Internet users are fascinated with their mobile devices. With the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007 we’ve seen mobile users on the web skyrocket. Today, the total market share of mobile users has increased to 46.17%, so it’s important – now more than ever – that we tailor our website experience to this demographic.
This article will be useful for small business owners or website designers who want to know more about responsive website design and how it can benefit the overall conversion rate of your website.
Demand for responsive web design has increased exponentially in recent years – almost all of the internet population is now using a mobile device, taking them everywhere they go.
Potential customers will often start their experience on desktop and move to a mobile device, or vice versa – and so you want to make sure your user experience is consistent and seamless between the two.
What is responsive website design?
Responsive website design is a technique of designing a website that can naturally adapt to whatever device the visitor is currently using. With various mobile devices capturing market share, designers needed a method of adapting the same content to different screen sizes.
Originally, designers would create separate websites. A website designed for desktop users and a mobile version designed and built specifically for mobile phones. Not only was this time consuming for designers and web developers, but it presented several challenges – duplicate content, odd page redirects, and higher maintenance costs.
Quickly, web designers started to look for a more efficient methods – and responsive design was born. With this technique, designers could use fluid grids, percentages, and css to create a single site, adapting the same content to smaller screens.
Our top 5 benefits of responsive web design
Responsive website design has many benefits – here are our top 5 benefits that make tailoring your website to mobile traffic an absolute must.
1. User experience
By far our top benefit of having a responsive site is user experience and usability. Having a website design tailored to mobile users leads to a better and more consistent user experience.
You have approximately 3 seconds to make a good first impression – and 94% of that impression will be design related. Websites that aren’t mobile friendly, and don’t cater to different devices or smaller screen sizes will see higher bounce rates affecting your KPIs.
With a responsive website design, you’ll reduce the amount of scrolling and zooming a user as to do, making for a much better user experience and improved overall conversion rate.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In 2015 Google announced changes to their search engine ranking algorithm that favored mobile sites. Not only does Google mark websites as mobile-friendly when searching on a mobile device, but they also rank those with mobile optimized web pages over desktop only experiences.
Google cares about the experience it’s users have when visiting websites from their results pages. Following good usability practices in general will help your SEO, and mobile friendliness is one of the highest usability factors Google takes into account when determining rank.
3. Better load times and website performance
Since July 2018 Google has prioritized mobile page load speed as a key metric when determining a website’s search engine ranking. If your mobile website is slow or unresponsive, it comes with a hefty penalty to your overall ranking.
Luckily, if done correctly, a responsive website design can reduce the amount of resources a website needs – for example; instead of loading large, high resolution images, your designer can use smaller, flexible, and responsive images to reduce the amount of time it takes for a page to load.
It’s good to remember that smartphone users are likely on the move and they might not have access to high-speed internet, often relying solely on their data plan. Taking this into account is important when designing and building your website, the fewer resources your users need to download, the faster their web experience will be. This is why Google takes lower page loading speeds into consideration when determining rank.
4. Lower bounce rate, increased conversion rate
This really goes without saying. All the factors above will contribute to the bottom line – Your website’s ability to convert visitors into customers. You have less than 3 seconds – if a user has to either a). wait for your website to load, or b). have to pinch to zoom and scroll, they will bounce and find a competitor’s website that simply works better. Don’t lose the opportunity to convert that mobile traffic!
5. Don't forget about social media
As of 2021, up to 25% of all digital consumption is on social media and it’s mostly accessed via a mobile device. If your content is shared or consumed via social media, it’s more than likely to come from a mobile device and you don’t want to miss the opportunity to convert those leads.
Referrals from social media can be high quality visits, so you want to make sure the experience seamless. If the experience is poor, visitors are much more likely to just jump back to whatever they were consuming previously.
Wrap it up
Responsive website design is an absolute must on the modern web. It’s vital for user experience, higher rankings in Google search, lower bounce rates, and higher conversion rates.
Luckily, Google provides a free tool that will test whether your website is recognized as mobile friendly or not. It’s a helpful tool that let’s you diagnose
If your website is not yet mobile friendly, your highest priority is a website redesign with a focus on mobile usability. It’s the foundation to any on-site and off-site SEO and other efforts are wasted until you optimize for mobile traffic.
Speak with your existing website designer, or feel free to reach out to us – We have a “mobile-first” philosophy and every website we design and build is tailored to the mobile experience.