In May 2015, Google confirmed what many strategists have been predicting for years – the predominance of mobile over desktop for search queries. According to Google, more searches in the United States are taking place on mobile devices rather than on desktop computers.

And because of this, Google has changed their algorithms to penalize websites that aren't at least mobile friendly.  Before you spend any more efforts on SEO or content creation, you should consider a responsive website to help increase your organic search rankings and traffic.

responsive website designIf your website is a key referral source or sales channel for your business, having a responsive website is essential to ensuring prospects can use your website effectively, no matter what type of device they are using to search for services.

Before your next website upgrade, consider if a responsive design is the right fit for your business strategy by considering what responsive design really means.

Is your website designed for mobile devices?

Here’s how to test:

  1. On your phone, go to your website.

  2. Is your website easy to read and the website doesn’t look like your full website shrunken down?

  3. If yes, your website is mobile ready.

  4. If not, you're:

    1. not maximizing how well you could be ranking in Google

    2. losing potential customers that don’t have the time for websites that aren’t mobile friendly.

 

In its most basic form, a responsive website is built to adapt to any and all screen sizes (desktop, tablet, & mobile), providing a beautiful user experience each and every time.

From a more technical perspective, it means that the same website domain, content, and syntax will respond to different viewports, such as desktop monitors, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices and their corresponding orientations, to provide the best user experience possible for each device. This is accomplished using a type of programming code called JavaScript and/or CSS3 Media Queries.

Also understand that responsive design is not the same thing as mobile website design, which is the process of creating a separate  mobile website or mobile app from your primary desktop website, with content specifically created for the mobile experience.

While this may meet a specific user interaction goal, for companies who want to deliver a consistent digital experience across platforms and devices, a responsive website will optimize a user's ability to find and engage with your content.

The process of creating a responsive website impacts both the design and development processes, as the user interface and functionality of your site will need to be able to accommodate various display sizes and formats.

More specifically, a responsive website should:

  • Optimize images for different devices and connection speeds

  • Change navigational position from vertical or horizontal to account for how people hold a mobile device

  • Restyle links and buttons to be more touch friendly

  • Ensure elements like video, photos, graphics, or tables resize to fit the screen

  • Dynamically resize fonts to be optimized for different screen sizes and resolutions

  • Provide retina versions of high-resolution graphics, making the images easier to view on Apple devices with the highest resolutions and pixel densities

  • There are additional, more tangible benefits of developing a single responsive website that you should consider when planning your next website enhancement:

  • It can be cost efficient. Since you are only paying for the development of one responsive website, rather than multiple site versions or an app, you may save on the cost of production and ongoing hosting and maintenance.

  • It can improve your search engine optimization (SEO). With a single URL for all devices, search engines can more easily find, index, and rank your content.

  •  It streamlines updates, saving you time and effort. With separate mobile and desktop websites, any updates to content will need to be made in multiple platforms. Updates to a properly designed responsive site, on the other hand, will only require a single update.

Developing a responsive website requires an advanced skill set that not all web developers have acquired or mastered. As the content of your website continues to evolve and grow, you will need to rely upon a website design team with the skill to continually enhance and optimize your user experience.

If you decide to move forward with a responsive design, which we highly recommend,  a website design company with proven experience in developing responsively designed websites as a standard best practice will be the best partner for your next website project. Contact us or give us a call, we have affordable website design options tailored to the small business budget.