More than two years have passed since web designers, SEOs, and the web-savvy community predicted the need for a responsive website; but, until recently, not everyone got the message.
According to some, trending reports indicating that the majority of websites are using responsive designs are grossly inaccurate.
Research conducted by Guy Podjarny found that the number was actually closer to 12% of websites upon review of the top 100 sites in 2014. Is your business among the few adopting a responsive web design? If not, consider the top five goal-driven reasons to make the switch.
Receive Love from Google
Recently announced by Google, a pending change to the engine’s search algorithm will give preference to mobile-friendly sites. Although the update won’t take effect until late April 2015, it threatens to demote websites in SERP rankings if they’re not responsive. In addition to pleasing your audience, a responsive design will be shown favor by Google.
Add Visual Appeal to Your Site
Visual content outperforms text in almost every digital situation, and the forms of visual content you choose can affect a viewer’s experience of your site. Whether you’re a local art gallery, like Park West Gallery, or a local coffee shop, visual content matters. Social posts with images or video receive more likes, shares, and comments than text-only posts while on-site imagery can direct the eye to key sections of your site. For businesses with a heavy visual element, a responsive design communicates an artistic flair while keeping viewers engaged with your content.
Enhance the User Experience
Whether using a desktop or mobile device, users expect a certain level of quality when visiting websites. When critical page elements, such as menus, images, or text, are not easily accessed from a phone or tablet, a viewer’s experience of your brand is overshadowed with frustration. Transitioning to a responsive design improves a user’s experience of your site and brand while encouraging them to return.
Optimize Site Load Speed
When it comes to capturing attention (and keeping it), a site that loads quickly and completely is indispensable. On average, users wait anywhere from 6-10 seconds for a page to load before going elsewhere. Implementing a responsive design can improve page load speed on both stationary and mobile devices, increasing the chances a viewer will further engage with your site. Factors addressed in the switch to responsive sites include page weight, perceived performance, and on-page elements.
Future-Proof Your Website
When owning a brick and mortar store, staying visible might involve adding a new coat of paint to the exterior, updating signage, or repaving the parking lot. In a digital environment, your visibility is linked to the quality of your site. Until technology takes a huge leap in an entirely new direction, it’s a safe bet that mobile devices will gradually evolve but will remain a constant in society. Moving to a responsive design ensures your site is prepared to keep up with the demands of mobile devices in the future.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of your market, having a responsive website maximizes your brand’s digital reach. As the foundation of your company’s digital growth, a responsive design helps welcome new prospects, further engage existing clients, and develop a loyal online following.