December 12, 2013 | Valerie Wong
There's one thing that can make or break your business – and that's your website. Assuming that you depend on your website to process orders or interact with clients already, then you have to craft a responsive web design in 2014 to stay competitive.
What is Responsive Web Design?
If you're not clued in to what it is yet, don't worry too much. Most of your competitors probably don't know what “responsive web design” is either. Responsive web design is not that hard to comprehend. It just means a website design that has a graceful adjustment to fit on smartphone, tablet, and desktop browsers.
Have you ever opened up a full website on your smartphone, only to discover it is just a very small version of what you would normally see on a desktop? Maybe you had to zoom in, then move the website this way and that way, and then made it bigger or smaller as needed. That website design would not qualify as a responsive web design. A responsive website looks great no matter whether you're using it on a desktop, tablet, or phone.
The majority of businesses, and your competitors, probably lag behind when it comes to the cutting edge of web design and marketing. 2013 was the year when they probably started to get the picture that they had to make the shift to responsive web design. You were safe for awhile, but now is the time when you have to get your butt moving.
Why Does Responsive Web Design Matter?
Responsive web design is a lot better, and all your competitors are probably doing it by now. Right now, you can bet on 20-30% of visitors to your website coming from mobile devices. That percentage will likely increase in the future as a post-PC future becomes more apparent. If you don't have a responsive web design, then a sizeable chunk of your visitors will have a sub-optimal experience on your website. You could lose sales and the potential for repeat business if your website is hard to use or frustrating to navigate around on.
Use Distinction as Your Secret Weapon in 2014
You wouldn't even have a business if it wasn't distinct in some way. You have to take that aspect of your business and blow it up as much as possible. Let's look at some areas you can focus on when you're making your business more distinct.
- Clarity – Distinctive businesses are very clear about what makes them distinct. They know what they are doing, and they know what they are not doing. You can't be different, unless you define what you do first.
- Creativity – To be really distinctive, you don't have to every single thing creatively, but you do have to do just one thing creatively. Differentiate yourself from your competitors in at least one way.
- Communication – Even though customers really just want information, there is still a requirement for your team to communicate your company story in a memorable and interesting way.
- Customer Experience – A truly distinct business will devote as much precision and attention to customer retention as they do to customer acquisition. Get your customers to become proselytizers and champions for your business.
These tips will transform your small business if you apply them. If you ignore them, your business could stagnate at best and fade away at worst.
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