A website lacking a responsive design approach is one that may wind up costing you more in the long term; from greater redesign expenses to lost business opportunities. If you want to maximise your website’s potential to reach an audience, responsive design will give you a major boost.
At its core, a website built using responsive design principles will automatically scale and re-arrange its visual design elements to best present your content no matter what device a web visitor is using. It allows your content to appear consistently, in a user-friendly manner, while keeping your site presentation true to your brand. It also saves your website visitors time, cutting out any need for them to do extra work in order to view your site.
In an era where technology use starts from before you can walk, digital devices with multiple screen types has exploded, and internet access has become a human right - there are a multitude of benefits to ensuring your website uses responsive design.
Lower development and maintenance costs.
In the short term, using responsive design will mean that you only need to develop a single, flexible core template for your website, rather than creating separate, rigid instances for every device you want to target. Long term, any re-brand or other major website overhaul will benefit from only having a single place to update.
Additionally, websites that utilise responsive design can save a significant amount of time. Changes can be made to site quickly and easily, without requiring complicated mirroring of your content or the need to test over multiple devices every time you make a standard update.
Faster page load times.
In today’s global marketplace, there is almost always another website offering a similar product or service. Your visitors can click away to a competitor at the first sign of frustration. While the amount of time a user will wait for a page to load will vary depending on their needs, aiming for page loads of under three seconds is a decent goal. A well-designed responsive website will make this goal much more achievable. Pairing your responsive design with modern performance techniques such as responsive image display and caching will go a long way to removing potential obstacles between a mobile user and your website content.
It’s not just your web visitors who will benefit directly from these reduced load times. Pages that are slow to load will negatively impact your site’s rank in search engine results, as this is factored into their overall score. So keeping things swift is in your best interests, too!
Accurate analytics and user data.
Analytics are an essential method for monitoring your website’s success, but it becomes increasingly difficult to measure its performance when merging results across a variety of versions of your site. We have even come across websites where different device-specific versions were monitored using totally separate sets of analytics tools!
Responsive design puts an end to almost any reason for maintaining two or more device-specific versions of your website, keep tracking user journeys and conversion rates across your entire site straightforward and simple.
Improved search engine optimisation.
Quality, quick-to-load content will go a long way towards improving your search engine rank, and responsive web design will give that content an even greater boost. Google has confirmed that mobile-friendly websites score more highly in their ranking algorithms, and in fact Google’s automated search crawlers (the processes that index your website in their database) now primarily focus on the content they encounter when hitting the version of your website that is served up to mobile users.
This isn’t the only benefit that responsive design offers for your ranking on search engines like Google. We have already looked at how avoiding duplication of content saves you time and money, but it also avoids penalties to your search rank. Significant duplication of content across pages belonging to the same domain will negatively impact your page rank. This is due to crackdowns on spam websites, which try to game search engine rankings with fraudulent content containing excessive repetitions of key words.
And search engine optimisation aside, your own website search functions will be far less useful to your users if your site if full of duplicated content!
Responsive design is here to stay.
Avoid the headaches of duplicated content, complicated analytics and search engine smackdowns. A responsive website will ultimately deliver you good value for both your money and your time. If you are considering converting your website to a responsive design, get in touch with us today, and we can help you take the next step.