What is Responsive Website Design?
It is a design and coding development technique that results in a single website that will adapt to the type of device it is being displayed on.
A responsive website will automatically resize, adapt and reflow to deliver the best user experience for phones, tablets and desktops — all-in-one website.
Having a responsive website eliminates the need to have a separate mobile version of your website. One website for good user experience on all devices.
In the past websites have had a 'fixed' width and displayed exactly the same no matter what size screen they were viewed on. You can see how this would be a problem for small view ports such as a mobile phone. A fixed website is very hard to navigate on a small device such as mobile phone as it was designed for larger view ports like desktops and laptops, and it is not 'touch friendly'; it was designed to be use with a mouse. A 'responsive website' does not have a fixed width and will flow and adapt to the device it is being served to. In addition a 'responsive website' on a smaller device becomes 'touch friendly' while still delivering a 'mouse friendly' experience on larger devices such as desktops and laptops.
What Does Google Say About Responsive Websites?
Google states that responsive web design is its "recommended mobile friendly configuration", and further states responsive web design is the "industry best practice".Resource: Google, Building Smart Phone Optimized Websites
The world is on the go. No longer are people doing all their surfing from the desktop computer. People are on the go with their mobile phones and tablets. Research studies have revealed that mobile search is always 'ON' with 77% of mobile searches occuring at home or at work and 17% of searches occur on the go. These searches happen on mobile devices even though most of the time a desktop computer is available.
With 'speed and convenience' being the main drivers of mobile search if you don't have a responsive website that will give your site visitors an optimum experience on any device they may be using at the point of search you risk people bouncing off your site and on to another site that's more 'mobile friendly'.
In the past it was common for people to have two versions of their websites, one for the standard desktop computers and one for mobile devices. This meant that seach engines (like Google) needed to scan both versions of the same website. Things have changed. With the advent of new "responsive" coding technology it is possible to have just ONE website that will provide an optimal user friendly experience to site visitors no matter what device it is served on, whether it be a mobile phone, tablet or desktop. Responsive websites please the search engines AND they are cheaper to maintain. This is great news.
Speed & Convenience Fuel Conversions
"81% of searches are driven by 'speed and convenience'."
"Mobile search drives 'behavior in the moment'; and 55% of conversions happen within the hour of the search".Resource: Google's Think Insights and Nielsen research study on mobile search.
Has your competition moved to a mobile friendly responsive website yet? If not, you may have a competitive edge if you sieze the opportunity to go 'responsive' before they do.
Embracing the mobile movement will give you an edge over any of your competitors who are not facing the 'writing on the wall'. Moving to a new responsive website faster than your competitors do, you will give you a competitive edge. Search engines will reward you and you'll also be rewarded with more conversions.
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