3 Advantages of Responsive Web Design

Mobile usage is growing at a rapid pace and every business knows their website needs to be mobile-friendly. One of the most difficult decisions is choosing between a dedicated mobile website and a responsive website because both options have their advantages.

Responsive web design is an alternative solution to dedicated mobile websites. A responsive website detects and conforms to the dimensions of the screen on which the website is being viewed and automatically adjusts the formatting of its content and images for optimal display. At Leverage Digital, a web design company in Tampa we specialize in creating professional, mobile-friendly responsive websites.

Below, we outline 3 advantages of having a responsive website, and how it can help your business.

1. Better for SEO

Google has publicly announced that responsive web design is their preferred mobile configuration and refers to this technique as the industry best practice.

For companies that rely heavily on search engine optimization (SEO), a responsive website is the ideal mobile solution. With responsive web design, there is no risk of being penalized by search engines for duplicate content since the content that is displayed regardless of the device comes from the same website. Additionally, it is easier to manage one SEO campaign on one responsive website, than it is to manage two SEO campaigns on separate desktop and mobile websites.

Furthermore, responsive web design reduces load time since it does not require URL redirects, a technique that is used to direct users to a dedicated mobile website when a mobile device is used. Also, device-based redirection is error-prone and can have a negative impact on user-experience, which is a factor that Google takes into account when ranking websites for specific keywords.

2. Provides a Consistent User-Experience Across Multiple Devices

One of the primary benefits of adopting responsive web design is that it allows businesses the ability to provide visitors with a consistent user-experience across multiple devices.

Until recently, the most common mobile strategy was to create a dedicated mobile website, which is often a stripped down version of the desktop website. While this solution allows businesses to provide a “mobile user-experience,” it often results in a website that lacks the information mobile users are looking for, and leaves them resorting to the all-too-familiar “Desktop Version” link. If users have to visit the desktop version of a website on their mobile device in order to find the information they’re looking for, not only does this create a terrible user-experience, but it calls into question the purpose of having a dedicated mobile website in the first place.

Consistency is critical for keeping users happy, and this is where responsive web design fits in. Regardless of the user’s device and screen size, with responsive web design they will always be presented with a website that is consistent in both design and in the information that is provided to them, which is exactly what mobile users expect.

3. Reduces Site Management Costs

Another benefit of responsive design is that it saves business owners both time and money on development and maintenance of the website. Before the introduction of responsive web design, businesses had to create multiple versions of their website to accommodate the various screen sizes of their mobile users, all of which required time and resources to develop, manage, and maintain.

It is generally easier and less costly to maintain one responsive website than it is to maintain separate desktop and mobile websites. The reason for this is with two separate websites, businesses must incur the ongoing cost of managing and maintaining two separate sets of code and two separate sets of content.

With responsive web design, there is only one version of a website to maintain, which makes it the more cost effective solution for businesses in the long-run.

Conclusion

Responsive web design is better for SEO, allows businesses to provide a consistent user-experience across multiple devices, reduces site management costs, and gives businesses the ability to meet the needs of desktop, tablet, and smartphone users, all from one website. For these reasons, at Leverage Digital, a responsive web design company in Tampa, we recommend that every business owner consider a responsive website for their mobile web presence.

For more information, please call us today at (866) 611-6267 or request a free consultation.

 

Is Flat Design the New Status Quo in Web Design?

Flat design is a user-centric design style that has been around for quite some time, but has more recently started to make big waves in web design. Apple, Google, and Microsoft are among the many companies that have recently embraced this growing design trend. “Why,” you may ask? Because it works.

Flat Design: What Is It?

Flat design can be characterized as a minimalistic design style that focuses on color, form, function, and font by utilizing clean open space, crisp edges, and two dimensional graphics like the example above of Microsoft’s homepage.

Unlike skeuomorphism design, which uses complex design elements such as embossing, drop shadows, and textures to give off a more realistic appearance, flat design puts more emphasis on increasing usability rather than increasing aesthetic appeal. The theory behind this design style is that if a user is not distracted by all the design elements that are typically used in skeuomorphic designs, then the user will be better able to focus on what is important, the content.

