Not too many years ago, websites were designed specifically for desktop or laptop viewing. With the rapid advancement of the digital age many of these websites became outdated and difficult to access via mobile device. Users were frustrated and developers began to build and release associated websites that were easier to use and designed specifically for mobile devices. These mobile sites were certainly a step in the right direction but an even better solution was on the horizon.
Responsive web design helped to advance mobile Internet use by allowing websites to automatically adjust to any size screen. A responsive website will work seamlessly on any mobile device, tablet, laptop, or desktop screen and is designed to adjust to meet the user’s needs. If you haven’t upgraded your website to responsive design you may still be wondering how critical this next step actually is.
Upgrading to a responsive website has a host of benefits, including:
Recent data from InMobi Insights indicates that nearly 60% of online usage is via mobile devices. Having a responsive website built for any mobile device will help drive traffic to your website. Mobile users are more likely to use sites that are designed for mobile use instead of those that simply display a desktop version on mobile devices. Upgrading to a responsive web site allows you to better meet mobile users’ needs and can positively impact traffic to your site.
Consistency Across Devices
Users often access the same website from multiple devices. For example, a potential customer may start the research and shopping process from a mobile tablet but then switch to a desktop computer to complete a purchase. If your website isn’t responsive it may appear completely different on different devices. Mobile versions of desktop sites often have pared down features or a slightly different look which can lead to user confusion or frustration.
Yes, mobile versions of a website can cause confusion and frustration. But consider the user experience when attempting to access a desktop version of your website on a mobile device. Users must constantly zoom in and out to navigate the site and some of the desktop features may prove incompatible with mobile devices. A responsive website eliminates the guesswork of how the design will appear on a specific device and creates a consistent user experience.
A Single Website to Build and Update
Responsive web design allows you the freedom to build and update just one site instead of spending time on multiple versions of the same site. This increases web development efficiency and ensures a consistent brand experience. Utilizing a single HTML decreases the amount of time spent on future updates to the website and provides greater control over your brand, message, and user experience.
Designing with SEO in Mind
In April of 2015, Google updated its algorithm to include the mobile-friendliness of websites. Mobile-friendly websites rank higher with this new algorithm and a responsive website will help propel you to the front of users’ search engine results. Many think that a mobile version of a desktop site is enough to score well with the new Google algorithm. In reality, a mobile version can still hold you back because it requires the search engine to crawl and index two sites instead of one responsive site.
Get Prepared for the Future
Who knows what the future of technology holds? Responsive web design allows you to meet the current needs of your users, regardless of the device, as well as accommodating for the future. If you upgrade and invest in responsive web design now you’ve eliminated the guesswork about what may be on the technological horizon. Your website will adapt to whatever size of screen is being used now and in the future.
Investing the time and effort in creating a responsive web design will pay off exponentially for your business. You’ll be amongst great company, and you can harness the power of the mobile revolution thanks to a responsive website that is flexible in meeting your users’ needs while adapting to fit the future of mobile technology.