According to a research study, the time spent by users on mobile phones has increased by seven minutes taking the total to 3 hours 15 minutes per day in 2017. This means adopting responsive web design (RWD) isn’t optional anymore but a mandatory requirement. Furthermore, if you want your site to be visible in the search results, RWD is a must as a website’s mobile viewing experience is factored in the SEO algorithm of Google which makes it even more significant.
As per different reports, every month mobile usage is on the rise adding customers who would view your site from mobile devices. This indicates, if the visitor’s experience of viewing and interacting with your site is not satisfactory, they won’t be favoring your brand extending an advantage to the competitors.
It is true that millions of people still use computers to browse the internet, but the fact that usage of smartphones is on the rise can’t be ignored. Statistics predict that as market penetration efforts continues to grow, access of internet through the smartphone will proportionately increase. This inevitably means that if a site does not have responsive web design (RWD), it will drive the potential customers and visitors away, due to poor experience. Simultaneously, if your web design is responsive, it comes with myriad benefits opening new doors for your business. Here are the reasons why your site has to be responsive in design and the benefits it would accrue if you make it one.
Fosters Trust Factor
According to a study conducted by Tyton Media, 94% of the people surveyed, opined that web design is the main factor for which they mistrusted or rejected a website. If the design is inconvenient or outdated, the users may feel that the business lacks the deployment of the latest tools and technologies to deliver the best of experiences to its customers. This may create a lack of trust in the product or the service, the business offers. Thus creating a simple, easy-to-use and responsive design may help visitors to infer that the company uses contemporary technologies and techniques and cares about its customers.
Boosts Engagement and Search Ranking
As access to smartphones is on the rise, a non-responsive website would increase the bounce rate adversely affecting search engine rankings. Lower bounce rate and a higher user engagement would help in gaining higher ranks in the search pages.
Site engagement is one of the important criteria for Google’s search algorithm and more the engagement, the more the chances of higher ranking on search engines. Thus, if you are not making your design responsive, you would lose a hefty amount of traffic as the search engine would lower the ranking of your site owing to high bounce rate and lower engagement rates.
On the contrary, if the design is responsive and visitors spend more time on your website lowering the bounce rate, it would rank high on search pages increasing traffic and conversion rates.
Boosts Social Media Engagement
Responsive website design can boost content sharing on multiple devices and interfaces by making it easier as most of the popular social media have phone apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. With a responsively designed site, it is easier to share content and links with friends on social media increasing engagement irrespective of the device used. This would boost social media following simultaneously increasing website traffic. Research studies show that 62% of the businesses having mobile phone responsive designs increased their sales and 64% of the businesses which designed the sites for tablets reported an increase in sales.
Enhances Video Viewing
Videos are increasingly viewed and preferred by the users, and they invariably surge the user engagement and helps in boosting the brand loyalty. If the design of the site is not responsive to the changing sizes of the browsers, users won’t be able to watch videos on different devices. The videos on your websites have to be responsive too, as the smartphones allow the videos to be viewed on a full screen when phones are turned horizontally.
No doubt, there are numerous benefits for a responsively designed website, but there are several elements to take into consideration as well. The best practice is to think like a user and assess what attracts you to the site and what repels you away. Find out ways that would make browsing and viewing easier and optimize every element of the site to enhance engagement levels with improvement in user experience and traffic.
If RWD has numerous business advantages, it has its challenges too. Adjusting paragraphs of texts for different sizes of browsers may be comparatively easy, but it’s difficult to adjust large data tables. Adjusting images with smaller screen sizes may also pose problems. Converting a non-responsive website to a responsive site may also appear to be challenging and cumbersome. Let’s look at the ways these challenges can be overcome.
How to cope with the challenges?
Adopt fluid layouts so that the page is scaled according to the browser and users can view all information by scrolling up and down. Adoptable columns can also be used in the fluid layouts of the websites so that the information is vertically stacked and assumes the proportion of the screens, it’s viewed on. The font size of the text also needs to be adjusted, and it should be readable too. The images are of high importance, and they should adjust accordingly when the screen size gets smaller or bigger.
Images should be scaled, and too big and oversized images may deter the load speed of a site and make scrolling difficult. Care should be taken in making the embedded videos responsive so that they can be viewed on all devices. The buttons also need to be large enough to be maneuvered by fingers and tapping. The CTA buttons should be large enough and can be easily tapped by the thumb, which will help increase conversion rates.
While these components of the site are necessary, they are not exhaustive and paying attention to them for higher usability would help users to navigate quickly. Increased responsivity would inevitably ease navigation, surge engagement and help in building trust and loyalty. Higher engagement levels would propel search engine rankings and in turn, will increase traffic stimulating conversion rates. As the trend suggests, responsive web design can no longer be an option but a necessity to stay relevant in the digital marketing eco space.
- If the visitor’s experience of viewing and interacting with your site is not satisfactory, they won’t be favoring your brand extending an advantage to the competitors
- As access to smartphones is on the rise, a non-responsive website would increase the bounce rate adversely affecting search engine rankings.
- As the trend suggests, responsive web design can no longer be an option but a necessity to stay relevant in the digital marketing eco space.