Why Web Design is Going Flat

Great for Responsive Design

In today’s digital on-the-go age, more and more users are reaching for their mobile devices to search for products and services they find of interest. Responsive design allows businesses the ability to provide their users with a consistent user experience across the various devices used to perform these searches. Flat design is great for responsive design. Many of the best responsive design websites utilize flat design elements because this design style scales well to smaller screens and allows for faster page load speeds.

Easier to Use

When properly executed, a flat design website should be simple for users to utilize on both desktop and mobile devices. The limited use of design elements and removal of flashy embellishments, eliminates the unnecessary distractions that often cause frustration to users. Furthermore, the bold typography that is used within flat design is generally easier to read and the larger, less cluttered action buttons are more apparent. The shedding of the skeuomorphic design elements also enhance a website’s ability to be cross-browser compatible.

Encourages User Engagement

Content that is communicated in a simple and clear manner is more easily digested by a user. Hence, the effectiveness of flat design. The use of clean, bright, contrasting colors help to increase the visibility of buttons, highlight calls to action, and encourage user engagement. Additionally, because flat design websites tend to have fewer graphics and smaller image file sizes, they typically have faster page load speeds.

Is Flat Design Better Than Skeuomorphic Design?

The emergence of flat design as a trend shows that there has been a major shift towards user-friendly, minimalistic designs. At Leverage Digital, we have always espoused the importance of clean and user-centric designs. Though the winds have shifted in the world of web design, the important thing to keep in mind is that one design style is not necessarily inherently better than the other. They both have advantages and disadvantages, and so it depends on the needs of your customers and the goals of your business when deciding which design style is the best option for you.

Leverage Digital is a Tampa web design company. Give us a call today at (866) 611-6267 or submit our contact request form for more information on our web design services.

Leverage Digital Launches Newly Redesigned Website for The Pool Doctor

We are proud to announce the launch of the newly redesigned website for The Pool Doctor, a recognized pool service contractor in Tampa Bay. This new website utilizes a user-friendly, visually engaging, responsive design and offers full content management capabilities through a custom designed WordPress CMS platform. Through responsive design, The Pool Doctor is now able to provide their customers with a consistent and positive user-experience across all smartphone, tablet, and desktop devices.

About The Pool Doctor

The Pool Doctor has provided professional commercial and residential pool services to the Tampa Bay area for over 22 years. Their team of professionals service over 400 pools per week, and have completed over 3,200 pool remodels. When it comes to pool service, repair, and renovation, they are the experts.

Tour the new website on your desktop, tablet, or smartphone, and learn more about The Pool Doctor at www.pooldoctorfla.com.

For information regarding our construction company web design services, please call us at (866) 611-6267 or submit our contact request form.

Leverage Digital Launches Responsive Design Website for AREHNA Engineering, Inc.

We are proud to announce the launch of the new AREHNA Engineering, Inc. website. This new website utilizes a clean, user-friendly design and boasts a number of advanced features, including responsive design for mobile compatibility.  Responsive design enables the website to provide visitors with a positive user-experience across desktops, tablets, and smartphones. The new AREHNA Engineering, Inc. website also includes full content management capabilities via a WordPress CMS platform.

About AREHNA Engineering, Inc.

AREHNA Engineering, Inc. was recently named the No. 1 fastest growing University of South Florida alumni-owned or led business in the world at the inaugural 2013 USF Fast 56 Awards reception, and was also ranked 5th in the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2013 list of the 50 fastest growing companies in Tampa Bay. AREHNA Engineering, Inc. specializes in providing innovative and comprehensive geotechnical and structural engineering, as well as full service construction materials testing and inspection services to a wide variety of market sectors throughout the State of Florida. The firm is built upon the core principles of providing quality service, technical expertise, responsiveness, and value to their clients.

Tour the new website on your desktop or mobile device, and learn more about AREHNA Engineering, Inc. at www.arehna.com.

For information regarding our custom engineering firm web design services, please call us at (866) 611-6267 or submit our contact request form.

Time Spent on Mobile Expected to Exceed Time Spent on Desktop for the First Time

Emarketer estimates that in 2013 mobile related activities will account for nearly 20% of overall media time spent by US adults. This makes it the first time that time spent on mobile activities will surpass time spent on desktop activities.

