Beginners Guide: Responsive Web Design
If you grew up with the internet or were around a bit before it became mainstream. It might be hard to keep track of the continuing changes to website design, internet trends, apps all that good stuff. Responsive web design has become vital in the last few years since smartphones and tablets, in particular, have begun to dominate the market.
This produced a headache for website owners who had created their websites in the 90s. the early 2000s or even early this decade! These websites simply weren't designed with mobile devices in mind. Remember phones didn't use to be this smart! To combat this, web developers started designing with responsive column based design, so the website could reshape for any device. This is how the term 'responsive web design' came into being.
Why is Responsive web design so important?
Having responsive web design is recommended by Google
When as much as 80% of your potential traffic reaching your business website is mobile, catering to this audience is vital. Designing for mobile is the best practice for search engine optimisation.
If your website isn't mobile optimised for mobile, both in design & speed, then your competitors who do optimise their website will likely rank higher than you in search engine rankings, failing to design your website for SEO will make growing organic traffic near impossible outside of aggressive marketing techniques. So if you want your website to rank well and use white hat SEO, the best advice is to have a strong foundation with a fully responsive website.
It's best SEO practice
If you have separate websites for mobile & desktop then you'll need to run two campaigns, one for each. Add to this you'll have to manage two websites & have 2 websites designed and the cost & maintenance effort doubles. Simply put, it's much better if one size fits all and this doesn't necessarily compromise on quality. Depending on the web designer/developer you hire or CMS system you use - the website experience can be seamless between devices. On the flip side, a poorly designed responsive website will affect the user experience across devices (but is worth noting that will still be a vast improvement on a non optimised website.
Best practise for responsive web design is to design for mobile first in 2018 - especially for websites that cater to the general public and not B2B.
How can I tell if my website is responsive?
You can use googles mobile-friendly tool to test if your website is mobile optimised.
You don't need to look any further than these statistics for why responsive web design is vital in 2018 and beyond
- 80% of internet users own a smartphone (Smart Insights)
- Users spend on average 69% of their media time on smartphones. (Smart Insights)
- 33% of consumers start mobile research with a branded website, only 26% with a mobile app. (Smart Insights)
- 71% of marketers believe mobile marketing is core to their business.
- According to MicKinsey & Company - Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead.
- 83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important.
- CMS report says that 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.
- 70% of our client's traffic made mobile/tablet transactions on eCommerce stores