While I often talk about the importance of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook in social-media marketing, the truth is that the basis of your online presence is your website. And given the popularity of mobile devices, the design of your website is more important than ever.

A new trend in the field of website design is something known as responsive web design. This technology makes sites easier to navigate and works across all types of devices, including iOS and Android smartphones, iPads and other tablets and laptops and PCs. This trend is a welcome relief for mobile device users, because until now web surfing hasn’t been well optimized for such devices.

You’ve probably encountered this problem on your own mobile device. For example, you may have wanted to see what your favorite restaurant had on special for the week only to become frustrated by all the pinching and scrolling required to view the menu. Have you considered that your own website may offer an equally frustrating experience for your clients and prospects? 

If you’ve been thinking about freshening up your website, now’s a great time. Just be prepared to allocate adequate time and money to the job, because making this change will require a complete overhaul of your site.

A responsive web design, which uses proportion-based grids to resize screen views, will give clients better access to your site and their account information while they’re on the go. And a responsive design will eliminate the need to create separate applications for smartphones, tablets, etc.

Your clients and prospects have come to expect a certain look and feel when using their mobile devices. By making this change, smaller firms can present a user-friendly mobile presence and level the playing field with their larger competitors.

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Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and President of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial industry. She can be reached through her website www.financialsocialmedia.com and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.