The report estimates that U.S. adults will spend on average 44.4% of their media time with digital channels including mobile and desktop activities, with mobile activities accounting for 19.8% of media time and desktop activities accounting for 19.5%. According to this estimation, time spent on mobile activities has nearly tripled since 2011, and has increased 6.3% from 2012.

As more and more consumers look to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets as opposed to desktops or laptops to perform research and make purchases, mobile compatible websites will continue to play an increasingly significant role in online marketing strategies. If your company does not yet have a mobile-compatible website, consider hiring a Tampa web design company that specializes in mobile web design.

Leverage Digital is a web design company in Tampa. If you would like more information on our mobile web design services, please call us at (866) 611-6267 or submit or contact request form.

2013 Mobile Path To Purchase

In their 2nd Annual U.S. Mobile Path to Purchase Study, xAd and Telmetrics concluded that consumers are reaching for their smartphones and tablets earlier and more often in their search for local goods and services. They also found that key factors like local relevancy and promotions highly influenced consumers’ purchase decisions.

Mobile Used Early & Often

The study reports 45% of consumers that are searching for local products and services will reach for their mobile device first when starting a search, and 49% will use a desktop device. However, when it comes to the mobile user, 54% of all mobile users will look to an additional media source at some point in their purchasing process, while the remaining 46% will use their mobile device as their sole primary search tool.

Additionally, it was found that half of mobile users will use their device at the start of the search process with 1 out of 3 using their mobile device throughout the entire process.

Mobile Conversions Impacted by Device and Location

Local relevancy was a top motivator for consumer purchase selection, as 1 in 3 smartphone users and 1 in 4 tablet users utilized their devices to search specifically for contact information such as an address, phone number, or driving directions. The study also concluded that 60% of mobile users expect businesses to be within walking distance or a 5 mile driving radius.

Mobile users who participated in this study were found to have high purchase intent with 60% of smartphone users and 53% of tablet users completing purchases related to their mobile search. 74% of smartphone users completed transactions offline or in-store, while 54% of tablet related purchases were made online through a mobile device or PC, and 22% of mobile users completed transactions directly through their mobile device.

telmetricsxAD

Leverage Digital Media is a SEO company in Tampa that specializes in mobile search and design. If you would like more information on how we can help you increase mobile traffic and conversions, please call us at (866) 611-6267 or submit our contact request form.

Mobile Accounts for 20% of Paid Search Clicks

In Kenshoo’s recent Global Search Advertising Trends report, it was found that global paid search ad spending continues to rise. So much so, that year over year growth for global paid search ad spend in Q1 2013 reached 15%, and in the U.S. alone paid search ad spending grew 24%. A majority of the increases in paid search ad spending can be justified by the fact that consumers are increasingly looking to their smartphone or tablet for search and purchases instead of their laptop or desktop, which has forced marketers to invest a greater portion of their ad spending into mobile.

Kenshoo also found that in the U.S., there is a significant gap between paid search ad spending and distribution of clicks. In Q1 2013, tablets and smartphones accounted for 20% of paid search clicks but only accounted for 14% of total paid search ad spending. Smartphones in particular accounted for 9% of paid search clicks, but only made up 5% of total paid search ad spend.

In the U.S., desktop search still commanded the most ad spend and clicks by a healthy majority at 86% and 81%, respectively.

Leverage Digital Media is a PPC company in Tampa. For more information on paid search advertising, please call us at (866) 611-6267 or submit our contact request form.

Why Your Business Can No Longer Afford to Ignore Mobile

Bullish on Mobile

Mobile is growing so fast that analysts are having to revise their predictions. Why is this? The need for more convenience due to our busy, on-the-go lifestyles combined with increasing demand for instant access to information, products, and services.

In fact, because of the increases in mobile device usage, many U.S. businesses are feeling the pressure to step up their mobile advertising efforts, which in turn, has forced analysts to revise their original predictions only 4 months into the year. In December of 2012, eMarketer projected U.S. mobile ad spend to reach $4.4 billion in 2013, a far cry from their recently released projection of $7.29 billion. These numbers keep rising, and analysts have predicted that mobile ad spend will reach $27.17 billion by 2017.

