Why Has Responsive Design Become So Important?
Have you ever seen a website and it's a shrunk down tiny version where you have to pinch and zoom in just to see anything? Odd's are that was not an optimal experience!
Because of this, a few years back Google rolled out a series of changes to their search engine algorithm which now favor website’s that are mobile optimized to be viewable in smaller sized browser viewports. That date was officially dubbed Mobilegeddon. It's the day a hundred thousand websites were knocked from their lofty first place Google results because they had failed to update their websites to be mobile friendly.
In short, Google stated that your website needs to be user-friendly on a smartphone if you want it to rank well. If it is not, your brand will lose out on web traffic and consequently, leads and sales.
Here's a statistic that should raise your eyebrow:
Over 40% of mobile phone users report having completed a transaction on a competitor’s website after having a poor mobile experience with the first brand they interacted with.
What is a responsive website?
A responsive website is one that changes their complete layout based on the type of device being used, it's especially optimized for mobile viewing.
A mobile responsive website includes design elements such as:
Text is readable without requiring the user to zoom in
Adequate spacing for clickable objects
No horizontal scrolling necessary
Websites that aren't mobile optimized for smartphones and tablets are sure to experience a decline in their search engine rankings. This means that web traffic that normally would have went to them is being rerouted to competitors that offer a mobile friendly version to visitors. It’s a fact that over 60% of searches conducted on the internet now come from a mobile device.
Let’s get into the specifics about the how's and why's. First off, exactly what is mobile responsive design and why should you even give a hoot?
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design creates a platform for a website to react to the width of the viewport on the device with a single content source. A responsive website is fluid and flexible and it's layout dynamically adjusts according to the screen size that it's being viewed on.
What's important to note with responsive web design is that it offers an optimized mobile browsing experience that Google prefers. That's what really counts here. Yeah your website will look great on a desktop and work even better on a tablet or smartphone but the biggest added bonus is that Google will rank you higher.
Did You Know:
That just ten years ago, web developers had to build more than one website if they wanted it to be viewable on a phone? Now, with the mobile-first approach towards web design, website designers think about how the website will look on a smartphone first rather than last. Smartphones account for more and more web traffic year over year so it's impossible not to consider what the site will look like when viewed on a phone.
Now you can understand why responsive web design is not a fad anymore, but now one of the more core fundamentals of building a website. The term "responsive design" was actually coined in 2010 by web designer Ethan Marcotte.
“Responsive web design offers us a way forward, finally allowing us to design for the ebb and flow of things.” -Ethan Marcotte
Having a mobile responsive website is not a feature anymore, it's a necessity!
Benefits of Having a Mobile Responsive Design
The top benefit of a mobile responsive layout is that it guarantees that visitors will have the best experience possible on your website no matter what device they use and that it remain consistent with the brand.
Having a responsive site is also a fantastic way to refine the content you display to create a streamlined mobile experience and provide the most essential information without sacrificing load time.
With the Google algorithm update, a responsive design gets an instant boost in Google just because it's mobile-friendly. A site with an optimized mobile experience just show's up higher in search results than one that doesn't.
Why Responsive Design is Important for Business
Reach more customers and clients using mobile devices (tablets & smartphones)
Providing a more consistent experience will increase leads, sales and conversions
Analytics, tracking, and reporting can all be in one place on one platform
Time and cost to manage website content is decreased
Stay ahead of your competition (50% of Fortune 500 companies are not currently mobile friendly!)
Google accounts for over 6 billion searches conducted each day on the web. The Google-recommended configuration for mobile friendly websites is to use a responsive website design.
Google even offers a free mobile responsive test, so that you can check to see if your website is mobile friendly. Simply enter the web address to your website and receive a score.