Reasons for a Responsive Website Design
It’s All About The User Experience
Responsive Web Design is very important for today’s website visitor. A website has to provide a good user experience or it’s game over. Why would you want a website that frustrates certain visitors to your website?
Smartphone and tablet use is now more popular than desktops computers to visit websites and therefore it is essential to have a mobile-friendly website to support the user experience.
In addition, if search engine optimization (SEO) is an important part of your online marketing then having a mobile–friendly website is becoming essential. Google and the other major search engines pay close attention to how well your website is serving their customers and if a website does not serve their customers well then they lower the website in the search results relative to website that provide a better user experience.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive Website Design is the approach of laying-out and coding a website such that the website provides an optimal viewing experience — ease of reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling — across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).
Smart Website Layout
The designer creates a responsive website design so that a website’s navigation elements, screen-layouts, text, images, audio/video players and other items that relate to the user experience adjust automaticall based on what is being used to view the website. If you are a website owner then you do not need to spend extra time and money creating and maintaining a mobile-friendly version and a desktop version of your website. A responsive design can cover both.
Here are some big advantages to updating your website so that it is responsive.
1. A Responsive Design Provides a Better User Experience
It is all about the user. Does your website make it easier or harder to navigate? Does your website require left to right scrolling (and back) to view the content? Content is still king but if your content is difficult to access then visitors will go to the sites where the content is easier to access.
Your website content is foremost to your success but if the user experience is lacking then even great content will suffer. Let your visitors consume your content on the device of their choice.
Provide your valuable visitors with a great experience whether they visit with a desktop computer, a smart phone, a tablet or a smart-TV. Responsive web design accommodates the busy professional during the day and the traveler who is viewing on a tablet or smart phone. With a responsive website no scrolling or resizing is needed for any visitor to access your website from their favorite device.
2. Flexible Website Content
The content of your website is fluid. Your content resizes and aligns for all screen resolutions and all devices. Liquid spreads out or draws in to fill an allotted space and the content of a responsive website does so as well.
3. Cost Effective
The advantages of having a single website that conforms well to the viewing needs of all devices are significant and more cost effective than to have two separate websites. One website will cost less than two.
Responsive web design enhances search engine optimization efforts. All your content is at a single site and therefore there is no chance of duplicate content and the chance that a search engine is confused over content that appears to be duplicated.
4. Recommended by Google
Google still commands the lion’s share of searches – about 67 percent. It is wise for us to listen when Google speaks. Google has stated numerous times that it will favor a responsive website over a non-responsive website. The recommendation of Google for a visitor using a mobile device is to have a responsive design. Google has even stated that a responsive web design is an industry best practice.
Google wants to access your content easily and a responsive design enables Google to visit a single location to access your content. It does not have to visit your main website and then a 2nd site if the 2-site approach is used. This makes Google more efficient and business is all about efficiency. Google appreciate your efforts to make it more efficient.
Google also wants to provide its customers with a list of options where all options will provide a good user experience. If you have a responsive website then your content is in one location and this is much easier for users to share, interact with and link to than content that lives on a separate mobile site.
Here is an example when 2 websites (a desktop and a mobile version) do not work so well. A mobile user finds your content and wants to shares content from the mobile version of your site with a friend on facebook who then accesses that content using a desktop. The result will be that the user using the desktop will be viewing the stripped down mobile site. This will result in a less than optimal user-experience. Google places a significant emphasis on user-experience and user experience is built into their ranking algorithm so we have to focus on this as well.
5. Easy to Manage
Having a separate desktop and mobile site requires having separate SEO campaigns. Managing one site and one SEO campaign is far easier than managing two sites and two SEO campaigns. This is a key advantage a responsive website has over two sites (a desktop and a separate mobile site).
However, there are benefits to having a mobile-specific SEO strategy. You may want to optimize for keywords that are more likely to be searched when someone is on their smart phone. Someone performing a mobile search for a local restaurant may be more inclined to use the word “nearby” in their search query. However, a separate mobile site is not a requirement for a mobile SEO strategy and there’s no reason why mobile-specific keywords can’t be incorporated into a responsive design site as well.
These are all good reasons to consider a responsive website design when it is time for your next website upgrade. If your competitors upgrade sooner than you then you run the risk of losing search position and traffic. If your website visitors are using smart phones and tablets to visits your site then you may experience a higher bounce rate and Google notices this too. A high bounce rate is always a cause for concern.