Imagine if, with one design decision, you could make your website adaptable to any future mobile device, any screen size, and any laptop. Instead of scrambling to create a new design, you’d already be on the leading edge, ready to satisfy users on every device. This is the power of responsive web design.
Consumers use a variety of devices to reach different goals, and responsiveness allows you to cater to them. It’s no surprise that Mashable labeled 2013 the ‘Year of Responsive Web Design’—and one year later, it’s clear that responsive is here to stay.
Here are some fast facts for you:
- 90% of people use multiple screens sequentially
- 66% of smartphone and tablet users are frustrated with page load times
- 3 out of 4 mobile searches trigger follow-up actions (i.e. continued research, making a purchase, visiting a store, visiting a retailer’s website, calling a business, sharing information)
What does all of this mean? Product managers need to go responsive to be ready for their consumers in 2014.
People use different devices for different goals, and to satisfy your users, your content should work well across various devices. Your content needs to adapt to different screen sizes across smartphones, tablets, laptops, and any other type of mobile device.
Responsive web design allows your website to adjust and perform optimally for whichever device accesses it. This new type of web design became a necessity as mobile usage increased—and it’s becoming more and more crucial every day.
Here are 10 ways responsive web design separates you from the competition:
1. Enhanced UX (User Experience)
With responsive, your content works with any screen size. When one user shares your content on their mobile phone, another user can seamlessly open it on a tablet, laptop, etc. Users can view the same content across all platforms. Compare this to a native mobile app, which displays different content and doesn’t provide the same user experience. It also forces users to access the website on a different platform or URL.
Responsive websites allow for easy reading and navigation, with the hassle of constantly resizing, panning, and scrolling. As a result, users are much more likely to share content with friends.
2. Mobile vs. Desktop
What percentage of your website traffic is from mobile devices? Forty percent? Fifty? Whatever the percentage, it’s likely a large chunk of your overall website traffic. And if you aren’t using responsive web design, that large chunk of users is getting a below-average experience from your website. With responsive, you can cater to these users and win them over from your competition.
3. Quicker loading time
Even if your site takes only a few extra seconds to load, users will click away and go to your competition. But with responsive, your website will load fast and you’ll keep users engaged with your content. You’ll provide a great first impression to users on every device and platform.
4. Boost your SEO
Google LOVES Responsive—in fact, Google itself actually recommends it! If visibility in search engines is an important part of your business strategy (and it almost always is), then responsive design is essential for you. Because responsive sites use only one URL and one set of pages, it is simpler for Google to crawl and index your content—so you can maintain your backlinks and authority. Compare this to a mobile app, which exists in a closed environment and can’t be indexed by search engines.
5. Generate and Convert Leads
You can boost your SEO through responsive web design, and this helps you generate more traffic from potential users to your website. But how can you get those users to stick around and check out your products and services? When your site is responsive, users are less likely to leave. They get the content they’re looking for, and stay on the page (and this further increases your search rankings). Responsive helps you generate more qualified traffic, and increases your chances of converting them into users.
6. Simplified Analytics
One advantage of having a single responsive site is the ability to control and administer analytics tools from one place. You’ll be able to easily track important trends on your site like user journeys and redirections from one dashboard with a tool like Google Analytics, and make agile adjustments to your site, saving time and money.
7. Save time and money on mobile development
Generally, it takes less time to create a responsive design than to create an additional stand-alone mobile site or native app. You can deploy your responsive site faster than an app or mobile site, for a fraction of the cost. And when it comes to testing, you won’t have to spend loads of money testing across multiple websites and devices—which means lower support and maintenance overhead.
8. Keep your website relevant over the long-term
Do you want longevity for your website? Responsive design is the way to go. It’s the best way to make sure your website works great on all platforms — even those that don’t exist yet. While your competitors’ websites struggle to keep up with new mobile device trends and screen sizes, your website performance will be optimized for the long term. When you build responsive, you’re prepared for the future.
9. Easier to maintain
Need to make a change? With responsiveness, you can make changes from one centralized place. You don’t have to waste time contacting multiple vendors and developers—less ongoing maintenance is required. Imagine how easy it will be when you only have to update one platform through your content management system! This will save you tons of time in the long run and help you avoid the headaches of working on multiple versions of your site.
10. Users won’t miss out on content (they want the same website experience)
Responsive design fluidly changes in relation to screen size. Across different devices, the same content is provided, just in a different size. This benefits you because you don’t have to duplicate content across different screen types, and your users don’t miss out on any of your great content.
With responsive design, you’ll stay ahead of the trend and gain an edge over your competition. You’ll boost your search rankings, and convert more of those leads. You’ll also save costs on maintenance, and your website will be easier to maintain.
Mobile is taking over, and responsive design is the best way for you to cater to mobile users.
Do you have a responsive website? Are you thinking of creating one? Want to find out how we can help you build a great responsive website? Shoot us an email at [email protected] and let us know!
Want more great tips on responsive web design? Check out our recent Slideshare on the topic here or subscribe below for bi-monthly updates!