Responsive web design is a technology that adapts quickly to the needs of the reader. The most obvious example of responsive web design is the change of the format of a website when viewing devices are switched. It also adapts to the technology of the computer that one is using.
Responsive web design is quickly becoming the latest and greatest new strategy for web design, but it is far from a fad. When you have a system that conforms the design to the taste of the consumer, you will gain points. In order to take responsive web design to the next level, you have to build a system of responsive content. Ultimately, that’s how you’ll lure others in and create a set of dedicated and satisfied customers.
In his December 2011 post titled, Responsive Content Field Guide, Hans Sprecher points out that …
“Responsive content fills responsive design. Like the design, it is flexible—expanding based on screen resolution and medium to match the user’s context. As content strategists, editors, and creators, we need techniques to scale content as beautifully and responsively as our designs.”
Responsive Content and Newspapers
In the beginning, the idea for responsive content derived from newspapers. You might wonder where the connection is, and it’s not obvious at first. It actually started with the structure of a newspaper and its four aspects:
- The headline,
- The lede,
- The body, and
- The conclusion
The headline catches the reader’s eye.
The lede, or the hook, like in an essay, will capture the reader’s interest in the first two to four lines. The headline and the lede are the most crucial parts, but if the body or the conclusion isn’t made up of quality material, too, you will lose your reader. Every bit of the article has to be intelligent, informative, and insightful.
The body is the bulk of the story and your main source of facts and information. You have to make sure the facts are relevant and appropriate to the topic, and that they lead up to your conclusion. Don’t draw conclusions or give insight too quickly, or it will appear to be poorly organized.
That’s what comes in your conclusion—you’ll summarize what you said and then give your inference, your thoughts, your insight, or a good quote. A good conclusion will satisfy a reader like a delicious holiday meal.
A solid newspaper article that is structured relates to responsive content because it attempts to conform and mold itself to the reader’s interests. It’s all about audience and eliciting a response. Certain programming techniques and Internet tricks can promote effective responsive content and give the website the responsiveness it needs.
How Does Responsive Content Work?
Responsive content uses certain programming techniques, but mostly it utilizes SEO, which stands for “search engine optimization”. This is the easiest way for a technologically incompetent person to make their content responsive. You can use search engine marketing, a way of indexing your site in search engines like Google or Bing, to optimize your search listings. For example, if you have an article titled “Top Selling TVs in America”, you can use search engine marketing to promote your article and get more hits.
You use keywords to illustrate to the search engine the relevance of your article or content. For your “Top Selling TVs in America” article, you would use keywords like “TV”, “entertainment center”, “top TVs”, and more similar to that. The keywords will try to most closely match the different possible words that are searched, but you want to create enough of a density of keywords to push your article to the top of the list on the search engine.
Where responsive content comes in is all in how you write and design the article. You use the newspaper structuring techniques to pull your reader in and keep them there. Responsive content essentially will conform to the needs of the searcher, and the search engine will ensure that your content is relevant to the search. All you have to do is provide quality and an appropriate number of keywords.
So Why Does Responsive Content Matter?
While responsive design makes your site more readable, responsive content pulls in the readers with quality and relevance. If you have superb responsive web design but shoddy content, you won’t be able to keep your readers for long. An experienced Internet user can glance at a page in a matter of seconds and know if it’s worth reading or not. Instead of letting that pressure put stress on you, use it to fuel the quality that you are capable of producing.
And In Conclusion …
The difference between responsive web design and responsive content lies in the names. Design has to do with the format and the adaptability of the page, whereas the content is the actual information provided. To have a successful, smart website, you need to make sure that you have both responsive web design and responsive content. If you want to take your website to the next level, then it’s time to get serious and get to work on your website.