For most companies, a website is a crucial component of business. It’s where users go to learn more about your company, research your products and services, and ultimately make purchasing decisions – even if you don’t sell your products or services over the Internet. Most consumers now search for information online before making purchasing decisions, and if your website isn’t set up for success, it can create a bad first impression on a potential customer.
Good web design can make all the difference when it comes to securing a customer. And in this mobile-savvy age, one of the most important elements of good web design is mobile-friendliness. Although you have several options when it comes to making your site mobile-friendly, responsive design is the best option. Whether you’re unfamiliar with responsive design or simply not yet convinced to take the plunge, here are five reasons why your site needs responsive design.
1. Save Time. Responsive design repurposes your site’s content, delivering it in an optimized layout for the particular device it is being viewed on. This saves you time in several different ways. It’s more efficient from a web development standpoint. Instead of designing and developing separate sites for desktop and mobile, you can use the same HTML for both – meaning you don’t have to create two websites from scratch. And with only one site, updates become quicker. No need to waste time writing code for two sites – or worrying about inconsistencies between the two.
2. Save Money. Time is money. By spending less time maintaining, updating and developing, you’re spending less money overall. By eliminating that separate mobile site, you’re also eliminating the need to purchase and host two separate URLs. All of which is money back in your pocket.
3. It’s Better for SEO. Last April Google updated its algorithm to more heavily favor the mobile-friendliness of a website as a ranking factor when determining search engine results pages. Meaning if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s not going to rank as high on mobile SERPs. Even for those who have a separate mobile version of their site, responsive design is still better from an SEO standpoint. With a responsive design, you eliminate the need for that second mobile site, eliminating the need for search engine spiders to crawl and index two sites instead of one. Many mobile sites also aren’t a complete duplicate of the desktop site, which means you could be missing out on opportunities to rank for mobile searches.
4. It’s Better for User Experience. Having separate desktop and mobile sites can provide a fragmented and dissatisfying user experience. Oftentimes mobile sites have a different look or pared down content than their desktop counterpart. Returning visitors who may have initially viewed your site on mobile but are now looking on desktop may not be able to find the information they need if the user experience and content aren’t the same.
Of course, having no mobile version of your site is even worse for user experience. When you don’t have a mobile-friendly version of your site, the desktop version gets served up on mobile – meaning users will constantly be zooming in and out and scrolling left and right to find and read the information they need. And when your site isn’t designed to be viewed on mobile, that means your calls-to-action (CTAs( will likely go unnoticed, and any CTA buttons won’t be properly sized to click on – meaning you could be missing out on potential conversions.
5. Infinite sites, infinite viewers. It used be that screens fell neatly into three categories: desktop, tablet and mobile. That’s not the case anymore. These days, people view the web on a multitude of screen sizes, from game consoles and TVs to tablets, phablets and even wearable devices – making it impossible to design enough sites to fit all those screen devices. And why would you want to anyway? Responsive design adapts to the size of whatever screen the site is being viewed on, making it adaptable for that multitude of screen sizes in use right now. The more devices your website functions and looks good on, the more customers you’ll reach.
This year, the number of mobile searches surpassed the number of desktop searches – meaning the need for mobile-friendly and responsive sites is greater than ever. If you’re looking to take your website responsive and don’t know where to start, give us a call today to learn more about our services.
—By Gina Mengoni, Senior Interactive Art Director