With the proliferation of Internet enabled devices with screens as diverse as the 27″ iMacs to 3.2″ smart phones having a responsive website and/or using effective media queries has become essential in maximising consumer reach and ensuring a positive customer experience.
As more people are beginning to use mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, for every task that used to be only capable on desktop, one thing has become clear: mobile is taking over Internet surfing. And, it’s not even just surfing. It’s everything from browsing social media outlets, checking emails and doing some online shopping.
Because mobile Internet usage is increasing rapidly, it’s extremely important that your website is mobile friendly. Usually this isn’t a major concern. You have a website designed for desktop users and another site specifically developed for mobile users and your designer implements a media query to filter traffic to the relevant site. But, is it possible to have a site that is equally favorable for both desktop and mobile users?
There actually is a design that can handle both types of users. And it’s called responsive web design.
What is responsive design?
A responsive design simply means a website that has been constructed so that all of the content, images and structure of the site remains the same on any device. For example, when a user accesses a site on their desktop, they are getting the full view of the site. But when that same user goes to visit the site from their smartphone or tablet, the site will retract to fit on the smaller screen.
In other words, with a responsive website design, you don’t have to have worry about having different websites for various devices or making sure that your site runs properly on a mobile device.
But there are some other really important reasons why you should make the switch to responsive design for your website.
Mobile Usage is Increasing.
Take a step into the outside world and you’ll definitely notice a lot of people on their mobile phones. In fact, it seems that just about everyone is attached at the hip with their smartphone. For some reason, however, there are many businesses who have not yet picked up on this trend. Maybe they could use the following stats from Smart Insights to convince them how much mobile usage has skyrocketed.
More than 20 percent of Google searches are now being performed on some sort of mobile device. In 2012 over half of all local searches were done on a mobile device. 25 percent of Internet users only access the internet via a mobile device in the United States. 25.85 percent of all emails are opened on mobile phones, with another 10.16 percent being opened on tablets.
In 2014 mobile Internet usage overtook desktop usage. Out of the 4 billion mobile phones in the world, 1.08 billion are smartphones and 3.05 are SMS enabled.
Its Recommended By Google
We all know that Google is a really big deal. In fact, the Big G claimed 67 percent search market share in 2013, making it the most popular search engine in the world. A user that struggles to view a desktop optimised site on a mobile phone will have a far from enjoyable experience. This makes the user unhappy. Google realizes that unhappy people will go elsewhere, meaning that bounce rates increase and the site will not rank on mobile searches. This creates a whole big headache involving Google’s external link algorithm and on-page errors. Which in turn, also harms your SEO.
Can Increase Conversion Rates
Responsive design has the ability to increase those coveted conversion rates from all of the mobile users in the world. a user has to do more work than needed to complete a conversion, is less likely they will convert. There’s a little more to it than that.
Better User Experience
Responsive design gives users a better experience. Whenever a user has had a positive experience with your mobile website, that individual will be 67 percent more likely to buy a product or use a service. Furthermore, 48 percent of users stated to Google that when a site doesn’t function on their mobile device it makes them feel that the company does not care for their business.
A better user experience also makes it easier to be reached and complain. If people are able to contact you and find a way to complain to you have a much lower probability of them going online through social media and complaining.
Stay Ahead of Competition
In the business world, you have to stay ahead of the competition. A website that looks good on all platforms will give you the edge to convert over your competitors. So, if more and more users are using their mobile devices to search and make purchases online, you have to cater to that audience by having a mobile-friendly site. If more people are getting wider high definition displays like the iMac, they need to be catered for too.
The chances are that you competitors aren’t making use of responsive designs yet, which means that they are losing out on potential customers. And, that is where you can stay ahead and take those customers away.