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Going Mobile Using Responsive Web Design: Conversation with Voices.com CEO David Ciccarelli

ciccarelli-interviewVoice acting: It’s not just for animated movies anymore! In fact, digital marketers can use voice actors to give their trade show kiosks, explainer videos, and commercials a human voice. That’s where Voices.com comes in.

In short, it’s an online marketplace that connects businesses with voice-over talent. Most importantly, the fact that it’s all online means you don’t have to go through the trouble of hiring a casting director to find the perfect voice, making that oh-so-sought-after 24-hour turnaround time possible.

As impressive as that is, what most interested The Marketing Scope team about this company is its great responsive design. That’s why we decided to interview the Voices.com CEO and Co-Founder, David Ciccarelli, about how his site’s responsive design has affected the company and why he would recommend that other companies optimize for mobile.

The Impact of Responsive Design on Voices.com

“Voices.com saw a 140% increase in transactions after it got a responsive design.”

Voices.com has been around for about 10 years. During most of that time, it had a great design, but like most sites around 2005, it was not mobile friendly. It didn’t even need to be, considering that the iPhone wasn’t out yet. In fact, Facebook was new and years away from an app, and Twitter didn’t even exist yet, so people still mostly used their cell phones for some plain ol’ talking and texting.

ciccarelli-4But as more people began to access websites from mobile devices, Voices.com began to see about 5% of their traffic come from mobile. Just as David and his team had decided to work on making the site mobile friendly, they noticed mobile traffic had increased to 15%. Time to take advantage of that!

So at the beginning of 2013, Voices.com got a responsive design. Of course, at that time, the concept of responsive design was still very new. Prior to that, “Our first effort was to build a standalone mobile website, m.domainname.com, but that was a brochure website with maybe 10 pages,” David explained.

Clearly, the decision to get a responsive design in 2013 paid off. According to David, “Two years later, 30% of web traffic is coming from smartphones. It doubled in the last two years and doubled before that, growing at 50% per year.” All in all, Voices.com saw a 140% increase in transactions after it got a responsive design.

The Future of Voices.com

“If you’re not speaking the language of those users who don’t speak English, they’re just going to abandon the product.”

As effective as responsive web design has been for the business, David understands that there are always improvements to be made. That’s why his development team is testing out a banner at the top of the site, prompting users to download the mobile app that’s right for their operating system. This is because, “Mobile apps are a better user experience typically; they’re faster and more interactive.”

Now that the site is optimized for mobile, it needs to go global. According to David, “That means we’re translating our site and apps into other languages. We just completed translating our site – more than 1000 pages – into Spanish.” So far, the Spanish-speaking audience has been receptive to this change, which is why French and Japanese translations for the entire site are next. After all, “If you’re not speaking the language of those users who don’t speak English, they’re just going to abandon the product.”

All About the New App for the Apple Watch

ciccarelli-3Also in the works for Voices.com is an app for the Apple Watch. It’s perfect for this business, because as David explained, “The voice talents we work with are highly engaged.” After all, they often have a few auditions to attend in a single day, so they need to be notified fast when a new audition opportunity pops up, and the new app can do this.

In particular, the app will let voice talent quickly know when there is a new opportunity while also showing the budget, deadline, and project title. If they want to learn more about the job, they can then launch the iOS app, since this is the companion app to the iPhone and iPad mobile app that Voices.com has now.

The app for the Apple Watch will also benefit clients looking for voice talent. It will let them know immediately when a job has been approved and how many people have responded to the request. Considering how deadline driven the advertising business is, combined with the fact that many job postings get more than 50 responses, clients will appreciate the notifications from this app.

You can see the images of what the app for the Apple Watch will look like when you go to the Voices.com Flickr page.

Advice for Businesses That Have Not Yet Embraced Responsive Design

“That little bit of traffic you’re getting now is going to be crushed to zero if you don’t get a mobile site.”

Considering Google felt the need to release Mobilegeddon, it’s clear that not all websites are mobile friendly. David and his team at Voices.com had the foresight to get a mobile design two years ago, and now the business owners who didn’t make the same decision are scrambling. There’s still hope for them, though!

According to David, Google makes it easy for business owners to determine how much becoming mobile friendly will help them. On Google Analytics, you can just go to the Audience section and then the Mobile section to see an overview. David’s recommendation is, “If you’re getting at least 20% of your traffic from mobile devices, you should get a responsive web design.”

He went on to say, “That little bit of traffic you’re getting now is going to be crushed to zero if you don’t get a mobile site. Or it could double if you have a mobile responsive site. There are certainly enough case studies that demonstrate that offering a proper mobile site leads to new sales.”

If you’re interested in reading more of what David Ciccarelli has to say, you can go to Voices.com or follow him on Twitter. And if you really want to see a great example of a responsive website, pull it up on your smartphone or tablet!

By Autumn Rivers – Contributing Writer, TheMarketingScope
Email: autumn@themarketingscope.com, Twitter: @AutumnEditing