In today’s technology-driven world, the sheer range of devices through which people access the web is staggering. For instance, you can access the web via a laptop, desktop, smartphone or tablet. Even some not-so-recent devices like feature phones and PDAs now offer web access.
For a website owner, this presents a challenge. The challenge is how to make a website accessible across multiple devices. Back in the day, this challenge was solved by creating multiple versions of the same website. Unfortunately, this option was stressful, costly and complex.
Over the last few years, a simpler approach has emerged. This approach makes it easy to create a single website which can be accessed on multiple devices. As such, it is a smart and cost-effective way to maximize access to a website across devices. This approach is called responsive website design.
Using responsive website design, you can easily create a website which displays perfectly regardless of the device. The obvious benefit of this is that many people can access the website. However, the benefits of responsive web design go beyond maximizing access. They also include the following:
A responsive website offers the best user experience for visitors. This is because it is calibrated to maximize the features of every device. As such, it guarantees convenience, simplicity and perfection irrespective of the device a visitor uses to view it.
The simple fact is that most people today can access the web on different devices. For instance, a typical professional usually has a desktop or laptop at work. They also typically have a tablet and smartphone for personal use. They use such devices to access the web at different times of the day.
In case access to your website is restricted to specific devices, then accessing it becomes an inconvenience. However, if it is accessible across devices, it gives users unrestricted access to it. Such convenience ultimately breeds loyalty from visitors.
Non-responsive websites download all resources every time they are visited. They do not take into consideration device characteristics. As such, they tend to load extremely slowly – especially when viewed on smaller-screen devices like smartphones and tablets.
Responsive websites don’t have such weaknesses. This is because they are “smart”. Using something called “media queries”, a responsive website can detect the kind of device that is being used to view it. As such, it only loads resources which are relevant for that device. In the end, it ends up loading fewer files, thereby making the pages to load faster.
Responsive websites have lower bounce rates. This is because they display perfectly irrespective of device characteristics like screen size, resolution and orientation. As such, whatever device a visitor uses to view the website, they can have a great experience.
Non-responsive websites don’t render properly on all devices. They only display well on devices with certain screen dimensions. In most cases, such websites are designed for the wide screens of desktop monitors and laptops. As such, when viewed on smaller screen devices like smartphones and tablets, they appear jumbled, grotesque and unclear.
When people attempt to view a webpage and find it jumbled or grotesque, in most cases, they simply leave. This contributes towards the overall bounce rate of the website. In fact, non-responsive websites usually have high bounce rates especially among visitors with mobile devices.
Responsive websites don’t have such weaknesses. They can be perfectly viewed on any device. As such, they tend to have lower bounce rates. Having a lower bounce rate can lead to higher search engine rankings. This is because search engines tend to rank websites with lower bounce rates than those with higher bounce rates (in fact, search engines often degrade websites with high bounce rates).
Responsive websites tend to have higher conversion rates than non-responsive ones. There are two ways through which responsive web design leads to higher conversions i.e. indirectly and directly.
The indirect route is through click-through rate (CTR). Responsive websites tend to have a higher click-through rate than non-responsive ones. This is true especially for mobile-based searches. When a user uses a search engine on a mobile device, the SERPs highlight websites which are mobile-friendly. As such, such websites tend to have higher CTRs. Generally speaking, websites with higher CTRs tend to have higher conversion rates.
The direct route is through faster loading times. Responsive websites have higher conversion rates because they load faster. Website analytics have revealed that faster loading websites tend to have higher conversion rates. One such analysis revealed that increasing the loading time of a webpage by 2 seconds increased its conversion rate by 66 per cent (http://www.conversionconference.com/blog/case-study-how-making-pages-2-seconds-faster-boosted-conversions-by-66/).
Responsiveness contributes towards a website’s overall Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It does this both directly and indirectly. The direct contribution comes in terms of higher SERP rankings. In April 2015, Google updated its algorithm to provide higher rankings for mobile-friendly websites on mobile-based searches.
This means that mobile-friendly websites now rank higher in mobile SERPs than non mobile-friendly ones. Given that Google estimates that up to 50 per cent of all web searches in some countries are from mobile devices, ranking higher on mobile SERPs can boost a website’s overall SEO.
Responsiveness contributes indirectly to a website’s SEO through boosting certain factors which are used to rank websites. For instance, the Google algorithm considers aspects like UX, loading times and bounce rates when ranking websites. Generally, websites with better UX, faster loading times and lower bounce rates are ranked higher than those with the reverse. Therefore, by boosting these factors, responsive web design leads to higher SEO rankings.
However, to truly maximize a website’s SEO, responsive website design isn’t enough. It needs to be accentuated with on-page SEO, outbound links (OBL), appropriate keywords and killer titles, among others. The bottom line is that SEO is a holistic package. Even then, responsive website design plays an critical part in boosting a website’s SEO.
Ultimately, responsive web design is invaluable to any website owner who desires to maximize the potential of their website. The best part is that responsive web design actually future-proofs a website. It makes updating a website extremely easy. As such, even if new devices appear through which people can access the web, calibrating a website to suit new devices is quite simple.
Therefore, if you are committed towards maximizing the potential of your website, you need to make it responsive. Fortunately for you, we can help with that. Our $99 Site Design websites are responsive right out of the box and can be customized to suit your specific needs. Simply contact one of our design consultants right away by calling 303-200-1000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us help you get connected on the web.