There was a time when you could pull up a website on your smartphone and it was just a small version of what you would see on your desktop, so you zoomed in as far as you could, and then moved the website around and enlarged and shrunk it as much as you needed to read text and click on links. That was not a responsive site. A responsive website resizes itself to fit the screen dimensions on a phone, tablet, or desktop, while still looking clear and readable. In, short it is a website design that adjusts seamlessly to fit on any end user’s device.
Responsive design is a necessity for any business that relies on their website for a significant portion of their revenue. So why is responsive design the most important feature to add to your website? Here are four reasons you need to make your website responsive now:
- Reaching the Multi-Device User
The current reality is that websites are not only being visited by a variety of different devices and screen sizes, but customers are returning to your site at different times using these different devices. This means that, to have the best user experience, your site must work well regardless of which device your customer may be using at any time. The same content that is available on one device must also be there when they return on other devices, in order to ensure consistency in the information that they are seeking. If your customer is visiting your site looking for information or using a specific feature, and return later on a different device but cannot find that same information , then it is likely that your customer will simply leave your site and take their business elsewhere. By ensuring consistency of information across all devices, but with a layout and experience suited to each individual screen size, you do your best to support your customers and do not give them any reason to abandon your site halfway through their overall experience.
- Consolidation & Consistency
It’s difficult enough to keep a single website updated and relevant. Keeping multiple sites up to date and consistent with messaging is even more of a challenge. This is why a responsive website is preferable to multiple versions of sites for the different end user devices. The “mobile-only” approach describes a website strategy where your site detects whether or not a visitor is using a mobile device and, if so, sends them to a separate, mobile-optimized version of the site. This is undesirable for a number of reasons. First, you now have two sites to keep updated, which means you have just doubled your workload. Second, most “mobile-only” sites feature only a small subset of content and features found on the “normal” site version. This content and feature disparity between versions of the site will frustrate multi-device users who expect access to the same information across the various devices they may choose to use to visit your site. If you decide to eliminate some of that content on the mobile version, your audience may decide to eliminate your site from their browsing history. Having one website to manage and one place to manage that site from will make it easier to keep the site updated.
- Improved SEO Ranking
Google has long recommended using responsive web design to support different devices, but the search engine made this almost mandatory in April 2015 when they began rewarding sites that were built responsively for multi-device support. By rewarding sites that are mobile-friendly, Google is basically penalizing those that aren’t, making responsive web design a must-have in SEO strategy plans.
One of the best things about a responsive website design is that it gives you the best chance to support newer devices and screen sizes in the future. Responsive designed sites are fluid, scaling up or down as needed to best fit the screens being used to access the site. This means that, as new devices hit the market with new screen sizes, your responsive website will already be prepared to meet those new devices with a design and user experience best suited to whatever screen sizes manufacturer’s come up with.
Remember that most customers will leave your site quickly if it’s not optimized for mobile. Every website, regardless of your business goals or the demographic you target, will benefit from a display and user experience that works great across different screen sizes and on various devices. Make sure responsive website design is a feature that you make a priority!
Want to talk about how to make your website responsive, or how to drive traffic to your site–traffic that turns into conversions and revenue? We can help with that: let us know you’d like to talk, and we will work with you to figure out how to make your website a successful part of your marketing strategy!