The Importance of Responsive Web Design
A website with responsive web design is a site that is able to adapt to the screen it is being used on, regardless of what device it is. The website automatically reformats to give the user a better experience that it well suited to their device, and can give your site a number of benefits as well as being in line with Google recommendations. Still not convinced?
Increase in mobile usage
Ofcom’s report revealed that in 2014 only 22% turned to their phone first for browsing the internet; proving a real surge in mobile use. The availability of 4G has also impacted how people use their mobile devices. Over the course of 2014, 4G subscriptions skyrocketed from 2.7 million to 23.6 million.
Back then, it was reported that two thirds of people had a smartphone, with 33% of internet users admitting their smartphone was the most important device for going online. We spent twice as long online on our smartphones than laptops or personal computers.
It was reported at the end of 2016 that mobile web usage had overtaken desktop for the first time, demonstrating just how many people browse on their smartphones and tablets instead of a laptop or desktop computer. This highlighted a dramatic shift in behaviour; with the UK using their mobile devices to shop online, carry out online banking and scroll through social media. Ofcom also recently reported that 7 in 10 adults use a smartphone, with over-65s now more likely to use one too, as the public becomes even more tech-savvy.
For these reasons alone, it is important that you have invested in responsive web design and that your business has a website that works well on a smartphone or other mobile device screens, due to the sheer amount of people who could be using your website through a smartphone or tablet.
Google introduced recommendations in 2015 that related to responsive web design, and began rewarding sites that were fully optimised for mobile platforms. Google now uses mobile friendliness as a ranking signal in search results; this is something we’ve known for some time. Businesses began to take note of its importance since that announcement, but now Google has moved on to even bigger heights.
More recently, Google has gone a step further and has been implementing mobile-first indexing strategies. Mobile-first indexing bases ranking and indexing from the mobile version of a site, as opposed to the desktop version. If you already have a responsive web design, then you won’t need to modify your websites. This is the most recent effort by Google to further improve mobile web experience.
Benefits of responsive web design
With a responsive website, all content and pages are flexible across all screen resolutions and devices. Whether you’re viewing a website on your smartphone or a laptop, it will be unified and easy to navigate despite the differing screen sizes. Providing an optimal experience for the user across the board, responsive web design means your user can read and navigate the site with minimum resizing and scrolling.
Responsive design can improve user experience which will translate into a positive perception of your brand and business. If your customer can access your website easily on all platforms, they’re more likely to return to you for more business in the future and it more than likely means a higher conversion rate for your website. In a world where so much traffic comes from mobile devices, it’s important that you’re accommodating this factor through your website.
Responsive web design is now also important as a ranking factor, as mentioned earlier. Sites that are responsive will generally load faster which is likely to boost your ranking and decrease your bounce rate. Responsive web design can also make social sharing easier, helping you to grow a bigger audience for your brand.
SEO campaigns and website maintenance are also a much smoother process with a mobile friendly website. Responsive web design means you only have 1 website to look after; it’s also quicker and less expensive than making a stand-alone mobile application in addition to your desktop website.
With mobile-friendly websites now being an industry standard, take a minute to ensure your web design is the best it can be.