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According to John Packes, co-founder/head of Innovation at Life in Mobile, “Responsive design is great for certain applications, such as simple static websites, basic administrative management panels and blogs. However, being a mobile company, we always take a mobile-first approach. We aim to create an experience that meets the needs of the consumer and satisfies the goals of our client, which is to get the consumer to the piece of information and/or the specific product or service he/she is looking for as quickly and efficiently as possible, creating the highest conversion opportunity for our client. Inserting code that delivers resized content across devices oftentimes is a cop-out. Just because the same information displays on all devices doesn’t necessarily mean you’re delivering effective experiences across devices.”

While recommending a responsive design configuration, Google “appreciates that for many situations, it may not be possible or appropriate to use Responsive Web Design,” as noted in their recommendations for building smartphone-optimized websites blog post.

These are the same “situations” Packes refers to when referencing their “mobile-first approach.” These are instances where a consumer’s behavior will differ so dramatically from their desktop to their mobile devices, when the consumer transforms from passive to aggressive solely based on device type, warranting an experience all its own.

Before one can determine whether Responsive Web Design is an appropriate or inappropriate solution for their Web design needs, they must first ask: What do my consumers want when they’re on their various devices?

In Part II, we’ll examine what you need to know about Google’s mobile SEO guidelines and why it doesn’t matter to you.

Seth Kaplan is president of Mobile Real Estate.

For more information, please visit www.mobilerealestateid.com.

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