Why Is Responsive Web Design Crucial for Your Website?
Websites are an integral part of our everyday lives. Whether we’re watching videos, listening to podcasts, browsing for clothes or ordering food, we’re interacting with a website of some sort. And, more often than not, we’re doing it on our phones.
Indeed, mobile has become so overwhelmingly popular that around 62% of all traffic comes from mobile devices. That means that, in terms of pure traffic, mobile has taken over from PCs as the number one traffic provider for websites across the globe.
Needless to say, it would be in the best interest of web designers to start creating more websites that allow easy viewing both on a mobile device, as well as on PC.
Fortunately, people have already discovered how to make that dream combination work – through responsive design. And in this article, we’ll explore why responsive design is so crucial for your website and why you should be practicing it on a regular basis.
What is Responsive Design?
But, first, let us answer what responsive design actually is.
Responsive design is a set of design practices that center around making a website adapt quickly and seamlessly to any screen size or resolution. Using this design philosophy, one can create a website that will work on both PC and a mobile device equally well.
For comparison, before this kind of design philosophy, if a website designer wanted to create a website that runs both on PC and mobile, they would have to create two website versions – one for PC and one built on a mobile framework.
This, in turn, created many challenges, such as increased operational costs or having to hire two different web design teams that have been thoroughly avoided by responsive design.
If you’re still not convinced why responsive design is lauded by website design services across the world, here are some more reasons why it makes our lives so much easier.
Better Website Performance
One of the chief benefits of responsive design is that it improves a website’s performance significantly, compared to a website that hasn’t been made with a mobile phone screen in mind.
With a website that adapts to any screen size, you’re gaining clarity, readability and decreased loading times, which is certain to appeal to your users. After all, people don’t like to be made to wait, and a website that takes five seconds to load will experience a 38% bounce rate simply because it loads too slowly.
From there, it becomes clear why responsive design is so important. If only mere seconds of loading time can have such a huge impact on visitor retention. Then this kind of design philosophy emerges at the top as the must-have for your site.
Improved User Experience
With better site performance also comes a better user experience.
User experience is the most crucial element one should pay attention to when creating a website. After all, you’re creating a site for your users, and not for yourself. Your website is the face of your venture. And, if it doesn’t perform well, it’s going to drive away your visitors in droves.
With better performance comes greater UX, but responsive design doesn’t just stop there – by being so adaptable, it makes interacting with a website that much easier and natural, no matter what device you’re using.
Essentially, it doesn’t matter if your website loads super-fast; if its elements are too small to read and interact with, if your buttons are too tiny to be pressed, people are just not going to bother trying to interact with your site at all, and will quickly move on to your competitor.
Users aren’t the only ones that hate slowpokes – Google dislikes them, too.
One of the most important elements of SEO and getting that coveted number one spot on the SERPs is website performance. Google actively hunts down and flags slow-to-load websites and intentionally pushes them down the ladder to give way to better-performing websites.
The answer to why Google does this is simple – they, too, care about the user experience on their browser, and if their users aren’t getting that satisfactory UX, they’ll leave for greener pastures as quickly as they came. You don’t want Internet Explorer to establish its dominance again, do you?
Lower Maintenance Costs
One of the great thighs of adaptive design is that it minimizes the maintenance costs of a website.
Think about it: what’s more expensive to maintain – one website, or two? Because two websites are what you’ll be maintaining if you go the traditional route.
As we said, to make a website work on mobile without using responsive design, you’ll need to create a site that’s designed specifically for mobile. This also brings up more issues: Does your current team have the capability to create a mobile-only website? Do you have the technology to do it? Etc.
In the end, responsive design proves itself superior in every way to both traditional design philosophies.
Without responsive design, smaller companies would struggle to keep up and maintain two websites – this way, they can cut costs and focus on things that matter more for the future of their venture.
Greater ROI on Social Marketing
If you’re looking to utilize social media marketing, you have to also utilize responsive design for your site.
The truth is the overwhelming majority of us use our phones to browse social media. In fact, 99% of some 4.5 million social media users use their phones to access their social media of choice.
It, then, becomes a no-brainer that responsive design is the right choice if your business has a social media presence. Since most people will follow threads from their social media to your website, you will want to accommodate them arriving on your site via their mobile phone, thus creating a consistently good user experience.
Better Link Building Opportunities
Link building is the backbone of modern SEO, and responsive design is an important vertebra in that backbone.
In order to create link building opportunities for two websites, assuming you’re going the traditional route, you’ll have to spend a lot more time and resources to secure authoritative backlinks for both of those sites.
By having only one website that works equally well on mobile and PC, the process becomes much less strenuous and will consume a lot less time, allowing you to quickly create a reputed website that will score highly on the SERPs with little effort and great consistency.
Better Online Shopping Experience
As we mentioned in the intro briefly, people like to shop using their phones. After all, it’s so convenient that we don’t even have to get up off our couches – we can just sit there, a cold one in one hand, a phone in the other, and browse and order items with ease.
Indeed, eCommerce has become such an integral part of our lives that we can’t imagine the world without it. What did we do before Amazon? Actually walked to a brick-and-mortar store? Preposterous!
Since most people use their mobile devices to shop, it stands to reason that a responsive design, an adaptable website is the right way to go for your e-store. By accommodating your users, you’re forging a reputation for professionalism, and giving yourself an opportunity to increase your earnings.
Enhanced Local Search Rankings
Here’s a thing you don’t really think about all that often when it comes to Google. Google has a design to, upon entering your query, prioritize local results in relation to your query.
This is because your devices become geotagged, and Google can identify which part of the world you are in and give you results based on your region.
This is a massive boon for local businesses. As it allows them to compete with international conglomerates in their own niche and get a slice of that pie.
That’s why many local businesses are interested in responsive web design. Moreover, it gives them a competitive advantage in their area of operation whilst also letting them cut down costs to increase their profit margins.
Better Brand Image
Finally, responsive web design is also hugely beneficial for your brand image.
Branding is all about creating a story and an atmosphere. Every design element you put into your website is carefully considered, as each has to deliver a story and create a certain feeling in a user.
If your brand has a terrible website that’s slow to load and clunky to use, then you’re telling your audience that you’re sloppy and not very professional, and we want to avoid that at all costs.
And, there you have it, some of the most compelling reasons to use responsive website design.
We hope we’ve clarified enough why this kind of design philosophy is becoming so increasingly popular. And we hope we’ve convinced you enough to try it out for your website! Good luck!
Author bioTravis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for SEO Turnover.
Why Is Responsive Web Design Crucial for Your Website?