How vital is it for your site to be easily viewable on mobile devices? The answer is simple: extremely vital. According to Zenith, international media consumption on mobile devices has grown 504% from 2011 to 2019, while mobile website traffic has solidly accounted for over half of worldwide website traffic for the past three years according to Statista. EMarketer conducted a survey in 2019, which found that 69% of respondents research products or services for business using a mobile device. They also found that 49% of retailers said the mobile experience was one of their top engagement priorities.
With these statistics highlighting just how important this web design approach really is, let’s dig deeper into responsive web design and why it’s so useful for your website and business.
What is responsive website design?
You’ve likely heard the term before, but maybe you’re not quite sure what responsive design really is. Contrary to how tit sounds, “responsive” in this sense doesn’t have to do with web page response time (speed), but rather with how a web page responds to different device widths and screen sizes.
Responsive sites are created to adapt to these different dimensions automatically. A responsive website’s content, images, and structure are displayed differently across different devices. For example, a website will be fully displayed on your desktop or laptop computer, but when you open the same site on your tablet or smartphone, it will be displayed in a more simplified manner, fostering ease of navigation from page to page and allowing the user to read and digest the content with minimal effort. Responsive website design provides the ability for a website to adapt and detect the type of device on which it is being viewed.
The site’s font sizes, image dimensions, and element widths “respond” to different screen sizes by scaling up or down automatically. Various elements of the website also shift around to fill the screen of a particular device in a user-friendly way.
Benefits of Incorporating Responsive Design Into Your Business Website
Better User Experience
The goal of a business website should be to serve as a digital marketing tool; this means it needs to provide visitors with the information they are looking for and the means to convert them into a lead or customer. Good web designers want their websites to be as easy to navigate as possible and the content to be easy to digest. Failure to implement this approach could hurt the engagement of your target audience and result in the loss of conversions.
According to Quoracreative, nearly half of mobile users switch to browsing a competitor’s offerings after a bad experience with a mobile site. In addition, more than half of mobile consumers who have a poor mobile experience think negatively about the business itself, according to the same report. Responsive design will make the consumer/website interaction much simpler, more effective, and, therefore, more successful for your business.
Search Engine Optimization
Anyone looking for a service or product on a search engine with their phone will be more attracted to sites that are adaptable. Sites that are not considered to be mobile-friendly can potentially be displayed with a warning on mobile search results or even demoted in ranking when searched on mobile.
Google has also pointed out that it prefers one responsive website versus two separate templates (regular and mobile). One responsive site with a single URL makes it easier for Googlebot, Google’s web crawling tool that determines which websites show up first on search engine results, to index a website. When you have two sites with virtually the same information, Google views this as plagiarism, and your site won’t rank as highly.
Increased Traffic = Increased Sales
People can use their mobile phones anywhere these days for almost any online task. According to Oberlo, mobile traffic makes up 52.6% of all global web traffic, and more than 40% of online transactions are currently done using a mobile device, according to Google Analytics. Many businesses and stores even offer in-store Wi-Fi for customers to connect with while visiting. Having a responsive website will give you the opportunity to reach larger audiences and increase your online traffic and sales.
Instead of having to create or manage two completely different websites limited to displaying on one type of device each, you only need one adaptable (responsive) website to display on a multitude of devices. This will be much more cost-effective and easier for you to update and maintain.
A professionally designed website with engaging content and adaptability will be very attractive to consumers and demonstrate that you are an expert in your field and up to date with the latest design and development approaches and technologies. In addition, a responsive site will rank better in search engines, comply with SEO guidelines, and drive more potential leads to your site with less effort and maintenance than the two-site alternative.
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This article was originally published on January 23, 2015. The content has since been updated.