Responsive web design is the current “big thing” in website design. However, if you are not a web designer, you may wonder what this term means. You may not be sure if a business’s website should be implementing responsive design or not, especially if you require further information on what a responsive website actually is. You may also have heard of this concept referred to as mobile-friendly design.
A responsive website offers a different experience or layout depending on the screen size of the device you are viewing the website on. A mobile responsive website includes layout optimisation such as:
Essentially, a mobile-friendly website will look and function well on mobile devices. However, the website might have technical difficulties and be a lot harder to use when viewed on-screen sizes with a higher resolution. So, the website could be viewed on a desktop, phone, or tablet and customers won’t ‘notice any difference’ in your site’s appearance on their device.
In 2015, Google rolled out a change to its search engine algorithms, which factor in the time it takes to load your website on mobile devices. Having a mobile responsive website sends a ranking signal to search engines and they will rank your website accordingly. The faster your site loads on mobile devices, the better the chance to rank higher on search engines. Of course, the other added benefit is that users don’t have to wait too long on their phones to load your website.
Instead of having a dedicated website for mobile screen sizes and a separate website for desktop computers, responsive web design allows website developers to create one website that displays a different layout depending on the device the user is viewing your website on. This benefits businesses because you only need to build one website instead of two, keeping costs lower. Having a website that incorporates responsive designs is also better from a duplicate content aspect, as having 2 websites with the same content on is undesirable for search engines.
Google and other search engines want to send users to the sites that they would like to view. When users leave your website right away having visited it from a search engine result, search engines make a note that your website might not be the best for the searched term. Google has said that it ranks sites that are optimised for mobile higher in mobile search results. If your website is responsive, a link to your main website is a link to your mobile and tablet site as well. Mobile sites are still relatively new, so your competition that appears in mobile search results is going to have significantly fewer backlinks. A responsively-designed website has backlinks of your original site, even while competing for mobile and tablet visitors.
Having a great user experience on your business’s website is important for business success. You want people to enjoy your site, and you want it to be easy to find and use the business’s service again. If a potential customer visits your website on a responsive device, and it takes a long time for images to load, it can make your business appear unprofessional, and usually, customers are more inclined to seek out your competition.
How often have you wanted to check the weather or look up the scores of your favourite sports team on your mobile device? The same holds true for your website. Users can find your website and find your contact information and the services your business provides right away.