5 Reasons why you should have a Responsive Website

5 Laura Robson

Everybody knows that the use of mobile devices for internet browsing has been on the rise, but do you know by how much? According to Smart Insights, 51% of time spent on the internet is now on a mobile device – that’s just over half, with time spent on desktops and laptops decreasing to 42%!

Smart Insights also said that 80% of users now own a smartphone, and have the potential of visiting your website, but are you ready to give them a good enough user experience? If your website is not responsive, you could be isolating users and turning away paying customers!

What is responsive web design?

You’ve probably heard this phrase being banded about as it is becoming more and more widely spoken about. Responsive web design is the process of designing and building a website that will adapt and reflow depending on the device it is shown on.

On a mobile device, there is much less space to work with than on a desktop and displaying a desktop-sized website would require the user to zoom and scroll around looking for content – an easy way to push your users away.

When building a responsive website, it is crucial to think about which parts of the webpage are most important to the buying journey or the primary content – to create a content hierarchy. Then when viewing the webpage on a smartphone or tablet you would want to see the content re-flowed into a layout that is optimal for mobile devices.

That’s all well and good, you say. But why should you be thinking about making your website responsive – what reasons are going to make you crazy about the idea? Here are five, just to start you off…

Responsive websites are a one-stop solution

Sometimes when you load up a website on your mobile, you’ll see that you’re redirected off to a separate mobile site. Whilst this still makes the experience good for users, it means that you have two separate websites to maintain – two separate designs and often two separate sets of content. This can greatly increase the amount of time and money required to manage the sites.

It can also effect your search engine rankings, as Google sees a mobile site as a completely separate website and will count page views as such.

Search engines favour responsive sites

Google has now made two announcements that they will be favouring mobile-friendly websites in their search algorithm which will decide your search engine rankings. If your website does not display correctly on mobile devices, you might see damage to your rankings in search engines.

Future proof your website

Responsive websites have the advantage that they adapt to work on any sized device – not just a few set devices or sizes like with adaptive web design. This means that you do not have to worry about what is going to be the next big mobile device that everyone is using – your website should automatically adapt to work on it.

Better user experience means a better conversion rate

If you arrive at a website on your mobile and you can’t use the menu correctly because it is too small, and the buy button is not big enough on a product page you’re unlikely to spend any money there. Responsive websites provide excellent user experiences, and so are likely increase the conversion rate on your website.

Social media will bring you mobile visitors

Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Even email marketing? Are you big into using social media to promote your website? If so, you’ll be receiving far more mobile users than desktop or laptop users from this channel as many will be seeing your ads and profiles in apps on their smartphones or tablets, and following through to your website. Don’t put them off from converting by providing a bad user experience.

Do you know what devices your potential customers are using to visit your website? If you don’t, you should probably use a tool such use as Google Analytics to find out – you could be alienating your visitors if you do not have a responsive website.

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