Responsive websites might be a term you’ve heard a lot without really knowing what it means, or how it may impact on your website performance. Essentially, a responsive website dynamically adapts to the screen sizes the user is viewing it on. This ensures it looks great and the content is readable on any device, such as a mobile or tablet.
When implemented correctly a responsive design significantly boosts your users experience and Google now recommends it – more detail below. Still need convincing? We’ve put together some compelling arguments below.
1. The huge explosion in mobile browsing
The way people take in digital content has significantly evolved in recent years, which is only going to continue. As far back as 2014 experts began reporting how the usage of mobile apps and browsers was beginning to take over more traditional ways of accessing digital content.
In 2018 we’re now well passed the point where the use of mobiles was just something to consider in our marketing. Marketing your products and services to mobile users should be a key consideration of any website build or marketing strategy.
Ofcom recently reported that 87% of UK internet users do so on a smartphone, against 69% on desktops – we predict this trend is only going to continue to get wider.
2. Google recommends using a responsive design
If you only take away one thing from this blog then it should be that Google now recommends all websites should be responsive.
In the past many websites were optimised for mobile through a completely separate mobile version. Inserting some relatively simple code onto the page meant that visitors using small screens would automatically be re-directed to the mobile website. Where a responsive design is different is that you always view the same website using the same code. The layout dynamically adapts to suit the screen size it’s been viewed on.
Over the last 12 – 18 months there has been a lot of buzz around Google’s planned ‘mobile first index’. This will result in Google prioritising the way your website is presented to mobile users over any other device. This won’t necessarily mean that any websites that aren’t mobile friendly will stop ranking, but they are expected to see large ranking drops.
The official line from Google is that ‘Mobile First’ is still in testing, but it is coming and your website needs to be ready.
3. Reduce website management costs
When a separate mobile version is used you’re essentially going to have to update two different versions, which will naturally take longer and increase your costs. It can also add confusion as to which content updates have been applied where.
In addition, dedicated mobile versions will not address the recent boom in people browsing the web on a tablet. Many tablets will support a more complex layout than mobiles, a correctly implemented responsive design will react to any screen size giving your visitors a great user experience.
4. Have a website that’s ready for future digital evolutions
How many promotions have you seen recently for a new mobile device upgrade? Leading hardware manufactures now seem to be constantly evolving their products and regularly releasing new models. And in 2018, just a single device launch isn’t enough, all new phones and tablets now seem to be released in varying screen sizes and processor speeds.
Increased data speeds is also resulting in constant innovations to the way people take in digital content and your website needs to intelligently react to how your audience wants to access it. You don’t necessarily need the perfect website build that wows visitors regardless of how their viewing it, but ensuring a consistent user experience is vital to its success.
Is your website mobile friendly?
Google have created a rather helpful tool that will score your website against how mobile friendly it is. Simply input your website address and let us know your results.
If you need help with any part of your digital marketing or website development please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be delighted to listen to your ideas or concerns and provide sound advice based on proven experience.