Internet traffic continues to increase through mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Surfing the web, networking on social media, purchasing products, and answering emails are all actions taking place more and more frequently on the go. The world is mobile, and one of the best ways to prepare your business for this transition is having a responsive website.
Conventional websites lack the ease of use and navigation on smaller devices and require squinting, making clicking and zooming-in a hassle. Becoming thumb-friendly and preparing your website to be accessed on any screen-size device should be top priority. Your business does not want to miss sales opportunities because your checkout process isn’t functional on an Iphone.
A responsive web design corrects these issues and makes websites attractive and functional regardless of whatever device is being used.
More Than a Mobile Design
Typically, a mobile site is a separate website designed to be viewed on the smaller screens of a smartphone. In many cases, desktop and mobile versions are built, maintained, and updated separately. This can be a hassle for quick updating as both the mobile and desktop site versions have to be edited separately.
Responsively designed websites scale and stack elements appropriately based on the size of the browser. This fluid design gives the user the best experience possible whether they are using a large desktop display, tablet, or smartphone. With a responsive design, avoid wasting time updating duplicate versions with a one-time update, automatically-adjusting URL. Google also recommends responsive websites because of that very reason—one URL improves search engine optimization without any website redirection.
Responsive website design is an affordable option for your business that increases traffic, improves customer satisfaction, and leads to high conversion rates.
What to Consider
Before completely redesigning your website, it’s important to think about what you hope to gain from a responsive design, besides the overall compatibility of different screen size devices.
When considering a new responsive design, you should take time to examine competitor sites. You want your own website to be unique from other competition, but checking out what the competition is doing well, and doing not-so-well, can give you a better idea of what responsive features you would like to implement in your design, and which to avoid. When contemplating responsive design, its best to realize simple, yet colorful, attractive, and functional sites work best for consumers. Overloading your website with pictures galore and too many clustered links and irritate the consumer and bump them off your site.
Lastly, one of the most important factors to research is thinking like the customer. You should understand your target audience and think about how they use their mobile devices. If your business has a target audience that uses mobile devices primarily, you will want to look into a mobile-first responsive design.
If your website already has features that work with a responsive design, your business may want to look into responsive retrofitting instead of completely redesigning your website. Retrofitting sites can be more affordable as the “back end” of the site is changed around, making it compatible.
When choosing a responsive design, you will receive these benefits:
- A single URL for search engine crawler and user to interact with.
- No redirection - usually error prone with different devices and crawlers
- Improved resources utilization as there is only one site to index universally
- Better SEO Results
- Improved conversion on smartphones and tablets
- Capture more traffic (tablets/smartphone usage continues to climb)