Have you ever visited a website from a mobile device and noticed that the design looked “off?” Maybe the text was too small, the images didn’t scale correctly, or the page layout looked like it was done by an amateur.
These are classic signs of a website that does not have a responsive design, and there’s a good chance your company’s website is in the same boat. Unfortunately, most people won’t tell you your website is not responsive. It’s the digital equivalent of telling someone their fly is down or they have spinach in their teeth.
A website without a responsive design can be disastrous for your painting company’s bottom line. When sites are built without adhering to the principles of responsive web design, they tend to look unprofessional, load slowly, and tank your conversion rate.
This article reveals the top 5 reasons you need a responsive website and some helpful tips to implement responsive design.
What is Responsive Web Design?
People visiting your painting company website are using a variety of devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even televisions.
As you probably already know, a site will look different depending on the screen size the user has. When your site is responsive, it will automatically adjust visual site elements based on the device that someone is using, their web browsing platform, and even how their screen is positioned.
Because of the ubiquitous nature of smartphones and the meteoric rise of internet activity from mobile devices, responsive web design is often referred to as mobile-first design. However, responsive design is more than just having a website that looks great and functions properly on mobile devices.
The Difference Between Mobile-Friendly and Mobile-First
Both mobile-friendly and mobile-first designs aim to ensure that a site looks great on a mobile device, but the difference lies in the order of how the site is designed. A mobile-friendly design is based on building a site for the desktop and then scaling it back to look good on mobile devices.
By contrast, mobile-first designs are designed specifically for mobile devices, and then the design is scaled up to look great on a desktop, too. In both iterations, the desktop/big-screen version will generally look the same. However, a mobile-first design looks like it was designed specifically for a mobile device – because it was. A mobile-first website that’s displayed on a mobile device will have a simpler interface, larger buttons, and less text.
5 Benefits of Implementing Responsive Web Design
While mobile-first web design is a good strategy to ensure that you have a website that accommodates the 92.3% of the population that accesses the Internet from a mobile device, a responsive design is even more important.
With a truly responsive web design, you can be confident that your site looks spectacular on any device, and the design adjusts automatically to accommodate screen sizes.
A pretty website isn’t the only reason to prioritize a responsive web design. The following five benefits will have a significant impact on your painting business.
1. Better User Experience
There’s nothing worse than visiting a website that is clunky, uneven, and barely functional. However, this is precisely what happens when you visit a website that doesn’t embrace responsive design elements.
When a website is responsive, it automatically adjusts every single visual element to the size of the screen that your visitor has. This means that each user will view the best version of your website. Instead of having to compromise how your site looks by designing for mobile first or desktop first, a responsive design allows you to have your cake and eat it, too.
2. Get an SEO Boost
Google evaluates hundreds of factors when it decides where to rank a web page on the search engines, and several of those factors include how a user interacts with a site.
For example, if things on your site are broken or don’t look right, users will exit your site immediately or wander around confused without taking any action. Google views these actions as a subpar experience, and the search engine algorithm will penalize you by demoting your rankings.
Keep in mind that Google isn’t maliciously acting out or punishing you for doing something “wrong.” Instead, the search engine is merely taking action to deliver the best possible Internet experience to its users. If you want to show Google that your site is the real deal and deserves to be on page one, it should be responsive.
3. Improve Conversions
This benefit might seem like common sense, but it deserves a discussion. After all, without conversions, your website is nothing more than a pretty picture.
Depending on your goals, conversions might include one or more of the following:
- Calling your business
- Requesting a quote
- Subscribing to your newsletter
- Filling out an inquiry form
- Scheduling a consultation or job
All of these conversion actions can be done from your website. However, if your site is not responsive, you’re going to make it harder for your visitors to convert. For example, a button might be hidden behind an image on a screen that doesn’t scale or adjust to a mobile device.
Further, if your site isn’t responsive, it’s not going to look professional on all screen sizes. You’re taking a gamble here, and it’s very likely that you’ll lose the opportunity to close a painting deal if a mobile site visitor doesn’t see the best representation of your website.
4. Streamline Navigation
There are different ways to structure your site navigation, depending on the device and screen size. For example, a large desktop screen can benefit from having a lot of menu options, including dropdowns. On a smaller screen, however, this can get very messy, and you’ll want to prioritize navigation options to compensate for less real estate.
As a general rule, simple navigation is best, but you can get away with taking a maximalist view on large screens if you know your site will automatically adjust navigation options for smaller screens.
5. Gain Scalability and Flexibility
Did you know that 92% of visitors to a website will not make a buying decision on their first visit, even if they’re interested in the product or service that your company offers?
People need time to think and research their options, especially for a significant decision like hiring a painting company. This means that they’re likely to come back to your site before they buy, and they’re likely to visit from multiple devices.
A responsive design gives you the flexibility to scale your design and content to match different screen sizes and intent. For example, on a mobile device, someone might be looking for some basic information, but they might sit down with their computer to dive deep into the website. A responsive design allows you to create different experiences based on screen sizes to accommodate these different intents.
Tips for Creating a Website that is Responsive
Responsive design isn’t something you’ll do on the fly. There are a lot of considerations to make, and you should have detailed knowledge about your customers before deciding on the best way to present your painting business.
The following tips will give you a starting point for creating a website design for painting contractors that is responsive.
- Consider content. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. How much content do you want to include on a mobile device versus a larger screen? Do you want to have the same content but structure it differently?Begin laying out options on a wireframe (or even a piece of paper) before you start coding.
- Make navigation easy. If your site visitors can’t find what they’re looking for, they’re going to leave. It’s that simple. If you have complicated menus, no breadcrumbs, and no easy way to get back to your home page, you’ll send your visitors on a wild goose chase. Ain’t nobody got time for that.To ensure your site is easy to navigate, keep your menu options simple, especially your main menu. If you have a lot of content and pages you want to share, move those links to the footer. On each page, especially pages with a lot of content, include several calls to action to allow a user to take the desired action without having to press the “back” button a bunch of times.
- Optimize page load speed. No matter what size screen someone is on, no one likes a page that loads at a snail’s pace. Responsive design allows you to adjust elements based on devices and screen sizes. As a general rule, keep your designs as minimal as possible to encourage fast loading.
The Bottom Line
New devices and screen sizes continue to be released, and if you design a site that prioritizes responsiveness, you don’t have to worry about whether your site looks okay on the latest and greatest iPhone. Because responsive websites look good on any device, you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing that your visitors have a positive experience with your site.
Want some help making your painting company’s website responsive? Contact Painter Marketing Pros to schedule a complimentary consultation.