You’ve probably heard about responsive web design. Bloggers, web designers, and business owners have written extensively on this topic. But what is a responsive website design, and how does it apply to you? Since 2015, over 50% of global web traffic has come from mobile searches. Also, 80% of users who search your company on Google will visit your company’s website with the intent to make a purchase.
With that said, you can see how crucial it is to ensure that your business website adequately fills all the marketing gaps. A responsive website is crucial to ensuring you reach a broader audience and have substantial revenue gains.
If that example is too far-fetched, let’s take a closer look at this one. Imagine you are browsing the internet on your phone, and you see a restaurant’s menu. However, the text is so small that you can barely read it, or it is so big that it is illegible; what do you do? You will get frustrated and leave that website. This impression will stick with you and you will probably never visit that website again. The same happens if your business website is not responsive. Read on to discover more about responsive web design and how you can implement it in your marketing practices.
What is Responsive Web Design?
A responsive website has a flexible layout that adjusts according to various screen sizes. So, we can define responsive web design as a website design that responds and resizes itself depending on the devices used by the user, regardless of whether it is a desktop, tablet, or smartphone. The primary objective of responsive web design is to ensure that users do not need to manually resize your website to view content regardless of the device they use. All your text, images, and other website elements should fit perfectly on any screen size. Internet users appreciate and expect a well-designed online storefront when searching your company on the internet.
How Does Responsive Web Design Work?
Responsive web design assigns different percentages to the proportions and dimensions of website elements, including images, columns, and texts. The percentages assigned allow websites to automatically adjust and scale everything on the original website to fit the user’s device screen. For instance, a website can show three columns when viewed on a desktop or laptop. When a user uses a mobile device, the website may show two columns since there is less screen space. This allows them to interact with the website comfortably. Web designers adhere to the following three characteristics when designing a responsive website;
- A Flexible Grid System
This includes an intuitive, responsive Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) grid system with 24 columns that feature browser support.
- Flexible Images
Also known as adaptive images, web designers consider sizing to allow images to display correctly on any screen.
- Media Queries
This is a module that allows content to adjust according to the screen resolution.
What Are the Benefits of a Responsive Web Design?
Businesses spend a lot of money annually advertising on search engines because they know that increasing their organic traffic leads to increased sales and revenue. Today, you can reach people globally. However, they are all using different devices, including smartphones, tablets, desktops, and laptops.
Unfortunately, most business websites can only be viewed on desktops. This means that fewer people get their information. According to Statista, about half of people accessing online information word wide are on mobile devices. As such, spending a lot of money on professional websites that only you and your team can view will not help in driving traffic to your website. Here are the top benefits of a responsive web design.
Increase Your Reach
Increased use of the internet and proliferation of web applications on mobile devices drive responsive web designs. Traditionally, a website would redirect users to a mobile device website. Currently, a responsive design means that one website can be implemented across all devices. Tablet and smartphone sales have increased in the past few years, meaning that responsive web design is now more critical than ever.
The increase of mobile users means that more prospects will view your website from a mobile device. If the experience of interacting with your website is poor, they will visit your competitor’s website instead. Some websites are already experiencing more traffic after optimising their websites for mobile use. This means that you are missing an excellent opportunity if your website is not responsive.
Leverage on Social Media
One thing to note is that almost everyone in this era is on social media. In addition to this, over 55% of social media consumption happens on mobile devices. As such, strategies like sharing links from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube could mean even more traffic to your website.
If you have a social marketing strategy, consider leveraging social sharing of content by getting responsive. Most people also prefer shopping online to hopping in the car and driving to the store. Why make a trip to the store when you can get what you want from the comfort of your couch? This type of shopper makes up to 80% of your target audience. The best thing about that is that these people rely heavily on social media to see what other people are saying about your product and the quality of services offered by your company. So, having an active social media presence and building a positive reputation is essential.
Increase Sales and Conversion Rates
A responsive website ensures that users have an improved website experience since there is no redirection and standardised Style Sheet (CSS) across devices. This unified design approach creates a consistent look and feel, which positively impacts your conversion rates. A responsive website removes barriers, like functionality, performance, and inconsistent look, which multiple websites can present. This increases the chances of your visitors converting to paying customers and improving your sales.
Improve SEO Rankings
A responsive web design is Google’s recommended approach for mobile websites. According to Google, responsive websites perform better in search rankings since they provide a better experience than other websites. Google also recommends that responsive websites use single URLs vs. different URLs for separate mobile website versions. Mobile phones also have a separate Google search algorithm. As such, a website ranking high on desktop search does not guarantee that it will also rank well on mobile devices. This issue is critical since mobile searches are gradually overtaking desktop searches. So, consider mobile optimisation for your SEO strategy.
A responsive website means that you can manage one website with a single set of hypertext links. This will reduce your time maintaining your website and focus on other SEO strategies like link building. SEO campaigns can be costly and time-consuming. However, creating a responsive website will allow you to focus on a single website with unified strategies across devices. Since content is a vital component of your website, a responsive website will save you the resources needed to duplicate content across websites. You can now use the same content for all devices, increasing your chances of higher search engine ranking. Google also suggests that mobile optimised features prominently on local search results. This is a significant advantage to online retailers since they can use geographical targeting to increase traffic.
Increased Page Load Times
Research proves that users abandon websites that take more than three seconds to load. Fortunately, responsive websites tend to load much faster regardless of the device used to access them. These websites are built with responsive images and fluid grids to facilitate faster page loading times. Fast loading has a direct positive impact on the duration of your visitors. This also reduces your bounce rate. Besides speed, responsive websites also come with an improved user experience. Your web visitors will have no trouble navigating your website. They will also be tempted to click on your links since everything is straightforward. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see how your page loads on mobile devices.
Easier Website Analytics
Having a responsive website means you no longer have to track user journeys, conversion paths, funnels, and redirection between your websites. You can use tools like Google Analytics to analyse your website since they are optimised to handle multiple devices and responsive reporting. Having multiple website versions means that you will need several conversion funnels, paths, and redirects to know your website analytics like the source of your traffic.
Embrace Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design allows you to stay ahead of trends. The demand for media-rich mobile internet and apps is on the rise. If the success stories do not convince you to make your website responsive, look at the cost and time savings benefits. Responsive web design is now part of any modern marketing strategy, and it is not going away. Instead, it will intensify with the increased demand for mobile devices. As such, ensure that your website looks great and can work on a tablet, smartphone, and desktop. If your website is not yet responsive, reach out to our SEO team in Adelaide. We are more than happy and willing to help you increase your visibility and sales.