A website with a responsive design is one that changes its layout according to the size of the device it’s being viewed on by each user. Whether the site is being viewed on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone, it reformats itself to align with the different screen size so that its appearance is always optimized.

This means you don’t need to have separate mobile-optimized websites with different URLs and duplicate pages. A responsive website presents the same content on tablets and smart phones as it displays on computers.

After checking more than 600 disaster restoration websites over the past year, I have found that only a small percentage of them are responsive. This is far too few, given this is an industry that relies on making itself available the minute disaster strikes.

Below, I discuss five important reasons why you should switch your current website to one with a responsive design. As you’ll see, it can result in many more leads.

No. 1: Reach More Prospects

According to Pew Research, as of April 2012, over 88% of adults in the United States own a cell phone, and more than half of these cell phone owners use their phone to perform online searches. Thanks to the speed and convenience provided by tablets and mobile devices, almost half of all cell phone users prefer using them for their web browsing needs. These numbers will continue to grow as 163 million mobile phones were expected to be sold in the U.S. in 2014.

It’s a no-brainer that more and more people search for your services on their hand-held devices. This is especially true in an emergency situation such as a flood or fire. If your website does not have a unified responsive design optimized for conversion to a smaller screen, these prospects may not be able to find your contact information immediately and so will leave your site to find help elsewhere.

No. 2: Increase Conversions/Revenue from Google Adwords

Although the term “conversion” is most commonly used in e-commerce, a conversion, as it relates to the disaster restoration industry, can be counted as a telephone call from your prospect or an inquiry using the contact form of your website. Since a responsive design provides visitors to your website with a consistent user experience across devices, your conversion rates increase, which means you also get more leads from your site’s existing traffic currently being generated by SEO (search engine optimization) or pay-per-click adwords.

In other words, your business revenue increases without an increase in your pay-per-click marketing budget, all of which means higher profits for you.

No. 3: Higher Search Engine Rankings

If your website has a responsive design, you don’t need a separate mobile site. That means you don’t need to create similar pages with duplicate content for a separate site optimized for hand-held devices.

By avoiding duplicate content and focusing instead on high-quality content, you increase your chances of higher rankings in search engines, especially Google.

As of June 6, 2012, Google recommends having a website with responsive design, as it is easier for Google bot to crawl those sites. Google also agrees that mobile-optimized websites rank higher in local search results. This translates to more relevant traffic, both in terms of visitors to your website and inbound calls as a result of finding you so easily.

No. 4: Cost Effective

When your website incorporates a responsive design, you eliminate the need to have a separate mobile-optimized site. And because you don’t need to have separate maintenance and SEO (search engine optimization) campaigns for two sites (and with two separate costs), you can redirect your marketing dollars in a more cost-effective manner.

SEO campaigns can be very time consuming and costly. However, a responsive site design allows you to have one unified strategy that saves you both time and money by helping you get higher search engine rankings and do so in a shorter period of time.

Responsive design also saves you time and money by not having to maintain functionality and performance of multiple websites. By keeping your site up to date, you are sure to generate more leads from it.

No. 5: Stay Ahead of the Competition

In order for you to succeed in today’s world you must stay ahead of the competition. As more and more people use their mobile devices to search the web, you need to provide quick and easy access to your business, which is especially important if your prospect is in the middle of an emergency situation.

Potential customers do not want to have to scroll through an entire site on a small screen to locate your contact information. If that’s what they have to do today, you may be losing leads as some will just give up and stop searching. A responsive site design makes it easy on users and gives them one-touch call buttons so all they have to do is tap on your visible phone number from their smart phone, and your website calls you directly and automatically. Ease of use means you’ll get more calls when your client needs your services the most.

 You now understand five reasons for having a high-performance-optimized responsive-design website. Ensure potential customers find and reach you right away, whether they locate you through a high-ranking Google search or they come from a competitor’s site. All leads are good, and a responsive design will get them for you.