Why does my website need a responsive design?
We live in a hyperconnected age where people are all linked together through a whole array of channels and applications. Mobile devices are the main reason for this, keeping us constantly connected wherever we go.
For brands, keeping that connection up at all times poses a great deal of challenges, having to offer uniform experiences in every possible interaction with their community. To ensure that seamlessness, it is important to take into account which mobile device the user is connecting on, which is how the responsive design concept emerged.
Photograph via Unsplash
What is responsive design?
In a nutshell, responsive design is a web design technique which guarantees that a website can be viewed properly on any device. The idea is for users to get an equally satisfactory experience when they browse the site on a desktop computer as on a tablet or smartphone.
Looking at the technique used to create a mobile website, we see that the elements on the site have to adjust in terms of size and layout to make sure they adapt to the width of each device. That way, they will always be displayed correctly and will improve the user experience.
Responsive design consists in a series of CSS3 style sheets that use media queries to turn a regular web page into a multi-platform site that is capable of adapting to every possible size.
Technically speaking, it is essential for you to work with a professional who specialises in this field to take care of the specifics and get that really responsive website you are looking for, but the first crucial step is for you to be aware that this technique exists so you can optimise your website and give users the best possible experience.
“El 100% de los usuarios de internet en el país se conecta desde su móvil, mientras que un 57% lo hace desde tablet”
Why should your website have a responsive design?
Imagine that a potential customer visits your site for the first time. That person is interested in your products and services, but they need to find out more about what you have to offer. Like so many Internet users, they are using their smartphone to browse your site, but they soon realise that they have to zoom in and out and waste time trying to view all the content because you don’t have a mobile website.
The user experience is poor and that reflects negatively on your brand reputation. If your website is obsolete, you are clearly not investing enough in innovation, leaving the user with a bad impression of your company.
Not having a responsive design not only jeopardises the user experience and the image your brand portrays – it also compromises your search engine positioning.
A responsive design also helps cut down on development times, which is a significant advantage resulting in greater agility and lower maintenance costs. The logic behind it is that using the same template for every platform calls for less investment in maintenance and development because any changes you make will apply to every version.
Another advantage we should mention is that responsive design helps avoid content duplication which could be seriously detrimental to your site’s SEO. Before responsive designs emerged, perhaps you had a mobile version so users could access your site and see the content adapted to their device, but it is important for you to know that this could put your SEO at risk because Google would penalise you for having duplicated content. A responsive design can solve this problem by displaying the same content differently depending on the device used.
Your content is also more likely to go viral because people can share it more easily, quickly and effectively.
What does Google have to say about responsive design?
It may be old news, but a lot of people still don’t know about it. Google – the biggest search engine on the net – has an algorithm that takes care of positioning the user’s search results according to a series of factors, one of which is the site’s design.
Ever since 2015, the great Mountain View giant has established that sites with a responsive design get a ‘mobile friendly’ label in search results and, therefore, will be better listed. Conversely, Google can also ‘punish’ site owners by penalising websites that fail to work properly when viewed on a mobile device or simply are not optimised for all kinds of devices. That punishment involves lowering their position in search engine results.
Not only that, but search engines such as Google and Bing find it easier to index a site’s content when there is only one URL, which is what happens with a responsive design.
Ultimately, what you need to know is that, aside from the user experience, having a responsive website is essential in this day and age to boost your visibility and get as many visitors as you can.
Content consumption on mobile devices
Numbers speak louder than words, so these figures might help to persuade you once and for all that becoming mobile friendly is the best thing that could happen to your website:
- Spain is the second country worldwide with the highest percentage of mobile users.
- 100% of Internet users in Spain connect on a mobile phone, whilst 57% use a tablet.
- 7 out of 10 Spaniards with a smartphone go online every day.
- 65% of all smartphone users have already made a purchase on their mobile phone.
- As you can see, it is crucial to have a responsive design these days, not only with the user experience in mind, but especially to keep up with the market’s demand for more mobile friendly sites. Check out the 3 top tips brought to you by 40defiebre (Spanish)to fully optimise your responsive website.
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