Today, more than 17% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. There is every indication that the number of people using mobile devices for internet access will keep growing exponentially. The rising demand of mobile usage has made it necessary for every business to have a flexible and more fluid site that renders effectively on a majority of devices, irrespective of their screen size.
Users are accessing the Web from a plethora of devices such as smartphones, tablets, notebooks, laptops and desktops. Mobile users have made it very clear they want websites to deliver an extremely satisfying UX on their devices. If your website is not optimized for these mobile devices, you’re probably losing leads and even customers.
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and the need to create mobile friendly websites led to the emergence of a new web design approach called responsive web design or RWD for short.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design, is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience – easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning and scrolling across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors).
Travel Oregon is a good example of how responsive design changes to fit the screen:
The Statistics Do Not Lie
A study undertaken by Aberdeen Group reports websites can achieve 10.9% more conversion rates if they sport responsive design, while non-responsive websites achieve only a 2.7% increase.
How RWD can Boost Your Site Traffic?
Here are the main reasons why responsive web design can get you more visitors and why failing to implement it can harm your business:
- Provides Enhanced Browsing Experience
If a smartphone-user accesses your site and finds it isn’t mobile optimized, chances are he will leave your site and may never return as his usability experience with the site hasn’t been satisfactory. Apart from providing bad browsing experience, a regular website takes too long to load on mobile devices. To provide better user experience, it is vital that your site loads faster on each and every device that is used to access it.
Mobile environments require simpler navigation, focused content and fast page loads. In responsive design, page elements reshuffle as the screen size grows or shrinks. A three-column desktop design may reshuffle to two columns for a tablet and a single column for a smartphone. Responsive design relies on proportion-based grids to rearrange content and design elements, thereby helping your site visitors to navigate through your website easily. It also helps load your site faster than a regular website on a user’s mobile device.
Responsive architecture delivers a superior browsing experience by offering a consistent look and feel on all devices – be it a smartphone, tablet, netbook or e-reader and also regardless of the operating system being used. Providing an exceptional user experience on all devices will help attract more visitors to your site.
- Your Site Looks Current
Research shows you only have a few seconds to grab visitors’ attention and if your website looks old and outdated, chances are visitors will abandon your site. So, it is important that your website remains current with the latest design trends and that your business is getting the most out of the new technological advancements that are available. By using RWD for your site, you are actually taking steps to increase its freshness and visual appeal.
The other major benefit of RWD is that it essentially makes your website “future-friendly” i.e. your website will be optimized for screen sizes and devices that haven’t even been released yet; this ensures you don’t lose potential customers who will be using the latest devices to access the web.
- Offers Optimized Marketing
The main goal of any business is to reach as many consumers as possible in its target market. With RWD, you can reach consumers using any Internet-enabled device. This will help you reach a large number of visitors and attract more potential customers.
- You Cater to Mobile Platforms
Many of your visitors are using a mobile device or tablet of some type to access your website. A responsive design will automatically adjust your site to the type of device and screen size being used. But if your site is unresponsive, your content and images won’t be optimized for smaller screens, making them extremely uncomfortable to read or view.
This will prevent your site from capturing the attention of potential visitors using mobile platforms as every user wants a comfortable browsing experience from a website. Inability to deliver such an experience means your websites will lose visitors.
- Improves Organic Visibility
To gain traction, it’s necessary that external search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing find your website easily.
However, amongst all search engines, Google leads the pack with around 67% of search market share. Since much of your website traffic comes from Google, marketers, web designers and developers need to take Google policies into account, if their aim is to rank high on this giant search platform.
Here is one of the three configurations Google supports and which it says is its ‘recommended configuration’:
“Sites that use responsive web design, i.e. sites that serve all devices on the same set of URLs, with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices and using just CSS to change how the page is rendered on the device.”
This shows if you want to rank better in SERPs of Google, you need to have a responsive site for your business.
Google prefers responsive sites because these have one URL and the same HTML, regardless of device, which makes it easier and more efficient for Google spiders to crawl and index. Thus, incorporating a responsive design for your site is a great way to rank high in search results and bring more traffic to your site.
- Helps Gain Competitive Edge
If responsive designed websites aren’t commonly used in your industry, it can be a great opportunity for you to distinguish yourself from your competitors. By making your site responsive, you can attract the visitors that are leaving your competitors’ sites and turn them into your customers.
As the number of people using smartphones to access the Web grows, a business’s consumer base can also grow through the use of responsive web design. A company that fails to incorporate responsive web design for its website faces a huge reduction in site traffic and potential sales.
The above mentioned reasons clearly prove the need for businesses to offer a seamless web experience to their visitors across numerous devices if they want to boost business growth.
Author Bio: John Siebert is the President and CEO of Tranquil Blue – A Tampa Website Design Company that focuses on all kind of website design, mobile app development and search engine marketing.