Designing a truly effective website for your business is not just about making it attractive or adding great new features, it’s more about creating an optimum user experience across the variety of devices. A simple website that is easy to read and to navigate, loads quickly on all devices with a minimum scrolling and panning is what impresses users more than a fancy design with heavy images that consumes more data and takes more time to open. Such an adaptive web design is called responsive
In other words, a responsive website design caters to the web browsing habits of your audiences by being intuitive and easy to use across a wide range of devices (from desktop and laptops to handheld mobile devices). It allows you to stay ahead of the competition and grow market share.
Those businesses that fail to follow the trend may find themselves behind the curve. Here's why:
Responsive websites are Search engine friendly
In May 2015, Google started considering mobile friendly attributes of a website design as a ranking factor for mobile searches. One year later, in 2016, they moved a step further and rolled out a major update that gives preference to mobile friendly responsive sites for all search results.
Why is it important for Google to promote responsive sites? The simple answer is – to be able to serve its users with optimum level of search experience.
According to Google, more than 55% searches are now carried out on mobile, but only 15% of these mobile users are satisfied with their web browsing experience. Mobile has become the primary screen for marketers to attract visitors, but user engagement and conversion is still higher on desktop.
It is logical to conclude, therefore, that if mobile users are served with a web experience that is comparable or superior to the desktop, sales from mobile devices will overtake desktop sales. Hence, Google is giving preference to mobile friendly responsive website designs.
Responsive websites can Increase your business reach toMobile Users
According to ComScore mobile traffic report for some of the popular US websites, there is a continuous rise in the number of mobile users month by month over the past year. The November 2016 mobile traffic for Forbes, WSJ, Bloomberg, CNN Money, and The Atlantic is up by 17.5%, 8.4%, 6.6%, 30%, and 12.7% respectively, from a month earlier.
Since each of these websites are responsive, they cater effectively to the needs of its users by providing an excellent user experience through any device. Users don’t have to waste time in zooming, shrinking, and pinching their screen to explore these sites. Rather, these websites automatically adjust their presentation to the screen size of the user.
Responsive Websites save your time and cost on site management
Creating a separate desktop and mobile site means maintaining two separate web addresses for one website – increasing the time and cost for design, content development, SEO and using two admin panels. Whether you do it yourself or hire a web design company, managing two versions of same website is highly resource consuming.
Furthermore, the websites that are solely designed for mobile device may not offer the hi-end navigation features found in traditional desktop version of websites, which means they are providing a compromised user experience to visitors.
Apart from that, managing a single responsive website means that it will not be necessary to reconcile user data between the two sites therefore any webmaster tools like Google Analytics can easily track and organize responsive reporting.
Responsive Websites increase sales and conversion rate
A clean, fast, user friendly professional website that is easy to read and navigate can quickly build trust and influence a prospective purchaser. If users are bored of zooming errors in product images, or if they find it difficult to add or remove products from cart, they will probably leave the site in frustration.
A responsive eCommerce website makes it easy and fun for users to browse through product inventory. Images scale properly in a responsive design and product descriptions are easy to read. For example, WebUndies switched their website to responsive, and had a 188% increase in the online revenue, along with 200% increase in mobile page views and almost double the revenue from smartphones and tablet sales.
Conclusion – Although switching from your current website to one that is truly responsive may involve significant time and/or money….the investment will bring meaningful rewards well into the future.