As the popularity of mobile browsing continues to increase, leveraging the advantages of responsive web design is becoming mission-critical.
How and why? To answer that, let’s start by answering this:
What is Responsive Web Design?
A website with a fully responsive design will react to the size of the screen each visitor is using and deliver an optimised and seamless browsing experience. The popularity of this type of web design has increased steadily with the rise of mobile browsing.
Browsing the internet using a smartphone or tablet is very different from browsing using a desktop or laptop computer. Not only are screen sizes markedly different, but there are also orientation and touchscreen considerations and adaptations that need to be made.
Traditionally, mobile browsers would be redirected to a dedicated mobile site but responsive design completely removes the need to have two separate websites. To illustrate why this is such a good thing, let’s dig a little deeper into some of the core business benefits of responsive web design.
1. Enhance the usability of your most important digital asset
Responsive websites deliver better user experiences.
But, wait. Isn’t that a bit of a bold statement to make? No, and let us tell you why by backing it up with a few facts.
If users find your website difficult to navigate or find themselves constantly having to pinch their screen to resize your content just to be able to engage with it, they are going to:
- get very frustrated, very quickly
Conversely, if your navigation menu is optimised for mobile and your site automatically responds to different screen sizes, your visitors are going to have a more positive and enjoyable time. This will encourage them to:
- stick around for longer
- return in the future
- recommend your business to others
2. Enhance your reach to mobile and tablet audiences
Mobile websites haven’t always been that great but as more of us swap our desktops for our smart mobile devices to browse online, we now expect to be provided with a seamless user experience regardless of which device we are using at any given time.
Think about it this way: if you were browsing on a mobile device and you visited a website that was difficult to navigate, would you stick around? Or would you hit the back button and look for the information you wanted on another website? If we’re being honest you would likely choose the latter option. Worse still, you would avoid the original site in future searches because you already know that your experience won’t be particularly positive.
If you want to maximise traffic to your site, a responsive design will help you to meet the expectations of your visitors whether they are browsing on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop.
3. Increase sales and conversions
Although it is still possible to run multiple device-specific versions of your website, this can throw up an array of barriers that will impact your user experience and negatively hit your bottom line.
If your audience has the opportunity to build a level of trust and familiarity with your digital presence, they are going to be rather more willing to progress through your conversion funnel and buy into what you have to offer. Consumers are looking for functionality, performance and consistency, and responsive web design is the easiest way to give them what they are looking for.
4. Boost your search engine visibility
Google has suggested that fully responsive, mobile optimised sites are featured prominently in local search results, which is a cue that should be taken seriously by every business looking to capitalise on locality.
A single responsive website will require far less maintenance than several device-specific sites, which will give your optimisation team more time to focus on personalised and unified search optimisation (SEO) strategies that will deliver both short and long term results.
SEO campaigns can be costly but the ability to focus this investment on a single site means that you are putting yourself in the best position to secure a decent return on your investment (ROI).
The SEO benefits of responsive web design are myriad and you also won’t have to worry about being penalised for content duplication, which is a point we’ll come back to a bit later.
5. Consolidate and simplify your analytics
Let’s be honest, your analytics data is more than worth its weight in gold and the ability to consolidate such valuable information into a single report that is much easier to monitor and analyse is priceless. You won’t have to spend time tracking conversion paths, redirections and funnels or user journeys between your sites, which will give you more time to invest in the things that really matter.
6. Reduce time and money spent on mobile development
Responsive design will always take markedly less time to complete than creating a stand-alone mobile site in addition to your primary traditional website. And as your time is valuable, take a few moments to think about how you would choose to invest this newly created free time to best benefit your business.
7. Reduce your site management costs
With less content to organise, you can use a single admin interface that is optimised to meet your workflow needs. Admin overheads for separate mobile sites can be considerable whereas a responsive approach removes that additional cost whilst simultaneously simplifying your entire site management process.
8. Enhance your offline browsing user experience
The offline browsing and caching mechanism of HTML5 allows web-based applications to run offline without network connectivity. As more of us want to browse when we’re on-the-go and in situations where our connectivity is perhaps a bit patchy, the ability to provide content to your visitors that is consumable in these environments will help you to stand out from your competition for the right reasons.
9. Remove the risk of being hit with a penalty for duplicate content
Now, back to that duplicate content point we mentioned earlier…
If you have two websites, there is no getting away from the fact that you are essentially publishing duplicate content in multiple places. Search engines are steadily becoming more intelligent but they still need to know which version of your website is more important. If they don’t, all versions of your website can struggle to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs). If you want to avoid this headache completely, a responsive website is the way to go.
10. Benefit from lower bounce rates
You need your website to entice visitors to click through and then encourage them to stay and browse for a while. If your site runs smoothly on their device, is intuitive and delivers a seamless user experience, your visitors will be far more inclined to continue to engage with your content and dig deep into what you can offer.
11. See your conversion rates soar
If you want to enhance your conversion rates, delivering a seamless user experience is the key. You need to prove that you are a reputable business that takes your digital presence seriously and genuinely values your audience. Your website reflects your business’ brand and if your virtual shop window disappoints, they’ll expect your business to disappoint them too.
12. Improve your page loading times
Fluid grids and responsive imagery contribute to more efficient page loading times, which is important as research suggests that more than 50% of mobile browsers will abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to fully load.
But that’s not all…
Websites with fast page loading times benefit from increased browsing times and enhanced conversion rates, which we are almost certain will pique your interest. Are we right?
13. Secure additional social shares
Pairing your responsive content with equally responsive social media buttons makes it effortless for your audience to share your content with their social circles. In addition to giving your credibility a boost, this will:
- expose your business to new audiences
- generate additional traffic and leads
- boost your position in important SERPs.
Sounds good, right?
14. Use flexible images
Enabling browsers to automatically resize images and taking advantage of the ability to use responsive image attributes will allow you to create a visually strong website that doesn’t need to compromise on image quality or page loading times.
15. Future-proof your digital presence
The number of devices that are on the market is only set to increase and as technology becomes more advanced, more of us are going to want to start using devices that support virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Getting to grips with responsive web design now that perform well on all mobile devices will stand you in good stead for the future.
16. Build better backlinks
Backlinks are an essential component of every serious SEO strategy because they help you to demonstrate to search engines that other authoritative websites are willing to vouch that your site is a reputable and credible source of valuable information. If your site isn’t delivering a great user experience, other site owners are quite frankly going to be reluctant to give you their digital seal of approval.
That might sound harsh, but it’s the truth.
Finally, just before we finish and let you get started with the planning and development of your responsive site, we wanted to reinforce the fact that all these points have one thing in common: the ability to…
17. Boost your bottom line
The digital sphere is ultra-competitive and you need to ensure that you are doing everything you possibly can to make a great impression on your audience. Having a website that looks great on both small and large screens will help you to successfully engage the widest possible audience and give your business the best chance of financial success both now and in the future.
At DotLabel we believe that getting the online user experience is vital to success of all digital products. We regularly work on projects which have complex online processes or lengthy forms that need to be optimised to improve conversion. If you have digital project whether it’s a website, closed system application or web app, we have use our UX research and design skills to improve the user experience and drive conversion or efficiency. Contact us for more information
Article originally posted at https://www.dotlabel.co.uk/blog/17-reasons-you-cant-ignore-responsive-web-design/