Did you know that 53% of internet users go online on a mobile device?
That means that more than half the people looking at your website are doing so from a smartphone or tablet.
Why should this concern you? Doesn’t your website appear the same across all devices? As long as it has the elements of good web design, isn’t that enough?
Not necessarily. Just because your site looks great on a desktop screen doesn’t mean it looks great on a mobile device.
For your website (and your business) to thrive, mobile optimization is a must. In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about responsive sites–and why you need one today.
What Is Responsive Web Design?
Think about a customer viewing your website from their large horizontal desktop screen.
Now imagine a different customer looking at your site from their tiny vertical smartphone screen.
The goal of responsive web design is to give each customer the exact same experience on your website–regardless of screen size or orientation. This means that the text, images, and formatting automatically resize to fit the screen they appear on.
Before responsive web design came along, mobile device users had to manually resize any website they viewed. This often included shrinking the text to fit the screen (until it’s too small to see) or scrolling back and forth to read each line.
Is this just a minor annoyance? Hardly! A full 50% of users report abandoning a website that isn’t responsive.
That means you could be losing half your potential customers before they ever get past your home page. This is why a responsive website is important–in fact, necessary in today’s era of mobile devices.
Why a Responsive Website Is Important
Still not convinced? Consider 8 important reasons why your website needs responsive design.
1. Better User Experience
These days there’s a lot of emphasis placed on user experience (UX) and for good reason.
No customer is going to stick around–let alone buy anything from you–if your website isn’t easy and enjoyable to use.
You only have a few seconds to grab a visitor’s interest and draw them into your site. If they spend those seconds trying to resize your homepage or find the navigation menu, you’ve already lost them.
2. Faster Load Times
If you want to keep Google happy, you need to make sure your website loads quickly.
How fast is fast? Well, 53% of users will abandon a website that takes longer than three seconds to load.
That’s right. Three seconds.
The good news is that responsive web design dramatically speeds up every aspect of your website. Incorporating it will ensure you hit the fastest load time possible.
3. Improved SEO
Since 2015, Google has used a site’s mobile-friendliness as a factor for its SEO ranking.
This means websites that aren’t optimized for mobile use are penalized and appear lower in search results than optimized sites.
Responsive web design also increases page load speed and reduces bounce rates, both of which affect your SEO. It’s a win-win situation.
4. Reduced Development Costs
A few years ago, it was the norm for companies to launch a regular desktop version of their website as well as a separate mobile site.
Not only did this cause a lot of duplicate content (which negatively affects SEO), but it also cost double the price.
Having a responsive website slashes those web development costs in half. Rather than paying for two separate websites, you have one beautifully-designed website that looks great on any device.
5. Less Maintenance
Along with the reduced cost of managing two sites, there’s also a lot less maintenance involved.
If you have two different sites, you also need two different content strategies, two design teams, and two interfaces. One responsive site eliminates the need for all those duplicates.
A responsive website is easier to use, manage, update, and repair. You’ll spend less time maintaining your site (or paying someone to maintain it for you). This frees you up to do what you do best–run your business.
6. Better Conversion Rates
A responsive website makes customers happy–and happy customers are much more likely to buy your products.
The easier your site is to navigate and the faster the process moves, the better chance you have of making a sale. In fact, with every second it takes for your page to load, cart abandonment increases by 7%.
If your site is too difficult or complicated to use, you’ll lose another 1 in 4 visitors before they ever make it to the checkout page.
Responsive design solves all these problems by streamlining the shopping process. Happier customers=higher conversions=more sales for you.
7. Improved Offline Browsing
Here’s a benefit you may not have considered before.
Now that the newest smartphones and tablets are HTML5 enabled, more people are accessing previously visited sites when they’re offline.
When your site is responsive, this allows them to “revisit” it even when they don’t have an active internet connection.
8. Improved Analytics
Even if you’re not a web analyst, it’s vital to understand where your traffic comes from and how users are interacting with your website.
Otherwise, how can you make improvements?
For responsive websites, Google Analytics has condensed its tracking into one easy-to-read report. This simplified monitoring process gives your greater insight into what’s working on your website (and what isn’t) so you can make needed adjustments.
Final Thoughts on Responsive Sites
As you can see, responsive sites have many benefits over old-school non-responsive sites.
To keep your website (and your business) up to speed in today’s high-tech world, make sure you use responsive design on your site.
Now that you’re well-versed in responsive sites, it’s time to brush up on your SEO knowledge. Do you know the difference between local and organic SEO–and why it matters?
Click here to find out.