Read THIS if You Need More Information About Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Web Design.

Whether you know nothing at all about responsive design, or if you’re on the fence as to whether it’s right for your website, this article will help you understand its significance and decide if it’s time to upgrade.

First things first...

Definition of Responsive Web Design:

Responsive design is a form of web design built to adapt to the type of device used by the person viewing the website. If a user is viewing a website on a smartphone, tablet, or other small device, the web page will scale and adapt to fit the size of the device screen in order to display the images and content in a way that makes sense and provides a quality user experience.

How to Test For Responsive Design:

It’s simple. If you’re on a desktop computer, pull in the corner of the Internet browser window. If you notice the design changes to adapt to fit in the smaller window, then it’s responsive. If you make the window smaller and the design stays the same and you get scroll bars on the side and bottom, then it isn’t responsive.

Why does all of this matter? ... Here are the facts:

Fact #1: Over Half of Internet Searches Take Place on a Mobile Device.

It’s no surprise more and more people are browsing the web on their smartphones and tablets. More people are on-the-go and Wi-Fi is more readily available in the places they visit. In addition, smartphones and unlimited cellular data plans are less expensive, causing people to forego in-home internet service packages and desktop computers.

In fact, in May 2015, Google announced more searches take place on mobile devices than on desktop. 

What does this mean for you? ... It means an increasing number of your target audience will view your website on a small device. For that reason, it’s crucial your website is able to adapt and serve the needs of your users, regardless of what they use to view your content.

Fact #2: Search Engines Favor Responsive Sites Over Non-Responsive Websites.

Google introduced mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor for search engines on April 21, 2015. Since then, several studies have been done on the effect of this algorithm change. In short, mobile-friendly websites WIN in search engines (and the trend is growing).

According to a study conducted by MoovWeb on “1,000 important e-commerce keywords in a range of industries,” the importance of mobile-friendly websites is clear:

- 83% of the #1 search results are mobile-friendly.

- 81% of the top 3 search results are mobile-friendly.

- 77% of search results on page one are mobile-friendly.

(Facts via Search Engine Land. See the full study at MoovWeb). 

It's clear non mobile-friendly websites are dropping out of mobile search results at an increasingly fast rate. If you're worried about your SEO (search engine optimization), it's crucial to make your website responsive!

Fact #3: Some Industries are More Mobile-Friendly Than Others.

It’s no surprise there’s a higher rate of adoption for mobile-friendly websites in large metropolitan areas and in industries with higher levels of competition. In order to see where you stand, here’s some tips:

View Your Traffic Breakdown:

When deciding, it’s helpful to look at your Google Analytics data to see the percentage of people viewing your site on a mobile device versus traditional browser. This helps you realize the importance of upgrading or gives you peace of mind to hold off until your budget allows.

Check Your Competition:

Take note of your competition and whether their websites are responsive. If they are, it’s time to get the ball moving on yours! Keep in mind, web development projects often take several months depending on the workload of the company. To stay ahead of the competition, upgrade as soon as possible!

Fact #4: Responsive Design Ensures a Quality User Experience.

Responsive, mobile-friendly websites provide a better user experience for the people visiting your website. Users are able to easily view your site without needing to pinch the screen and squint to view your content, or worse, have trouble clicking your tiny links.

Why is this important? Because your website is a marketing tool and it’s crucial to optimize it. By providing a quality user experience on all devices, you’re on the right track to keep your visitors satisfied and coming back for more, an over-arching SEO and marketing objective.

Fact #5: Responsive Design is No Longer an After-Thought.

Web developers and designers are increasingly considering the mobile browsing experience over traditional web-based browsing in the initial web design stage. Since people expect the web to function as it does on a smartphone or tablet (with collapsible menus and navigation, touch-friendly design, and fast loading speeds), it has forced developers into thinking mobile-first when it comes to web design and development.

Bottom Line:

If you’re considering a brand new website, be sure to work with a web development company that practices mobile-first web design philosophy. Why? Because there is no way technology will go backwards and revert back to more desktop traffic than mobile, it will only continue to grow.

If you’re having a hard time deciding if or when to make the upgrade to responsive design, contact the team at Webfitters for more information. We’d love to provide honest, straight-forward advice to help you make the right decision, whether you work with us or another web development company.

Thanks for reading!

Connect with @WebfittersTeam on Twitter or Facebook.