Since its conception in 2011, responsive website design has proven to be the preferred choice for website developers and users throughout the world. In the four years since it was conceived, searches on mobile devices have increased dramatically. In 2015, the number of users conducting searches on mobile devices actually exceeded those on desktops. There has never been a more important time in history than now to update your website so that it is mobile-friendly.
What is Responsive Design?
A responsive website is one that adapts the size of the website to suit the display it is being viewed on. Those users searching on an I-Phone for example, will see a scaled version of the website that makes it possible for the website to be used just as easily on a mobile phone or device, as it is on a desktop. If the device is rotated from Portrait view to Landscape view, the user will see a scaled version of your website that fits perfectly to that device’s screen.
By providing an adaptive layout and utilizing the correct HTML coding, the website provides the optimum viewer experience. Users will experience a better ability to read your content, view your images and navigate through your website to find what they are looking for. No matter which type of device they are using and which orientation the device is held in, your customers will be able to traverse your website with ease.
Why Do I Need It?
Because the majority of searches are now being conducted on a mobile device, Google updated their algorithm in April 2015, favoring websites that are mobile friendly in search results. Google created a Mobile Friendly test tool, so you can instantly see if your website is mobile friendly or not. As a result of this mobile friendly update, those websites that are not mobile friendly will not display prominently in search engine results (SERPS). This will reduce the number of visitors to your website and ultimately will affect your Return On Investment. In Mobile Search results, preference is given to websites that are mobile friendly.
Can I Modify My Existing Website?
The short answer is maybe! Depending on what framework your existing website uses, it may be possible to modify your website so that it uses Responsive Design. Websites that use Word-Press may be easily modified, depending on your theme. However, it’s important to know that the fundamentals of responsive design differ to standard website design. Some designers may be able to create a very pretty website that makes you feel really excited, but this may not be effective on all screen types. Our designers specialize in making effective websites that are effective on all devices and they have many years experience in creating websites in this format. That’s the art of building responsive websites.
What’s wrong with a separate Mobile Site?
Using a separate mobile website can result in duplicate content issues which can adversely affect your rankings in search engines. Addressing duplicate content issues can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if you have a website with a large number of pages. Responsive websites overcome this issue by displaying the same content on all devices. It’s much simpler and far more cost effective.
Does Google Recommend Responsive Design?
Google is without doubt the most used Search Engine On The Planet. With the vast majority of user searches being conducted through Google’s Search Engine, it’s essential that your website meets their guidelines if you wish to be successful online. Google suggests that responsive web design is the preferred mobile device configuration. If you seek a website that conforms to industry best practice, then responsive is what Google suggest.
This is partly due to the fact that websites using responsive design have the same URL structure and the same HTML coding, regardless of the device. This makes it simpler and more cost effective for the bots to crawl, index, and arrange your content. In contrast, a separate mobile website has a different URL for each page and another set of HTML requiring Google to crawl and index more than one version of the same website.
Another reason that Google gives preference to responsive design is because the content that is hosted on one website and one URL is easier for users to share. Your users will also find it easier to interact with and link to, than content that is hosted on two or more sites. For example when a mobile customer shares an article on a mobile website with a colleague on social media such as Facebook. It is then accessed using a desktop, resulting in the user viewing a non-desktop friendly version of the page on their desktop. They will have a less than optimal experience. And your rankings will suffer, because of a wide range of reasons. But the main one is the user experience will not be as good as your competitors site which is using a responsive layout. Other search engines are quickly following Google in providing better search experiences for mobile users.
Is it easy to operate?
Yes, a responsive website is actually easier to manage, than using separate Mobile websites. This is because you only have to upload your content, text and images once! You only need one online marketing campaign and one Search Engine Optimization Campaign. And you only have to pay to build one website, not two. The days of separate mobile websites are all but over! Responsive is the simplest, easiest and most cost effective solution for all businesses, big and small.
How Long Does It Take to Build?
Most of the websites we build for our customers take 4-8 weeks to complete. However, this depends on the size of the website and how much content is required. There are a few options here. You can supply your own content and images, upload them yourself, or we can do it for you. Responsive Design does involve more work by our developers than a standard website, simply because your website has to look just as good on an I-Phone as it does on a desktop. To find out how quickly we can build a website for you, simply contact us.
How Do I Know If My Website is Mobile Friendly?
Google has a Mobile Friendly Website Test. Simply go to this page and enter your website’s URL. If it is mobile friendly, congratulations, you are on the right track!
I just spent a fortune on a new website, but it is not Responsive?
Sorry to hear that! Call us and let us know. We will take a look at your website and see if we can modify it. This can be done without cost or obligation to you. Where possible, we will provide you with a prompt quotation to adapt your existing website.
Will my Rankings Improve with a Mobile Friendly Website?
Yes! There are numerous Search Engine Optimization benefits to be found with a responsive mobile website! The links pointing to your website from other websites will be more advantageous if you are not diluting page-rank throughout your website. You will experience a reduced ‘Bounce Rate’ using a responsive website. This means that when your visitors land on your page, they will navigate through the website and not leave it to find a better experience elsewhere. Your page-load speed will be reduced. Additionally you will have minimal duplicate content issues. And you will have better social share statistics.
Increased Sales and Better Conversion Rates.
An additional benefit of responsive web-design is that users have a better experience on your site. There is no need for redirects from your main site to your mobile site. We can also use standardized CSS Style Sheets across all devices and a unified design approach that will create a consistent appearance over all devices. Consistent user experience has a positive effect on your conversion rates, as people are already familiarized with the navigation and the site. The responsive design removes some barriers that having multiple websites can present.
These are just some of the hundreds of factors that will assist your website to rank better in search engines. If your business relies on being found in Search Engines, then it’s imperative that you have a mobile-friendly website.
So, if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, or if you are using a separate mobile website, call us today to discuss the benefits of Responsive Web Design. It’s something we’ve been doing for years and we know it inside out! If your website is not mobile friendly, you are losing customers and it is costing you money.