Why a Responsive Website is an Absolute Must
Keeping up with the swiftly evolving digital landscape is not always easy. Trends move at a lightning speed and possibilities that we might not even have imagined six months ago can quickly become standard practice. Yet, coming across freshly designed, unresponsive websites in 2020 is not unusual. Due to the quickly changing ways in which we use the internet, how search engines rank websites and the increasingly sophisticated demands of internet users, a responsive website is crucial for one’s online success. So, to delve into this critical topic, we explore some of the top reasons why a responsive website is a must for any business or organisation.
Firstly, what is responsive web design?
Responsive web design (RWD) is a widely adopted web development approach that allows a website to adjust to fit the size of a user’s window or screen size. It means that dynamic changes are made to the appearance of a website, depending on the user’s screen size or screen orientation. The elements of the website are shuffled to fit the screen, helping it to remain easy to use and be visually pleasing to as many users as possible. This means no more mobile sites, etc. Just one site, with one URL and one content source, is needed.
Why is it important for a website to adapt to different screen sizes?
How we access the internet is ever-changing. Currently, one person can access the web using three different devices within a day as standard. For example. Someone may view your website via a laptop between 9 - 5, then check your website again through their phone at lunchtime and visit once again via their tablet at home. Then consider that various models of the same devices can have different screen sizes. For your website to have a good user experience and for a visitor to keep coming back, having a responsive design is vital.
What other benefits are there?
With almost two billion websites on the world wide web, search engine giants such as Google, Bing and Yandex have created algorithms to be able to select the very best websites to rank at the top of search results. One of their criteria is that the website should be responsive. This means that a responsive web design should be an important part of any SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy, so as to acquire organic, unpaid traffic.
Does this also apply to paid traffic?
It’s not just your organic traffic that will be affected by your choice of website design. Your paid traffic through Google Ads, for example, will also be impacted. For your ads to have a higher chance at being visible, and therefore clicked on, you need to ensure that you have a high Google Quality Score. Your website can affect this is through your landing page experiences on both desktop and mobile. You can have a great desktop experience and so your ads will be shown to users on desktop devices, however, you will miss out on paid mobile traffic if you have a low mobile quality score, which of course is affected by the responsiveness of your site.
Why are mobile visitors important?
Over half of web traffic worldwide is accessed through mobile devices in 2020. According to Statista, the percentage of individuals who used a mobile or smartphone to access the internet in the EU in 2019 had increased to 73%, as opposed to 56% in 2016. In developing and emerging economies, mobile traffic is even more important as the majority of people only have access to the internet via mobile phone.
As a website forms the nucleus of a business or organization’s digital eco-system, it can’t afford to be lacking. Not only do you need to drive traffic to your website through ads and search engines, etc., once your visitor has landed they need to have a positive experience to be encouraged to stay, purchase (where desired), return and have a positive perception of your brand.
Responsive web design is undoubtedly the way forwards, but it takes specific design and development skills to achieve a great result, so if you prefer to focus on managing your business, you can outsource the design and creation of your Responsive Website to an expert technical partner.