What This Means to Your Business

Implementing a mobile marketing strategy is no longer an option for most businesses. It has become a necessity. If you have yet to adopt a mobile marketing strategy, here are three reasons why you’ll want to start now:

1. Low Cost

With relatively low costs, mobile advertising provides the opportunity to reach a highly targeted audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.

2. Large Audience

As of December of 2012, in a survey conducted by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, it was found that nearly half of U.S. adults own a smartphone device and over 50% of them use it to access the Internet. According to BIA/Kelsey, mobile local search will surpass traditional local desktop search in 2015, which presents a huge opportunity for local businesses.

3. Competitive Advantage

Mobile advertising is still in its infancy, and has the potential to grow astronomically. If the above predictions come to fruition, the future of web usage will be dominated by the mobile industry. So instead of trying to play catch-up in a few years, investing in mobile advertising now will give your business an advantage over your competitors.

In sum, the mobile industry and the number of U.S. consumers that use mobile devices to conduct searches and make purchases is growing, and growing fast. With relatively low costs, the potential to attract a large, highly targeted audience, and the competitive advantage of getting in early, business owners and marketing professionals can no longer afford to ignore mobile.

Leverage Digital is a web design and SEO company in Tampa. If you would like more information on mobile web design or need help with your mobile marketing strategy, give us a call to speak with a digital marketing consultant at (866) 611-6267 or submit our contact request form.

Which Mobile Solution is Better, Responsive Web Design or a Dedicated Mobile Website?

With more and more consumers reaching for their smartphones and tablets to conduct searches and make purchases, having a mobile-friendly presence is becoming essential.

According to a Google study, nearly 75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly site. So, if you currently have a mobile-friendly site in place, you could be benefiting from one of your competitors that does not. On the other hand, if your site is not mobile-friendly, you could potentially be spoon feeding your competitors new business.

So, the question is not whether you should have a mobile-friendly website, but rather, which mobile solution is right for your business, a responsive website or a dedicated mobile site? Below are some of the advantages of each.

Advantages of Responsive Web Design:

SEO Friendly – With responsive web design, there is no need to worry about running a separate SEO campaign for your mobile site. In fact, Google recommends and prefers responsive web design as opposed to dedicated mobile sites because responsive design makes it more efficient for Google to crawl and index your website’s content, it preserves the canonical URL (the authoritatively correct URL of a website), and it simplifies the sharing of the site’s content.

Consistent – Because responsive web design is part of your website, it provides your company with a consistent online presence over all devices. Whether you are looking at your company website through a smartphone, tablet, or desktop, with responsive design you will be able to present users with a website that is consistent in design, content, and accessibility.

Less Workload – Since dedicated mobile websites are essentially a separate website from their desktop counterparts, updates to site content must be made to both versions, effectively requiring the same updates to be made twice. Conversely, with responsive design, updates only have to be made to one website.

Advantages of Dedicated Mobile Websites:

Faster Load Speeds – Dedicated mobile websites are designed specifically for mobile devices and tend to utilize less code, and smaller images than desktop sites, making their page load speed much faster. Responsive design sites contain far more code, content, and larger image files, which can slow down page load speeds.

Designed for Specific Purpose – Oftentimes, companies require their mobile site to serve a specific and different purpose than their desktop counterpart. For example, a dental practice may want to utilize a mobile site specifically to allow existing patients to easily and conveniently book appointments through their smartphone when on the go. However, in keeping with this example, a better solution would be to have dedicated mobile site in the form of an app that allows patients to book appointments, in addition to a responsive design site that caters to new patients searching for local dentists with their mobile devices.

Usability – Many of the common features that are available on a desktop site do not work properly on mobile devices. When a visitor encounters this, they can become frustrated with the experience, which can result in lost business. With a dedicated mobile site, you can potentially provide your visitors with a more user-friendly mobile experience.

Bottom Line

Mobile is important, and the real question is which mobile solution should your business move forward with, responsive web design or a dedicated mobile site? The answer to this question lies within your company’s goals, objectives, and the specific needs of your target audience. An experienced Tampa web design company can help you determine which mobile solution is best for your business.

Leverage Digital Media is a professional Web design company in Tampa. Not sure which solution is right for your organization? We can help. Give us a call at (866) 611-6287, or complete our contact request form.