Have you ever tried to read a newspaper from 100 feet away with a pair of binoculars? If your website isn't mobile-optimized, that is how your mobile visitors feel.

Many marketers are struggling to find the right strategy to effectively engage all of their Web visitors—and rightfully so! People can now connect to the Web through hundreds of different devices, all with unique screen sizes, resolutions, and device capabilities.

Responsive Web design (RWD) has become the gold standard for website redesign projects due to its fluid nature and ability to adapt to the size of device screens. Responsive design gives peace of mind to marketers, because they know their site will look good on any screen.

However, that is only half the battle. The other half is making sure your website performs across all those different devices. Are your users finding the information they're looking for? Are they completing the tasks? Is your site loading as fast as possible? There are many performance questions that responsive design doesn't always solve, and it's important to consider these as you set out on a redesign.

Here are some best-practices for implementing a responsive design.

Think 'Mobile First'

According to Cisco, global mobile data traffic increased 70% in 2012. Analyst firms, including IDC, have measured tablet market growth at more than 75% year over year. Gartner predicts tablet shipments to top 200 million in 2013. But even though PC sales are stagnating, millions of people still use desktop screens as part of their omni-channel journey as they work, communicate, and research products and services throughout the day.

Taking a mobile-first approach means starting your design from the mobile user's perspective. Start by figuring out what experience the mobile user needs and build up from there. That is much easier to do than starting with your desktop design and trying to chip away components to make a tablet and smartphone experience.

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image of Steffan Berelowitz

Steffan Berelowitz is CEO and founder of Bluetrain Mobile.

LinkedIn: Steffan Berelowitz

Twitter: @steffanb