Nowadays almost everyone has a smartphone or tablet that they use on a daily basis to browse the internet, get information, or find directions. In fact, many people have stopped using PC’s and laptops altogether in favor of quickly pulling out their phone or tablet to hop online.
Back in 2015, Google reported that mobile web searches had finally surpassed desktop searches. This means that to take advantage of this new-found traffic source, websites have to be optimized for a mobile experience.
The problem with all this mobile traffic is that many websites don’t look right on a small cell phone or tablet screen. This is because most older sites were designed with desktops and laptops in mind, not a tiny cell phone screen.
A newer website will work with desktop, laptop, and cell phones seamlessly. This is often referred to as “responsive website design.”
We’re going to look at several reasons why responsive website design is so important and how you can go about bringing your website up to speed to take advantage of all the mobile and tablet internet users.
What is Responsive Website Design?
A responsive website is one that looks the same on any device – from PC’s to Macs, to laptops, to cell phones, even tablets. A responsive design is merely a way of coding the website to work well no matter what device a user is using to browse the internet.
Prior to responsive website design, companies that wanted a seamless web experience for all internet users designed two websites – one for desktop computers and the other one for mobile phone users.
While this worked well, it sometimes had unintended consequences. If the web designer or webmaster was unfamiliar with SEO “best practices,” the mobile web pages could start ranking in the search results for desktop users. This would result in desktop users being shown a webpage that was very small (the mobile version).
Fortunately, times and technology have advanced to the point where responsive design has solved this problem entirely.
Better User Experience
A responsive website that works well makes website visitors happy. And a happy visitor tends to stay on a site for a much longer period. This results in a reduced bounce rate and increased click-through rate.
Many people will research on their phone then come home to their desktop PC or laptop to make the final purchase. This consistent user experience can also increase lead generation, sales, and conversions.
Websites that have a desktop and mobile version have double the work to perform when it comes to site updates, maintenance, or adding new features. Most often the desktop site gets the lion’s share of the upgrades while the mobile site falls behind.
This also translates to less confusion when looking at website analytics. Websites that have both a desktop and mobile version often have two sets of analytics to check in Google Analytics. This can lead to some confusion when it comes time to perform SEO and optimize the website.
A responsive site only has one set of analytics and Google will still be able to differentiate between mobile and desktop traffic without any further intervention on the part of the website owner.
Responsive is Better for SEO
Google has repeatedly stated that they prefer a responsive website design. Several SEO companies such as Moz have performed in-depth studies that have shown that responsive design is very important to Google and can be a significant ranking factor (all things considered).
Google tends to rank websites that have a good site design and user experience higher than those that don’t. It makes sense as to why Google would show favoritism to a site that has a responsive web design versus one that doesn’t.
Another factor to consider is that only responsive websites will show up when a search is performed on a cell phone. This means that if a site isn’t responsive, it’s not going to receive any traffic from mobile phone users.
Considering over ½ of all Google searches are performed on mobile phones – this adds up to a lot of free organic traffic lost by those sites that aren’t responsive.
Responsive Website Design in the Austin Area
If you need a new website, or your website is old and non-responsive, give us a call at (512) 993-9993. At Adapting Online, we’re an affordable website design company that can help you increase both your traffic and sales through our internet consulting and responsive website design services. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help find the right solution for your website and marketing needs.