By 2017, it’s projected that 58% of internet traffic will be mobile users. This means that people on their smartphones and tablets will make up more than half of all the traffic on the web. That’s why responsive website design is so important. With mobile internet users at an all-time high, if you’re not optimizing your site for tablet and smartphone users, you’re missing out on a lot of traffic.
So first, what is a responsive website design?
Responsive design means that your website will configure to any screen size, ensuring it always looks beautiful, and loads quickly. While mobile templates do exist, they function sort of like a second website, which makes them a bit of a hassle. Additionally, they don’t adjust to different screen sizes, and they often have a longer load time, which can lose you viewers in just seconds. So what you actually want instead of a mobile template, is a website that is fully mobile responsive.
But is a responsive website really worth the extra effort?
Yes. And here’s three very compelling reasons why:
- Everyone’s doing it!
While we generally frown on the whole bandwagon mentality, this is one cliff you can follow people off and come out ahead. Everyone has gone mobile. Like we mentioned earlier, over half of all web traffic is mobile, and 80% of web surfers use smartphones. If you want to increase your site traffic (we haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t), your site has to be responsive.
Like the GIF explains, people pretty much use their smartphones for two things: communication and the internet. If you don’t have a mobile responsive website, you’re losing a big percentage of those surfing the net on their phones. Websites configured for a desktop usually take up more bandwidth than a responsive site, which means the load time is going to be much longer on a phone or mobile device. The longer your load time, the faster people will bounce off your site and go to another (read: competitor).
- Google prefers sites that are mobile responsive.
Google has favored responsive sites for awhile, but following a major algorithm update, many sites not optimized for mobile devices found themselves coming up lower in search results. The fact is that Google also knows that a giant portion of its users are mobile, and it’s working to accommodate them. So logically, it will bring up results that are geared towards their users ahead of those that are not.
This is especially relevant to those focused on content marketing and ranking for organic results. Because of Google’s algorithm, it’s difficult to rank highly on SERPs if you don’t have a responsive site. When you don’t rank, you can’t get people to read your compelling content, and you’re not going to get organic clicks. Make the change to your website, and you’re likely to see a big jump in your rankings. If you want a little bit more information on the algorithm and how it affects rankings, check out this article on “mobilegeddon.”
- New phones, tablets, and other devices are released every day.
We’re even getting to the point where people can surf the web on glasses and watches. It’s hard to predict what size this new technology will be, or what their screens will look like. They might be bigger, smaller, or even a totally different shape. With a responsive site, your website will be optimized for any change that comes along. A responsive site doesn’t just mean it’s optimized for a phone screen, it means that your site can adjust to fit any screen, so your site will look beautiful no matter who’s looking at it, and on what.