In the old days, businesses could get by with a website specifically designed for desktop computers that was easy to navigate and filled with outstanding content.
Well, unfortunately, those days are over.
Because audiences have increasingly gone mobile, and that has put a huge focus on what is known as responsive web design, which refers to websites that can change dimensions to match the device that a person is using.
For example, if a user begins surfing your company’s website on a desktop, then leaves his or her home and pulls up your site on a mobile phone, your site should adapt to fit the smaller device without losing responsiveness.
In other words, it better be as easy to view and use on the mobile phone, as it was on the desktop.
Why is this important to your company’s bottom line?
The answer is that if your customers are now doing more business than ever on a mobile device, they will expect their online experience with your site to be smooth and harmonious.
But if there are glitches because your site isn’t responsive, guess what?
They are probably going to move on to another site that offers them the same seamless experience no matter what device they are using.
That means you will start to lose customers and potential customers to your competitors, denting your ability to make money.
So let’s take a closer look at some of the ways that optimizing your website design to be responsive on a number of different devices can boost your company’s return on investment.
It Streamlines Your Website Mobile Development
Implementing a responsive web design streamlines your web mobile development, because instead of having to design an entirely new and separate mobile application for your site you can simply make your main site adaptable, which saves time and money.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t have to allocate some funds to a website design company to make your site responsive, but it does mean that that investment can pay off a hundredfold once you are up and running.
Think about it: would you rather pay for two distinct websites, or transform your existing website into all it can be?
And it’s important to remember that if you make the decision to create a separate mobile site, that site will have a different web address, which means that users will have a much harder time sharing content across devices.
What makes things even more complicated, is that you will have to launch two separate search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns, one for your desktop-enabled site, and one for your mobile-optimized site.
But again, you can avoid all that hassle by building a responsive website that is easy to read, easy to navigate, and requires no re-sizing when viewed on multiple devices.
Enhances Your Mobile SEO
Google – the godfather of search engines – recommends responsive web design for several reasons, including:
▪ Simplifies the way users share and link to your site with one URL
▪ Makes your site qualify as ‘mobile friendly.’
▪ Speeds up page loading time, which is a big ranking factor that Google uses in its algorithms.
▪ Reduces load time, which enhances user experience, one of the key factors in Google’s ranking algorithm
▪ Simplifies Google’s process of indexing and organizing your site’s content, because your site has one URL and the same HTML regardless of the device.
All of these factors can help to improve your search engine results page (SERP) ranking, which means more visitors to your site, and more possibilities for conversions.
Lowers Bounce Rate
Another way that responsive web design can help your company is that it helps cut down on your site’s bounce rate, which refers to the number of visitors who view one page on your site and leave without viewing another page on your site.
Google downgrades your company if your bounce rates are too high, because if a high number of visitors leave your site without browsing more than one page, it must mean that your content is not of high quality.
Now that isn’t always true, because a visitor may land on a page with a blog piece that he or she wants to read, and once that person is finished reading, he or she moves on to another site, without visiting another page.
However, a high bounce rate isn’t a good thing in general, but if you have a website that is optimized for mobile use, there is a greater chance that users will want to browse through multiple pages on your site.
The reason is that mobile-optimized sites have clean design schemes, bold, attractive colors, and calls-to-action (CTAs) such as ‘Subscribe here,’ and ‘Click to receive your free e-Book,’ that are easy to read.
By overhauling and improving your website design, you are creating a more compelling reason for users to explore all the pages on your site, AND you are also ensuring that their experience will be just as pleasant when they view your site on a mobile phone or tablet.
What’s Stopping You From Adapting?
When faced with increased competition for scarce resources, animals need to adapt to survive. The same thing applies in the digital landscape, but the truth is, less than half of businesses out there have a responsive web design.
While this may be good news for a web designer or a web design company, it’s bad news for businesses that are sitting on the sidelines, watching forward-thinking companies grab their share of the customers who are increasingly making their purchases on mobile devices.
Implementing an effective responsive web design strategy can be a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal, but only if you go about it in the proper way. If you’re ready to get started, download our Website Design Guide, which can provide you with tips on the entire website design process.
As Lead Designer for Knowmad, Sarah helps our clients bring to life their creative visions and establish a compelling, professional online appearance. She focuses primarily on website design, blending beautiful aesthetics and UX to create memorable online experiences.