Before tablets and mobile phones were on the scene, web pages were designed only for desktop computer screens, which meant web pages were of a static design and a fixed size. Today it is a far different story. People are viewing websites on a massive range of devices greatly differing in size. From mobile phone to tablet.
On the back of this Google has introduced a new algorithm to determine ranking. This came into effect back on the 21st April 2015. This algorithm introduced mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in search results, rewarding websites that are fully optimised for mobile platforms with a better Google ranking. Today a responsive website design is a must.
What Is Responsive Website Design?
Responsive website design is an approach that allows a website to adapt seamlessly to the screen size and orientation of the device being used. Whether it’s a desktop computer, a tablet, or a smartphone, a responsive website adjusts its layout and content to provide the best possible user experience.
A fully optimised mobile website is a ‘responsive’ website. A responsive web design sizes your pages, text, buttons, and link spacing to fit the size of the screen. In a nutshell, from a design point of view, automatically turning a horizontal layout into a vertical layout for mobile devices. The pages are read automatically by the device and displayed accordingly. The mobile devices read specially written style sheets and display the layout depending on the size of screen viewed.
In recent years, mobile devices have taken over as the primary means of internet access. People are using their smartphones for everything from shopping to research, making it imperative for websites to cater to this mobile audience. Google, the most popular search engine, has shifted to mobile-first indexing. This means that Google predominantly uses the mobile version of a website for ranking and indexing, making responsive design a crucial factor for SEO.
So What, – Why Does My Business Need a Responsive Website?
Any business, large or small, needs a responsive website design as so many people are now viewing on mobile screens; and searching on Google through mobile phones. In particular users rely heavily on their devices to find local businesses. There is an expectation now that a website should view well on a mobile device. It has got to stage that this is expected as standard and there is a strong chance anyone viewing your website on a mobile will move away if it’s not responsive.
Responsive website design is essential for providing a consistent and user-friendly experience to visitors, regardless of the device they use to access a website. It helps improve usability, accessibility, and overall user satisfaction, which can lead to higher engagement and conversion rates for businesses and organizations.
1. Improved User Experience:
Responsive design ensures that users can easily navigate and interact with your website, no matter the device they use. This leads to higher user satisfaction and longer visit durations.
2. Mobile Traffic Dominance:
With the increasing use of smartphones, a significant portion of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Responsive design caters to this audience and maximizes your site’s reach.
3. SEO Benefits:
Search engines like Google favour mobile-friendly websites. Responsive design can improve your website’s search engine rankings, resulting in increased organic traffic.
4. Cost Efficiency:
Maintaining a single responsive website is more cost-effective than building separate websites for different device types. It streamlines development, maintenance, and content management.
As new devices with varying screen sizes and resolutions emerge, responsive design ensures that your website remains accessible and functional without the need for major redesigns.
In fact, a Google study found that 72% of users expect websites to work on mobile platforms — and 61% will leave the site if it’s not mobile friendly. On a mobile search, a non responsive website will slip down the Google rankings. Responsive websites will filter to the top.
Responsive website design is no longer an option but a necessity in today’s digital landscape. It provides a consistent and user-friendly experience across all devices, enhances your site’s visibility in search engines, and future-proofs your online presence. To stay competitive and meet the needs of your audience, consider adopting responsive design principles for your website or consulting with a web development professional who specializes in this approach.