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  • Chris st clair

The Importance of a Responsive Website

Updated: Jul 7

Today, the user's journey through the internet is more complicated than ever. Many people use more than one device to access websites on the internet, switching between their phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, TVs, and even smartwatches. Users need to have the best experience switching across these devices, despite their different shapes and sizes. That is why a website needs to be built with a responsive design.

What is a responsive design?

Responsive web design (or RWD design) is a method used in modern web design that ensures websites and pages render (or display) correctly across a wide variety of devices and screen sizes. This includes desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even smart televisions.

This eliminates the need for the user to pinch the screen or double-tap to zoom in on material when viewing it on a phone or other small-screen device.

Responsive Design vs Mobile-Friendly design

Did you know that 

  • More than 5.7 billion searches are made on Google every day, and all these lead to one website or the other. 

  • As of April 2021, the average time spent on the phone each day was 4 hours and 23 minutes, representing steady growth over the preceding years. By 2023, it's projected that it would increase to almost 4 hours and 35 minutes.

  • Google recommends responsive web design as the setting for sites that are optimized for mobile devices.

While it's true that website traffic for mobile devices is high, and websites need to be optimized for mobile friendliness, an important distinction needs to be made between a mobile-friendly website and a responsive website. 

A mobile-friendly site is simply one that renders properly on (only) mobile devices. In other words, asides from the size of the site, nothing else changes in terms of functionality, regardless of the device being used. Viewing the same website on devices with a higher resolution may cause glitches and make the interface more difficult to use. 

A responsive website, on the other hand, automatically adjusts its layout to fit the screen of any device being used to access it.

Yes, mobile devices are responsible for most web traffic, but desktop computers are not far behind. A responsive design will not just allow you to cater to both audiences, but it caters to people that use tablets, televisions, and even watches. Doing this keeps the integrity of your website's content while also adapting it to render appropriately on various devices, and simultaneously making it more user-friendly.

Responsive vs. Dual-Version Websites

Despite the fact that a responsive design is more functional, many businesses still maintain two websites: their main site and a distinct mobile version with a different URL, doubling the maintenance work and cost. While a dedicated mobile site has its benefits, it also comes with some potential drawbacks. Here are some of them from google

  • For simplicity's sake, Google advises website owners to transition to a responsive design rather than maintaining two sets of URLs (one for mobile and one for desktop).

  • Google recommends that you use a single URL for each piece of content with responsive design, but it's fine to have a separate mobile website for mobile-first indexing as long as it's linked correctly from the desktop version with a mobile rel-alternate and a canonical pointing to the desktop page.

  • After a site has been switched to mobile-first indexing, bad internal links on the mobile version of the site could impact how Google indexes and ranks the site

  • Google is unlikely to switch to mobile-first indexing for a site if it judges the mobile and desktop versions of the site's content differ significantly

  • If the desktop version of a webpage with a rel alternative to a mobile version receives a complaint of mobile-friendly issues, Google may not have a firm grasp on which webpages belong together and may index them independently.

  • Google provides a mobile responsiveness test that will reveal how well your site renders on mobile devices. You may quickly get a rating for any website by entering its URL.

Benefits of a Responsive Website

  • Improved User Experience

  • 61% of visitors will abandon a site if they cannot find the information they’re looking for quickly

  • After a positive user experience, 57% of users choose to buy from the company again

  • Google found that nearly half of respondents (48%) held the impression that businesses were not caring about their needs when their websites were not mobile-friendly

With this information, it's obvious that users have a natural aversion to staying on a website that stresses them out. 

A non-responsive design makes it difficult for them to access the information they need; factors like over/undersized photos, the need to pinch or turn their screens, and having trouble navigating the site can make for a pretty frustrating experience. 

However, if your website is built with a responsive design, your users will have a far more positive experience. With the site’s general ability to scale, easier accessibility of its menus and buttons, and no need to pinch the screen or zoom in, visitors can view content quicker, and easier, letting them stay on your website for longer and leaving a more favorable impression of your company

  • It's easier to manage

One central website that caters to consumers across all platforms and devices makes administrative work much simpler. Managing two different websites, one for mobile users and one for desktop computer users, is a complex and time-consuming job. it's also more expensive to maintain more than one website

It makes more sense to spend money making a single website responsive than to pay more for multiple ones. In the long term, it will help you out by making it less of a hassle to optimize and spread the word about it via social media.

  • Flexibility and Future Scalability

The easiest and most efficient approach to support modern devices is by using a responsive design. No one can predict what the future of screen sizes and shapes will look like, and a responsive website eliminates the need to constantly adjust content for new devices.

Responsive websites are fluid. When seen on screens, they can be scaled up or down for optimal fit. They will continue to give the best user experience even as devices with unprecedented screen sizes enter the market.

  • Attracts and retains customers

The prevalence of online shopping continues to rise, with 54% of the world's online population currently doing it using a mobile device. Your site's success in attracting and retaining customers relies on its responsiveness to their wants and needs and on the ease with which they can complete transactions across several devices

In addition to increasing your sales, a responsive website will increase the shareability of your content, bringing in even more potential clients. Today's average user spends 145 minutes per day scrolling around social media sites, with the majority of that time spent on their mobile devices. This indicates that social networks continuously provide traffic to your web pages from mobile devices if you have an active social media presence. Credibility will take a hit if your website loads slowly and seems antiquated, turning off potential customers.

Customers are more likely to return to your website if it's optimized for their devices and if they have a positive experience when using your website. 

  • Search Engine Optimization 

SEO, or search engine optimization, is used by many companies to raise their Google page rank. Customers are more likely to come across your business if it is closer to the top of the page.

Google's ranking algorithm favors websites with responsive designs. Furthermore, it has been noted that these websites rank highly in local search results. They rank so well because of the shift to mobile-first indexing by Google in response to the growing share of mobile device internet usage. That implies the mobile version of your site will be the one that Google uses to determine your ranking. Because of this, it is crucial to invest in a responsive website design that supports mobile and SEO. 

  • Promotes Social Media Sharing

With a responsive layout, users can share embedded links more easily on smaller screens when your website is responsive and contains accessible social media share buttons.

As a result, more people will be exposed to your brand thanks to the increased social media shares, leading to higher website traffic and higher conversion rates. Also, search engines would take note of the increased demand for your website in terms of both searches and user engagement, which would lead to better rankings.

  • Allows you to create a mobile segment

One of the most convenient aspects of responsive website upkeep is the option of a mobile segment.

A mobile segment is a responsive design feature that will let you view all of your website's metrics on a mobile device. This is a very useful feature for small business owners interested in learning more about their website's visitor data.  They can use the data to measure how long visitors spend on the site and how well it performs in general searches.

  • Promotes link sharing across devices 

When a desktop user sends your website link to a mobile device user, the mobile user will be forwarded to the mobile-friendly version of the site.

If the site isn't responsive, mobile devices will have trouble finding the information they need. If a mobile user clicks on a link and is taken to a website that doesn't adjust to their screen size, they may soon lose interest.

  • Increases web traffic 

Many more people use their mobile phones and tablets as their primary internet devices than they use desktops or laptops. Therefore, you should ensure that your website renders beautifully and functions correctly across all devices, not just computers.

The best websites use responsive design.

Case studies of successful responsive websites may not be enough to sway you, but the time and money you'll save may. Any successful modern online strategy should include responsive design, and yours should too.

You're more than welcome to reach out to us at  CSProMedia for a free, totally unique quote to make your website responsive.


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