If your online business isn’t on board with mobile websites yet, you’re seriously trailing the pack which could ultimately be costing you in lost revenue. Responsive design is by far the biggest thing to happen to websites as the trend of mobile phone and tablet use for online browsing continues to gain momentum.
A recent study conducted by ScanLife found that 89 percent of people use a mobile device when shopping online. Mobile internet usage on the whole has now overtaken desktop usage in a big way, so if you don’t have responsive mobile websites you’re potentially missing out on a big portion of the market.
Responsive web design simply allows your website’s layout to adapt to a change in the individual user’s screen size without jeopardising it’s look or function. For example, when someone is viewing your site on a desktop it will be displayed in a wide-screen view and the full site design will be visible in a multiple column format.
When the user transitions to a smaller screen, like their smartphone or tablet, the site’s layout will retract to fit. The content will remain the same, but presented in a different way, in a single column view with text and links appropriately formatted to be read and used on a smaller device.
With responsive web design, you don’t have to worry about designing different websites to ensure they run properly on a variety of devices.
Besides the fact that a greater number of viewers are using their mobile devices to browse and shop online, there are some additional reasons as to why having a responsive web design should be at the top list of your priorities.
When Google says it wants you to have a responsive site, it’s a pretty good reason to get on board. That’s because Google will now penalise you for not having one. As of April 2015, Google began rewarding mobile friendly websites through their ranking algorithm, notoriously known as ‘Mobilegeddon’. Those with responsive sites, will rank better in Google’s search results than those that don’t support multi-device browsing.
With mobile internet usage increasing dramatically, it’s obvious that customers would prefer to browse on a site whose layout is designed for a smaller device. In fact, in a mobile study conducted by Bizrate Insights with over 100,000 online shoppers the biggest complaint was having to enlarge the screen to ensure they clicked on the right place because the site wasn’t a responsive design. Other issues that frustrated users were slow page loading, having to use the full site version in order to find what they are looking for and entering personal information at the check-out was difficult.
Through the use of Google Analytics when responsive websites with a well-designed user interface are compared to those old-school websites it is found users stay browsing the site for longer. There is generally also a decrease in bounce rate on responsive websites which more often that not leads to an increased conversion rate. Huffington Post stated that 85 percent of people believe the mobile site must function and look as good, if not better than, the desktop version.
Businesses, especially small operators, usually don’t have an endless marketing budget to invest in different website designs to suit a variety of device screen sizes. While that might seem like a negative in other aspects of marketing like advertising, in web design it’s not. A responsive design means you only need to build one well-designed responsive site that focuses on delivering content and user experience.
It also means users no longer have to remember a variety of website addresses to access your desktop sites and your mobile websites. Nor will they turn to your direct competitor because your site won’t function properly on their smaller screen.
If you don’t have a responsive website yet, there is a huge possibility your competitors aren’t optimising their site either. Now’s the time to stay ahead of the pack and capture the attention of their customers with a site that looks impressive and functions well on any device regardless of their screen size.
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