With more & more people heading towards mobile devices for the internet surfing, it has become imperative for the online retailers to come up with the websites that work flawlessly across diverse platforms. After progressive enhancement in 2012, responsive web design is firmly established as one of the top website design trends. It is considered the best way to develop a website, which mobile users love to browse and navigate. 2013 has been called ‘The Year Of Responsive Web Design’. Many sources even recommend responsive technique as a cost-efficient alternative to the mobile applications.
Responsive Web Design Approach
Responsive web design is an ideal way to design & code a site such that it offers an optimum viewing experience, convenient navigation and readability with minimum resizing, scrolling & panning across various devices. While developing a responsive website, you need to ensure that distinct navigational elements of your site like screen-layouts, images, text, UI components and audio/video players adapt themselves to the different devices. Thus, you do not need to spend extra money and time in developing & maintaining separate site versions for desktop and mobile.
How Responsive Website Is More Beneficial Than Desktop & Mobile Sites!
There is still a serious debate, which surrounds the issue that whether to develop a responsive site or separates sites for distinct screen-sizes. However, from the SEO perspectives, responsive design is the better choice. Mobile and desktop sites have separate URLs, whereas responsive websites have a single URL, which makes it easier for search engines to crawl & index the content. The below-discussed points will surely help you clarify your doubts regarding responsive websites.
Extremely Flexible: Since responsive design is used to create fluid-based sites, the content flows freely across various screen resolutions & devices. Like liquid, which spreads out to enable its content to precisely fill the allotted space as well as retain its appearance, fluidity of responsive design achieves the similar results with the site content on every screen.
Optimal User Experience: Responsive design emphasizes on designing for the end user, where user experience remains the first priority. Hence, the fact that Google is encouraging the developers to embrace Responsive Web Design is quite evident. A responsive website appeals to the modern users, who browse the internet using their smart phones and tablets. Going responsive is undoubtedly the best way to attract the mobile users and offer them pleasing navigation experience.
Cost-effective: It is beneficial to have a website which conforms to the needs of several devices as compared to developing two separate sites. A single responsive website requires less time, money and efforts for development & maintenance than two separate websites for desktop & mobile devices.
Google Recommends : Google refers responsive web design as the best industry practice for building websites. This is due to the reason that responsive site has one URL and a single set of HTML code, regardless of the device. This makes it simpler for the search engines to index, crawl and organize the content. Also, it is easier to share single URL and the content on one website than the content on multiple sites.
Ease Of Manage: Running one SEO campaign for a single site is far easier than running separate SEO campaigns for the two sites. Thus, managing one website requires less efforts. This is another key benefit of using responsive web design.
Enhanced Mobile Usage: With swiftly growing usage of smart phones, it has become essential for the website owners to take care of the mobile users. However, some businesses have still not opted for the responsive technology. The following stats may inspire those site owners:
Over 20% of the Google searches are done on the mobile devices
In 2012, more than half of all the local searches were made on the mobile device
In the United States, around 25% of the online users access the internet through their mobile phones
Nearly 26% of all the emails are opened on smart phones are around 10% are opened on the tablets
Increased Conversion Rates: Mobile users hardly return to your website, if it does not appear perfectly on their smart phones. This reduces the number of visitors to your site and further decreases the chances of conversion. Even the social media has gone mobile. So there is no point in sharing the content on social sites, if it is not compatible with different mobile devices. A responsive website helps expand your customer reach by engaging mobile users as well and therefore leads to improved conversions.
Stand Ahead Of Competitors: As per the study, around 85% of the adults say that a mobile site should be as good as a desktop site. If you are not using responsive design for your website, you are likely to lose out on potential customers. In order to stand ahead of your competitors, you should take care of both mobile and desktop users.
One Site With Single URL: From the SEO point of view, the main challenge in having a separate site for mobile is that you need to build it entirely from the scratch. Also, it does not rank well in the popular search engines because it is canonicalized to its desktop counterparts. Whereas, creating a responsive website allows you to maintain the backlinks, which are directed to the single domain, resulting in augmented search engine ranking of your site.
Reduce Bounce Rate: Bounce rate can be a big issue, if your website is not effective enough in alluring the mobile as well as tablet users. If the content offered on the mobile site is not similar to the content offered on the desktop site, Google will assume that your website is not providing relevant content to the users. A responsive site is an ultimate solution as it ensures that the same content is displayed everywhere in the best manner.
Consolidate Reporting & Analytics: With a responsive website, you no longer need to track conversion paths, user journeys, redirections and funnels between your websites. Various analytics tools such as Google Analytics are optimized to tackle multiple devices & responsive reporting.
Prepare For Future: The internet world is going mobile. It has been estimated that over 5 billion people will be using mobile phones by 2017. These are the figures and numbers that cannot be ignored. If you are still not convinced that a website web with responsive design is essential for your online business, you will certainly agree in the coming years.
Thus, responsive design enables you to keep up with the latest market trends. As the demand for mobile internet is burgeoning, you need to address several implications like website development & maintenance costs, visibility in the search engines and conversion rates. These factors when combined with a unified approach produce a design which is advantageous for all the stakeholders. With the rapidly growing use of smart phones and tablets, responsive web design is a key to reach the maximum potential customers and stay out of the crowd.