What is a responsive website?

Mobile devices such as Smartphones and tablets  are now super seeding the traditional ways of browsing the internet. Mainly because they are more accessible and capable of carrying out the tasks that only desktops and laptops could. Almost every element of internet usage is being dominated by mobile devices , emails , shopping , browsing and social media. So its never been more important to ensure your website is as  functional as possible to keep up with the fast paced trend.

In the past the solution would be to run two co existing websites, one for desktop and one for mobile devices. However it makes far more sense to have the one site that can handle both platforms. Luckily this is possible and is commonly referred to as responsive web design

What is responsive design?

All that is meant by responsive design is that your website will appear as it should on a pc , but if the user is accessing your website on a mobile device then the site will re-organise its layout to fit the screen of the device , ensuring that its as easy to navigate and use for mobile device users.

Meaning that you don’t have to worry about running two sites, one catering for each, which offers many benefits from your point of view.

Mobile Usage is Increasing.

You only have to take a walk down the high street to get an understanding of how popular mobile devices have become , with the amount of people engaging in web use as they walk. Strangely though a lot of businesses are yet to pick up on this upward trend. Take a look at the stats below to show you just the kind of usage figures we are looking at.

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Recommended By Google

With Google claiming over 67 percent of search market share as of 2013, basically positioning Google at the top of the tree when it comes to search engines. Google openly document their preference to responsive websites and given their status in the market , it makes perfect sense to take into account advice they offer when you are looking to help people find and use your website.

So why do Google take this approach to the design of your site? Well Google finds it easier to crawl your site and then go on to organise and index all of the content online. You see with responsive design across all devices they have just one URL and the same HTML. If you had two sites for all platforms then you would need two URL’s and different HTML. Meaning the same exact site needs to be crawled twice.

Also it makes it much easier for users to share and engage just having the one URL as opposed to having different pages on both sites leading to confusion, some one sharing a mobile only page would cause problems if the other person was only on desktop. Google is a massive fan of engagement and sharing as it helps signal to Google how well your site is being received and used , hence allowing Google to index your website more accurately in the SERP. Don’t forget happy users are the centric  to Googles success so if a responsive cuts out confusion , it helps to maintain happy users.

You see Google totally understands that if users are unhappy they will in a heartbeat go elsewhere, leading to high bounce rates and a lower ranking website. This creates a huge headache around the external linking algorithm which Google employs. So in effect you are harming your SEO

Put simply its not good for business both Google and all of the websites that refuse to take  advantage of the benefits of responsive design.

Can Increase Conversion Rates

As well as having happy users , responsive design can also help to increase your conversion rate from every one of mobile users in the world. Why? Lets suppose your website is not working on tablet or mobile, users will definitely not be able to convert.

Its rare that a user will put extra effort into completing a conversion. But there’s more to it than that. To give you an idea a responsive website design can reshape and adjust to screens of any size, so developers have more control how conversion elements will display on the mobile devices.

On a final note, websites with responsive design enable you to gain really good market information using software like Clicktale or Optimizely  for heat mapping and A/B testing.This helps you to separate users by mobile which offers you a clearer picture of how they are using your site. This can help to create better strategy s for more effective marketing at the same time as alienating less successful strategy. With information like this you should be able to increase your conversion rate.

Social Media Has Gone Mobile

With a recent study from ComScore reporting that 55% of all social media use happens on a mobile device, its never been more important to have some sort of social media strategy in your marketing campaign. Its time to really start taking blogging and social media seriously from a business point of view.

Now the ComScore stat is an important one because there really isn’t any point sharing on a social network if it isn’t compatible with mobile devices. Its the same conundrum , if the website isn’t functioning on a mobile device this will lead to frustration and the user will leave. leading to raised bounce rates equalling lower conversions.

Better User Experience

We have gone over this , but responsive website design leads to a better end user experience. For example  you have eliminated the need for users to zoom and shrink the page, All the content including pictures, videos etc. will adjust instantaneously, this ultimately makes it easier to read and navigate for the user.

According to Google each time a user lands on your mobile website and ends up with frustration or doesn’t immediately find the content they are promised, there is a 61% chance they will try to find an alternative site, conversely when the user has a great experience on your mobile site there is  67% chance of them moving towards using your services or buying your products. Something else to consider also that was highlighted when Google ran a survey was that the general opinion of users that have a difficult time on a mobile devices is that the company does not care for their business.

And remember  all businesses receive complaints to some degree , if your site is easy enough to use then you may take the complaint and have a chance to deal with it , without the user feeling they can only vent on social media.

Easier to Manage

So just going back to SEO, if you are running separate website for each platform , then naturally you are going to have to run separate SEO strategies for each. Logically managing just one site and SEO campaign would be far easier. This would not only make your customers happy, but also the people employed develop your web marketing and SEO and don’t forget that just running one site will naturally be more cost effective.

So in order to stay with the trends and capitalise on the advancements of technology be sure to enquire about your responsive website design.

Pumpkin Web Design Ltd is a small and highly results driven digital agency working for like minded clients in Preston, Manchester, Chorley, Southport, Blackburn, Burnley, Morecambe, Wigan and the UK. Our services include web design, SEO, content marketing, video production, brand design and much more.