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Over the past few years, one of the biggest advancements online has been the move from simple one-page websites to fully responsive or device friendly sites.
During this period, we have seen the emergence of smartphones and tablets of different sizes, as well as computer monitors and laptops with very different aspect ratios.
A responsive website is designed to adjust according to the device it is viewed on, meaning that the user always experiences it in an optimal and convenient format. Gone are the days when you had to scroll, resize and zoom-in constantly to read the information or to click a link.
With responsive design, everything is made easy because the website adapts and changes to fit your screen, regardless of the size of the screen.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important reasons to build a responsive website.
Every year we are seeing more and more people use non-desktop devices to access and browse the internet. Statistics indicate that 51% of the time people spend browsing online is done via a cellphone or tablet and that number skyrockets if you take into account the use of social media apps.
Responsive design is among Google’s top SEO 2016 ranking factors and it makes sense; search engines want to deliver users to the best websites available. The sites that scale and reshape themselves according to the user’s device and easy to scroll are much more readable, hence navigating through them is straightforward.
Statistics indicate that the average person browsing on their phone or desktop computer has a very short attention span, to the point that nearly half the time they will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.
People don’t want to be waiting, scrolling and trying to read small text on a small screen. Often you can look at your own habits online and form an opinion about most others. If you’re browsing for information and a website you visit makes it tricky to find, often you’re closing the tab before you even realise it. Having a well put together responsive website increases your chances of holding a visitor’s attention considerably.
In order to deliver high quality results to users based on what they search for, search engines are slowly starting to eliminate sites that are not responsive, or at least mobile-friendly, as they are not the highest quality result for the user. Google uses the ‘responsive’ flag to promote the sites that have been optimised for mobiles, hence penalising the websites that are not mobile friendly.
The points we’ve made up until here in some ways all add up to this fact; chances are you’re going to get more conversions if you have a website that performs well on all devices. Statistics are fairly conclusive on this point. A Google study indicates that 75% of users prefer a responsive site and 67% of users responded that they’re more likely to buy a product/service from a website that is mobile-friendly.
With their permission of course, we decided to check if the same is true of our own clients. True to form, there is a clear correlation between conversions and mobile friendliness. See below:
According to Google, 90% percent of users move across multiple devices to find information and make decisions. If your website looks outdated, your potential customers are less likely to trust you enough to buy a product/service from your site.
Apart from missing out on potential sales, a non-responsive website poses the risk of harming your company’s reputation. According to Google, 48% of users said a non-mobile friendly site gave them an impression that the company wasn’t serious about their business and 52% said a bad experience made them felt reluctant to engage with the company.
Since Google now favours the sites that are responsive, failing to have one can have a negative impact on your website’s click-through rate (CTR). Apart from the fact that responsive website will appear at the top of search engines, users will also give preference to these sites.
The effect of this over time will be less click-throughs for the website that is not responsive and more click-throughs for the websites that are.
A responsive website allows tracking phone calls and setting goals in Google Analytics. Implementing goal tracking in Google Analytics help you see how well your site is performing against your goals, gives you insight into your top performing pages and helps you develop or modify your strategy accordingly.
According to a recent study based on over thousands important ecommerce keywords, websites that are responsive dominate the top positions in Google search results. The study shows that 83% of the time, the top result a responsive website and of the top 10 results, 77% are responsive when accessing Google from a smartphone.
As more and more people are using mobile devices to find products and services and make purchases online, investing in a responsive website will encourage visitors to engage with your website and your business.
Rather than becoming the benchmark, responsive design is becoming the standard when it comes to websites, something that browsers are coming to expect. It’s inevitable that all websites in the future will be built to adapt for different sized-screens. But if you have a desktop-only website, it might be time to give some thought to an upgrade now rather than later.