Can you recall the shrunken version of a desktop site on your phone, where you have to pinch and zoom to see anything? It was likely not an optimal experience!
Because of this, back in 2015, Google rolled out a change to the search engine algorithms which now factor in a website’s mobile presence as a ranking signal. The date was aptly named Mobilegeddon. This reason alone can justify why responsive design is important!
Simply put, a website needs to be user-friendly on a smartphone.
If it is not, your brand may be losing out on leads and sales.
In fact, 40% of users have gone to a competitor’s website after a poor mobile experience.
To ensure your website offers an experience tailored to handheld devices (without creating a separate app), consider why responsive design is important as a mobile solution.
Let’s get into the details about the why and how.
First of all, what the heck is mobile responsive design and why should you care?
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design (RWD) creates a system for a single site to react to the size of a user’s device—with one URL and one content source. A responsive website has a fluid and flexible layout which adjusts according to screen size.
The importance of responsive web design is that it offers an optimized browsing experience.
Basically, your website will look great and work well on a desktop (or laptop), a tablet, and a mobile phone’s browser.
In the past, developers built more than one site in order to accommodate different screen sizes. With the number of device types out there on the market today, this seems completely inefficient…right?
Now you can understand why responsive web design is not a shiny trend anymore, but more of a shift in the thinking behind building websites. The term 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 just another option—it’s a requirement!
Benefits of Mobile Responsive Design
The number one benefit of a responsive layout is the guarantee that any user on any device will have the best experience possible on your website. And, the most consistent.
Website responsiveness is also a great way to refine the content on your site, making sure that people using a mobile device are only seeing the most essential information.
With the Google algorithm update, a responsive web design increases visibility on search engines—because it is mobile-friendly. A site with an effective mobile experience will show up in search results above one without.
Why Responsive Design is Important for Business
1. Increase reach to customers and clients on smaller devices (tablets & smartphones)
2. A consistent experience that can increase lead generation, sales and conversions
3. Analytics, tracking, and reporting can all be in one place
4. Time and cost on-site content management is decreased
5. Stay ahead of the competition (even 44% of Fortune 500 companies are not mobile-ready at this time!)
Note, that there are two other methods by which to offer a mobile-friendly experience. The first is called Dynamic Serving, which uses the same URL but different HTML and CSS code. Pages recognize the device they are viewed on, and serve up the correct code.
The second method, is a separate mobile site altogether. When users visit on a mobile device, they are sent to a different mobile-specific URL.
As long as the correct steps are taken to optimize fully for mobile users, the most useful method really depends on any given situation. Figure out which works the best for your online presence, before diving into it.
Google accounts for over 5.7 billion searches conducted on the web daily.
Google even offers a mobile responsive test, so that you can see how easily a visitor is able to use your page on a mobile device. You simply enter a page URL and receive a score.