here you can find design news and updates and specials that we are having here at jungle design studios…..

first special of the day!!!

may only –> get a blog customised, installed and setup on your website for a great price.  contact us for more information…

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.