Responsive design is one of the most important design tenets in 2017 and will likely hold that distinction at least through 2018, perhaps longer. Google and other search engines are making changes that prioritize mobile-friendly, easy-to-use websites in their results listings. Marketers and business leaders need to be aware of the ever-growing trend of mobile internet use and respond by creating web-based applications with responsive design.
What is Responsive Design?
“An approach to web page creation that makes use of flexible layouts, flexible images and cascading stylesheet media queries. The goal of responsive design is to build web pages that detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly.”
Trying to access (and subsequently, use) a web page that is not optimized for mobile can be a frustrating experience. Responsive design makes sure that every page of a website is optimized to work best on each specific device. That means the site may look slightly different, have different functionality, or a different layout depending on the device.
There are many reasons why responsive design is an essential feature for any modern website. A responsive site will improve the user experience, create less work for marketers and increase conversion rates by making your digital presence more user-friendly.
1. Higher Engagement Rates
Once upon a time, the only way to access the web was with a desktop (or laptop) computer. Mobile devices were still in their (relative) infancy and could not access the internet. Today that has changed. Thanks to reduced costs for a smartphone and the accessibility of data plans, more and more people are accessing the internet through their smartphones every day.
You can use this trend to increase the number of customers your brand earns through digital channels. If your website has a responsive design, customers using mobile devices can easily use your website to gather information. A mobile-friendly website allows users to easily get in touch with your business, closing the distance between your brand and qualified prospects.
2. Improved User Experience
A website built with responsive design enhances the experience for users. Even desktop users accrue the benefits of a site with responsive design. The site will have the same feel and provide the same experience to a desktop or mobile user, bringing consistency to your digital presence. This consistency makes it easy and intuitive to navigate your website, regardless of the device, making things better for the users of your website and making them feel valued.
Look at some of the most popular websites and apps on the market. Companies like Uber, Google, Netflix and Facebook ensure that their products are fully functional on (or expressly designed for) mobile devices. People have come to expect the ability to do anything on a mobile device. If they can’t, because the process is too difficult, they will abandon your website and move on to a competitor’s. Responsive design makes your web presence more appealing to users, and in turn, increases your brand’s ability to attract new users.
3. Less Work for You
In addition to an improved experience for mobile users, a website with responsive design will make life simpler for those tasked with digital marketing initiatives. A responsive website is easy for mobile users to use, making it easier to convert qualified leads into customers.
Many people searching for something online are already in “buy” mode. With an easy-to-use, responsive website, you will barely need to sell qualified buyers on your service. Simply provide them with a call to action, and they will take the next steps, making life easier for marketers and members of your sales team.
Making it easier for qualified buyers to make purchase decisions is only one instance of a responsive website making life easier for marketers. Another work-saving benefit of a responsive website is the fact that only one version of the website needs to be updated. In the days before responsive design became the industry standard, many marketers maintained two separate versions of their website. One optimized for desktop, one for mobile. Responsive design takes that work out, allowing marketers to put all their focus on creating one excellent website, instead of maintaining two.
4. Better Search Engine Ranking
Since late 2016, Google has maintained they will one day move to a “mobile-first” method of indexing. That means Google’s web crawlers will primarily index the mobile version of your website, instead of the desktop version. That means if your website is not built with responsive design (or a “mobile-first” framework), your search rankings will suffer.
While the search giant has not made the move to “mobile-first” indexing yet, the transition is well underway. Google already favors sites with responsive design, putting them higher on the results page. Search ranking has a dramatic impact on how much traffic a website receives. Over half of all website traffic is driven by organic search. Not only to people search often, but they usually don’t dig very far into the search engine results page (SERP).
In fact, 9 out of 10 searchers don’t go beyond Google’s first page of organic search results. It’s important to have a mobile-friendly website. Build it with responsive design.
A website built with responsive design gives brands flexibility than a non-mobile-friendly website does. There are several options and features that a responsive website provides marketers and web developers that other websites do not.
A website with a responsive design gives the option to only display certain types of content on specific types of devices. For example, a quiz designed for a mobile phone or tablet, may not work as well on a desktop. With responsive design, marketers may only display that quiz for those using a smartphone, effectively segmenting and targeting content to relevant audience members. Some content works better on certain machines, and responsive design lets brands take advantage of that fact.
A responsive website gives marketers more options to create experiences tailored to a particular device. This ensures that users have an excellent experience regardless of their device. Without a website with responsive design, marketers have less flexibility. Meaning they will have to work harder to find digital marketing success.
Without a website with responsive design, your brand will be left in the past. There is no other option but to update your website, making it mobile-friendly. If you do not take action soon, bad things will happen. Your search ranking will plummet, your website will receive less traffic and your business will suffer. If you have already made the change, congratulations, you are part of the twenty percent of people who have already made the change. Veriday can help you create an engaging, mobile-friendly digital presence that will increase your conversions and help your business grow. For more information, you can follow us on Twitter (@VeridayHQ) or get in touch at our Contact Us page.