Why Responsive Web Design is a Must for Gambling Sites

Mashable called 2013 the “Year of Responsive Web Design” for a good reason – with mobile apps being downloaded by millions of people across the globe, having an all-devices-optimized site is an absolute must for anyone in today’s online arena.

Mobile development companies is already producing quite staggering revenues and “the upward trend suggests the numbers will become even more breathtaking”, according to Betfair.com columnist Kevin Hatchard. Just to back up the above statement, in 2012 William Hill reported a 260% increase in mobile betting revenue compared to 2011, which accounted for over 1/3 of the company’s online betting revenue. In its turn, Ladbrokes reported a 96% increase in net revenue from its mobile platform and a 15% rise in annual profits last year.

Since online gaming is experiencing a huge growth on tablets and smartphones, it’s  critical for online operators and affiliates to reach this valuable mobile traffic in the most effective way possible. Not to be confused with mobile optimized website, responsive web design allows a single website to dynamically adapt its content and layout to any screen they can possibly be viewed on – whether it’s a PC, tablet, mini-tablet or smartphone. Responsive design supports most devices and helps save time and money with only one source code to maintain, one site update to perform and one logic to use. Using CSS3 media queries, our website asks the browser how wide it is and serves up content immediately depending on the browser’s response.

But responsive design isn’t only about the screen sizes; it’s more about site performance, interaction and user experience prioritization for this or that platform:

1)   Performance – since data speed on mobile devices is lower than that on PCs, website images must be light to enable quick load time. Content should be reduced to highlight the most important messages, so all heavy lifting should be left to your site’s server

2)   Interaction – menus, site controls and buttons behave differently on a PC and mobile device, so your gambling site must be designed to handle all platforms

3)   Prioritization – in its mobile rendering your website should offer properly sized and scaled images and controls. All site’s calls-to-actions (CTA) – the most crucial feature – should be displayed prominently in every possible format

Since most of gambling and sports betting websites run PPC and other search related ad activities, their owners should note that Google’s new AdWords Enhanced campaigns require sites to have responsive design. So, your ad campaigns won’t be effective unless your site has clear messages, intuitive navigation and responsive design.

I personally have no doubts that responsive web design will become an official standard for all good web pages and web content design to comply in the future, so now is the right time for you to start using it on your gambling and sports betting sites.

 

Sources: "Gambling Insider", May-June 2013; "iGaming Business", issue 80, May/June 2013

Vik is our Brand Journalist and Head of Online Marketing / PR with 11+ years of international experience in IT B2B. He's also a guest blog contributor to Business2community, SitePoint, Journal of mHealth, Wearable Valley and other IT portals. You can contact him directly on LinkedIn.

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