The use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets has increased rapidly and they have overtaken the desktop as the primary method of accessing the web. With users accessing the Internet via smartphones and tablets, rather than a desktop computer, the importance of having a mobile-friendly website becomes paramount.
Each client today needs a responsive version of their website that could run smoothly on all devices (desktop/mobile/tablet). Responsive web design is one of the most powerful modern concepts in the web design arena, but the question is: Why does responsive web design matter for your website? Before we understand that, we must understand what exactly “Responsive Web Design” is.
What Is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design is simply a technique for developing websites in a manner that all of the website content, images, and structure remain the same on any device. This means the website can work seamlessly on mobile devices, tablets, and desktop screens. A responsive web design is a design that can handle all types of users, on any device.
This technique is very popular because with a responsive website design, we don’t have to worry about creating different websites for different devices. In other words, there is no need to design separate websites specifically for the laptop, mobile device, and desktop screen resolutions.
Why should you invest in responsive design?
We live in a multi-screen society. Because of this, it’s important for your site to be viewable across as many devices as possible, because you never know what device someone will be using to view your website.
Responsive website stats suggest that it’s wise to appeal to both desktop and mobile viewers. The number of mobile viewers now outnumbers desktop, and this number will only continue to rise as global smartphone accessibility increases.
Additionally, in early 2015, Google announced that mobile-friendliness would become a ranking factor in its search engine algorithms. This meant that sites that were mobile-friendly would potentially lose some ground in search engine results because they wouldn’t be delivering a good experience to mobile searchers and viewers.
Some reasons why responsive design matters and why it is important to the success of any website:
1. Increasing Mobile Usage
Recent studies have proved that mobile usage and adoption has overtaken desktop usage and responsive design allows the same website to work on all devices.
2. Better UX
Responsive websites make visitors happy with your site. And the click-through-rates increase 21-24% with a responsive website as compared to mobile versions or any other versions.
3. Maintenance Is Minimum
Before responsive design we had only 2 options:
- Create a desktop site that would look small and inconvenient on mobile devices.
- Create a separate dedicated mobile site which would work on a mobile device’s browser.
The above options increase the cost and time involved in maintenance as you need to update both websites on a regular basis and if you chose only the desktop variant, you run the risk of losing out on potential mobile users and mobile-based revenue.
This also ensures that we need to make an update to the site only once and it will update all versions of the site.
4. Responsive Design Is Preferred for SEO
Google and other search engines prefer responsive websites. Google recommends and promotes responsive website design. In many research studies, it has been found that responsive websites usually perform better and load in just one second or less, making it easier for users to share and link to your content with a single URL.
This is the reason SEO guys prefer a responsive version, because these sites have one URL and the same HTML, which makes it easier and more efficient for Google to crawl, index, and organize content from just single URL.
5. Reduced Bounce Rate Due to a Better User Experience
High bounce rates are usually taken as a negative sign by search engines. There are a number of reasons that contribute to a high bounce rate, with a major reason being non-responsive design. So how can you reduce your bounce rate?
The solution is responsive design. Responsive websites have lower bounce rates as compared to their non-responsive counterparts. Responsive websites offer all the website content to users in a package that is easy to view and manage, hence ultimately keeping users on your page and reducing your bounce rate.
6. Reduces the Page Load Speed
Page load time is one of the major factors when it comes to search engine rankings. Google always rewards fast-loading web pages, which load in just one second or less. Responsive design results in fast loading and Google can discover the content more efficiently and easily index all the content.
7. The Future Is Mobile
With mobile phones being increasingly used for searching and making purchases online, you need to provide the audience a mobile-friendly site. So making your website responsive is an essential aspect of your online presence.