These days you see people walking around, sitting in coffee shops or stuck in commuter traffic on their smart phones browsing online, whether it’s reading articles from their favourite sites or doing some shopping. As a result of this, web traffic for handheld devices (phones or tablets) has skyrocketed in the last few years. Over two thirds of all web traffic is on handheld devices, so it is imperative customers have a seamless & user friendly experience.
Responsive web design responds to the needs of the user based on the device they are using. As mobile devices are constrained by the size of the display the content of the site may require a different approach to layout.
The layout changes based on the size of the device. An example would be that on a phone users might see content shown in a single column view where as on a tablet the content might be in two columns.
Its important to make sure you can reach your audience and accommodate for all devices they can connect to your platform on. This is where the benefit of having a responsive site comes into play. A site that’s specifically designed to work with smaller screen sizes and all types of devices means your audience can easily navigate through your site, we all know how irritating it can be to look at a site thats effectively the same as you would get sat at your desk, pinching and zooming the screen in frustration to read the content.
Why is it important?
A recent report claims 80% of users say they are far more likely to make a purchase from a responsive website. From an e-commerce perspective this is clearly a great advantage over a competitor, from a usability perspective it makes the function of the site easier to use whether that be to make a purchase or make an enquiry into services provided. A well designed and built responsive site like the ones we offer here at Creode will ensure users will remain engaged when browsing the site increasing the chances of them taking whatever the desired action of the site may be.
From a standpoint of search engine optimisation on mobile devices Google’s latest search algorithms will favour those sites that are responsive.
With a responsive website you only have one URL this means you can focus efforts building authority for the one site. You can focus all your efforts (Backlinking and domain authority) on just the one website, this also means any social media linking can be done to the one url and it won’t matter what device people find your website through. They will always be able to see the same site and use the same links.
Furthermore when Google indexes the content on your site they only have one site to look at, this means your rankings can grow quicker than having a separate mobile site. A responsive site means Googlebot has got less work to do in order to find your content.
Google have been recommending sites move to responsive design for years, it allows one website to provide great user experience across a multitude of devices and screen sizes. It makes managing your SEO strategy easier and for these reasons alone responsive web design is the best option for your mobile SEO Strategy.
Is there any drawback to responsive design? Matt Cutts of Google is best explaining this himself.
Advantages of a responsive site
Some sites you visit may redirect you to a mobile version of the same site, but this is effectively two sites and requires a redirect and maintenance/upkeep for the two sites.
With a responsive design you can focus all your efforts on one site and know that if it is opened on a device that users will still have access to all the features and content your site has to offer. This obviously enhances SEO (search engine optimisation) efforts allowing you to grow a new market rather than been negatively affected by the lack of usability on a static site being opened on a small screened device.
The proliferation of more advanced devices and the availability of a greater data coverage network are two factors driving growth of mobile internet.
Based on a recent report published by analysts at Morgan Stanley they believe that due to the current rate of change and adoption, mobile internet will be stronger than desktop internet by 2015. You really can’t afford to be leaving such a large portion of your potential audience without a platform they can easily navigate.
The proportion of mobile internet users has doubled since 2009 and a recent report states that 34% of mobile users use their device primarily for browsing online as opposed to other uses (Calls & games).
It is imperative that an email opened on a device which contain links through to your site lands the customer at a page they can navigate with ease, 47% of people check their emails and click through on their mobile devices. Responsive sites convert up to 8% higher when viewed on a mobile device. 80% of people delete an email if it does not load correctly on their device, and studies show that people view their device on average up to 150 times per day. These brief interactions mean that you must focus efforts getting your point across quickly and clearly.
Along with the proliferation of devices comes the huge growth in the use of social media platforms as a way to market your business, because most people tend to browse facebook or twitter on their devices. It is safe to assume any adverts promoting your site would be clicked on through a device also if you choose to advertise through social media platforms.
If I already have a site thats unresponsive can It be made responsive?
Here at Creode our team of front end developers can manage all tasks in regards to turning a static site into a fully responsive site. We thoroughly test all our products on a number of devices to ensure your customers will have the most seamless browsing experience possible.
These days its almost essential in order to gain full audience coverage you must have a responsive website. I hope this has convinced you to consider a responsive design for your business, it will not only make your customers happier when browsing but it will also improve your rankings through online marketing.
Have you come across an unresponsive site and found it infuriating to browse? Tell us about it in the comments below!