3 Reasons Your Business Needs to Use Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design has come a long way and will soon be the standard design format for all websites. Responsive design rearranges your site to provide the optimal viewing experience based on how the user is accessing your site. That means that a mobile phone user may see a website with a layout that’s dramatically different from that of a desktop user. With more people using smartphones and tablets, you absolutely need to ensure that all your bases are covered. Even web hosting providers are including responsive templates due to the sheer demand from their customers. Here are three strong reasons why your business needs to use responsive design.
Reason #1: Up to 51.3% of All Web Visits Came from Mobile Devices
If you haven’t set up a responsive design yet, this statistic will shock you. Statcounter has found that mobile device usage has finally surpassed desktop usage. Up to 51.3% of all web visits originated from mobile devices. Of course, that doesn’t mean that half of your visitors will be comprised of mobile users. But it still means that a large chunk of them are. Even if 20% of your web visitors come from mobile devices, you are losing big by not having a web design that is optimized for this group.
And if you think that these mobile users are visiting your site just to window shop, think again. Outerbox reports that 62% of smartphone users have bought something using their phone within the last 6 months. In the eCommerce industry, around a third of all purchases during the holiday season was made on a smartphone. By not having a responsive website that’s optimized for these users, you are losing out a huge number of sales.
Having a responsive site is also important as it supports your other marketing channels. For example, Informz states that 44.7% of users check their email from mobile devices. If you’re creating an email marketing campaign, almost half of your prospects and customers will be on a mobile device. And if your website is not optimized for mobile devices, your campaign will be sure to flop. Not having a responsive design will hurt you even more if you actively run social media marketing campaigns.
Reason #2: Responsive Designs Contribute to Better Search Engine Results
Did you know that over 30% of searches on Google are made from mobile devices? How about the fact that Google displays completely different search results for mobile searches? Just because your site is ranking well in the organic search results for desktop searches doesn’t mean that it will translate to the mobile search results. Google has made being mobile friendly a search engine ranking factor. The scary part is that it is very binary. Either your site is mobile friendly or it’s not, there’s no scoring system applied if your site isn’t mobile-friendly.
Google has also recommended responsive design and a mobile-first approach. They want their webmasters go with the changing trend instead of adopting slowly. Another big benefit of setting up a responsive website is the fact that you will be using one URL as opposed to two URLs with a separate mobile site. Having one URL makes it easier for you to manage and build on your marketing and SEO campaigns. It also gets rid of many problems that come from having two different URLs (but same sites) while slashing expenses.
For example, you’ll have to create two pieces of content for each of your sites. Putting the same content on both sites will lead to one of the sites being penalized for duplicate content. In addition, you’ll have to build links for both sites which creates a huge challenge when you consider how hard it is to generate high quality backlinks these days.
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Reason #3: Responsive Web Design Leads to Higher Conversions and Happier Users
By not having a responsive web design, the odds are against you. Users that are not served an optimized viewing experience will be far more likely to abandon your site. Even if the users don’t abandon your site immediately, your site will not be presented well which will result in poor sales conversions. Even if your website is not designed to sell, you need to make sure that it’s still mobile friendly if you want to have satisfied users that come back to read your content.
Many websites and brands have actually increased their mobile conversion rates dramatically by switching over to responsive design. eConsultancy has a collection of some companies that saw a boost with the change. In the examples, Lovehoney increased their mobile conversions by an average of 80%. Bench doubled their conversion on the Magento platform. State Farm managed to hit a record breaking 56% conversion rate with the switch.
However, there are still some challenges that come with responsive web design. Loading time is still an obstacle that many websites face due to slower connections and slower performance on mobile devices. Long loading times result in users abandoning the site due to frustration. That’s why you will still have to use things like CSS, image size optimization, preloading and other solutions to solve the loading problem.
So those are three strong reasons why your business needs to use responsive web design. Many web hosting providers offer responsive templates/themes but keep in mind that you still need to put in a decent amount of work to optimize your site with these templates/themes. You may want to consider investing in a premium template/theme as they are often optimized for fast loading times, simplified navigation and cleaner layouts.