Local Business Roundup: The Importance of Responsive Web Design

Ashley Taylor Anderson

Responsive web design for small businesses

We know it’s impossible to keep up with all of the news in the local business space. That’s why we’ve cherry-picked the articles from this week that matter most for business owners like you.

[Mobile] The Importance of Responsive Web Design for SMB Sites

Source: StreetFight

Mobile Internet usage increased 73% in the last year alone. With consumers spending more and more time browsing the web on smartphones and tablets, the importance of having a responsive website has never been greater for small and medium-sized businesses.

A few benefits of going with a responsive design versus a separate mobile site include:

  • SEO: It’s easier for Google and other search engines to crawl one set of code rather than multiple sets for the same site.
  • Flexibility: A responsive design will look good at any screen size that falls outside of “standard” mobile or desktop specifications.
  • Consistency: A user who comes to your site on desktop and then visits later on their phone will have a consistent experience with your visuals, branding, and navigation. 
  • Easier Sharing: You can share one link everywhere without having to worry about who’s using what device.  

Why It Matters: We know you’re probably tired of hearing it, but you see it every day: People are addicted to their smartphones, and they’re using them more and more to research local businesses. Make sure your website looks good on mobile, or you’ll run the risk of driving potential customers away.

[Employee Retention] Test Driving before You Hire

Source: NY Times

The restaurant industry has long had a “stage” process in place where they invite potential hires to work a test shift in their kitchen to assess their skills, work ethic, and chemistry with their existing staff. Now, other local businesses are taking the same approach with hiring—inviting candidates to work on a trial basis before hiring full time.

While interviews, résumés, and other screening tools can give you a sense of whether someone will be a good fit for your team and the position hiring for, actually seeing a worker in action can often lead to a very different impression. The goal of “test driving” employees is to ensure that both your business and your hires are happy with a long-term partnership.

Why It Matters: Staff turnover is a huge issue in many service-based businesses. Having your potential employees perform a test run could be an effective way to prevent turnover and ensure that you’re hiring the right person.

[Social Media] 3 Simple Tips for Winning the Hearts of an Online Community

Source: Mashable

Developing a community on social media can seem like a scary proposition. Not only is it daunting to try and engage a bunch of people you don’t know, but you’re never quite sure if what they have to say about your business is positive or negative.

However, developing a community of advocates for your business on social media can be a huge asset. After all, we all know that word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective kind—and online communities can help you amplify word-of-mouth recommendations.

  1. Learn what drives your followers in each community.
  2. Find and engage with super-users who are talking about your brand (e.g. brand advocates).
  3. Make sure your paid activities fall in line with the rest of your social posts.

Why It Matters: Having a social media account and building a true community are two very different things. While winning over followers on any social forum takes time and energy, it can pay off big if it leads to a group of well-connected people who are willing to spread the word about your business online. 

About the Author

Ashley Taylor Anderson

Ashley Taylor Anderson is a content developer and marketer who's spent her career knee-deep in the B2B technology space. In previous professional lives, she worked as a science textbook editor, media producer, and pastry chef.

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