You may not know what responsive web design is, but you’ve definitely noticed its impact if you’ve used your phone to shop online, open email links, or do much of anything online in the last few years.
Recall the days when you had to pinch and zoom your way through a website on your phone because it was not set up for mobile viewing. With responsive design, the days of pinching and dragging endlessly are over. Since 2015, Google has made responsive design a factor in how they key in websites in their search, which has taken it from a nice-to-have to a must-have for businesses who wish to have an online presence.
If your customers have a hard time scrolling, clicking or searching on your website on their phone or tablet, they will bounce off your page and find a competitor that caters to their device and their convenience.
Today, we’ll go over how responsive design works, how you can use it to maximise your business’s online visibility and make your page much more user friendly for all.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design incorporates a whole host of techniques that optimise all elements of your website so that they can adjust their size and aspect ratio to properly display, according to the user’s screen. A responsive design enhances a user’s browsing experience and creates a flexible and fluid layout for any device on the market.
Since mobile usage has gone up dramatically in the last few years, responsive design has become the simplest way to adjust your website to appeal to your customers from all over the globe on multiple devices. By offering a seamless user experience, responsive design is now the norm for web design.
Benefits of Responsive Design
1. Increases Mobile Traffic
Due to more people buying smartphones and demanding faster internet speeds, more people are shopping online from their phones than ever. In fact, over 50% of all e-commerce sales were made over mobile devices and by 2025, more than ten percent of all retail sales are expected to be generated via mobile commerce as well.
Mobile ecommerce sales are simply unignorable by highstreet and small businesses alike in 2022 and beyond. Responsible design gives business sites the versatility they need to keep people engaged so they stay on the page, find what they need easily, and—ultimately—convert.
2. Reduces Bounce Rates
When you don’t optimise for mobile, your metrics will undoubtedly show that your bounce rate is relatively high from mobile visitors. Having an optimised and responsive mobile website allows for a better user experience for your visitors — a must if you want them to stick around and complete your CTA.
Fixing this means taking the time to assess your site, identifying your areas of opportunity, and planning the shift to mobile-first design with your web design team or creative partner. As you will see, many of the reasons for responsive web design come together analytically to offer you and your company’s website a much better potential lead experience that will lead to more converts if done correctly.
3. Less Need for Maintenance and Extra Support
Before responsive web design, you would have to create a separate mobile site designed and maintained alongside your desktop site. This meant additional time, money, testing, and support for each site, and contributed to low adoption rates by big business and small brands alike. Each might require a separate designer and often they may not work together. This meant you could have two drastically different website experiences and two resource-intensive sites to run — a lose-lose for any company.
Responsive design has eliminated the need for parallel development of mobile and desktop sites, and cut down the time, hours, and effort required to get mobile sites up and running. These time savings and quality of life improvements across the board mean that your best marketing asset (your website) doesn’t have to be a challenge — it’s just a matter of planning and execution.
4. Faster Web Pages
If your site isn’t optimised for smartphones and tablets, you will get left in the dust. Studies show that you have only seconds to catch your mobile visitors’ attention and for every second your page takes to load, your bounce rate goes up exponentially. Responsive design manages file sizes and scales on-page elements to save on bandwidth and maximise loading speeds so you won’t lose those precious seconds needed to turn visitors into customers.
5. Improved SEO
Stronger backlinks and better bounce rates means higher rankings in Google Search. Before responsive design, when it came to SEO, one of the biggest challenges posed by having a separate mobile site is you needed to build the authority of your site from scratch. Likewise, having a separate mobile site means you didn’t rank very high in search engines. Responsive design allows you to focus on your SEO for one site and direct your links to a single domain.
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