You may have seen recently that there’s a bit of buzz around mobile friendly websites, and we wanted to take some time to explain what effect this has on you, and your business. Your success on the web might just depend on it.
The Background Gubbings
Mobile computing is spreading faster than any other consumer technology in history with smartphones, tablets and wireless data plans already being a trillion-dollar business.
The exponential growth of this industry has had huge ramifications in the web world and has resulted in a huge shift in how we consume information and services online. With mobile browsing currently on track to surpass desktop browsing by the end of the year, if businesses don’t adapt to current browsing trends, they run the risk of reduced online exposure, frustrating user experiences and damaged brand perception.
What is Responsive Design?
Responsive Design is an approach to web design aimed at providing an optimal user experience regardless of the device being used. Responsive sites dynamically change their layout depending on the screen size and will sometimes even hide secondary content on smaller devices to further enhance user experience.
For example, when browsing on a mobile device users tend to be on the go and will be trying to quickly look up information about a company or service like their phone number, address or a summary of what they do and therefore the site should not only adapt to the screen size, but also to the needs of the user.
Responsive sites should show a streamlined version of the desktop site when being viewed on a mobile device, displaying and emphasising only key information and removing any large images or videos likely to slow down the page load.
When a site is being viewed on a desktop computer, the user will not only have more physical space on their monitor to display more content but theoretically will also have a faster internet connection which makes it possible to download high quality media without affecting page download speeds.
Why is Responsive Design Important?
With Wi-Fi hotspots popping up all over the place and the recent introduction of 4G technology, the use of mobile devices for internet browsing is just going to continue to become more popular as mobile device capability improves.
A recent Google blog post detailed that user experience across all desktop and mobile devices has a huge impact on how a brand is perceived with nearly 70% of consumers admitting they avoid websites that aren’t mobile friendly, which highlights the potential impact on the bottom line if businesses don’t keep up with current web standards.
Responsive design is also starting to have an impact on search engine rankings. As of 21st April 2015, Google have updated their search algorithm to penalise non-responsive sites in an attempt to make it easier for users to find relevant search results that are optimised for their device.
As a result, any sites that haven’t been made responsive will start to see a steady drop in traffic as their responsive competitors are given precedence. It goes without saying that if you are able to act faster than your competitors (or other local businesses) then you should be rewarded heavily by Google.
Wrapping It All Up
Despite the fact that smartphones haven’t actually been around that long, mobile web technology is evolving at an insane rate. To put this in perspective, it was only back in 2007 when the first iPhone was unveiled and in under a decade this technology has revolutionised how we consume media and has now become almost as popular as desktops for browsing the web.
Responsive web design should now be a standard practice for all websites to maintain optimal user experience and brand perception as well as avoid losing online exposure in search engines.
Is your site mobile friendly?
We have plenty of experience in helping companies become mobile-ready and it doesn’t necessarily mean binning what you have already. If you’re interested in finding out what would be involved in converting your site, or just want to talk to us about hobnobs, feel free to get in touch using the form below, or call us on 02393 190 710.