What is responsive design?
Responsive design is a fluid layout that adapts to accommodate the device it is being viewed on. This is achieved through a series of CSS3 media queries. This website is responsive; try adjusting the browser width and watch how the various elements collapse to fit the new size. With the number of devices growing all the time, the need to adapt to these changes is vital.
Here are 11 very good reasons why you should go responsive in 2013:
1.Recommended By Google
With 67 percent search market share, when Google speaks, search marketers listen. Google states that responsive web design is its recommended mobile configuration, and even goes so far as to refer to responsive web design as the industry best practice.
This is because responsive design sites have one URL and the same HTML, regardless of device, which makes it easier and more efficient for Google to crawl, index, and organize content. Contrast this with a separate mobile site which has a different URL and different HTML than its desktop counterpart, requiring Google to crawl and index multiple versions of the same site.
Additionally, Google prefers responsive web design because content that lives on one website and one URL is much easier for users to share, interact with, and link to than content that lives on a separate mobile site.
Take for example a mobile user who shares content from a mobile site with a friend on Facebook who then accesses that content using a desktop, which results in that user viewing a stripped down mobile site on their desktop. This creates a less than optimal user-experience, and because of the large emphasis Google is now placing on user-experience as a ranking factor, this is essential to take into account with regards to SEO.
2.One Website, Many Devices
One of the most appealing aspects of responsive web design is that a responsive website can provide a great user-experience across many devices and screen sizes. This is an important characteristic, since it is impossible to anticipate all the devices and screen sizes searchers will use to access your site. A site that works well regardless of these variables will provide a better and more consistent user-experience than a separate mobile site that is designed for a specific device and screen size.
Let’s take the following example. Someone searches for a product on their smartphone during a lunch break at work. They find a site that has the product they’re looking for, and decide to continue researching this product on the same site when they get home. Except, when they get home, they will use their desktop instead of their smartphone.
If the site in this example is responsive, this person will have a positive user-experience when transitioning from mobile to desktop because they will view the same site on their desktop as they did on their smartphone. On the other hand, if the site is a dedicated mobile site, this person will become frustrated with the fact that they have to locate the desktop version of the site, and find the product all over again.
3.Easier to Manage
Having a separate desktop and mobile site requires having separate SEO campaigns. Managing one site and one SEO campaign is far easier than managing two sites and two SEO campaigns. This is a key advantage a responsive website has over a separate mobile site.
That being said, there are benefits to having a mobile-specific SEO strategy, such as optimizing for keywords that are more likely to be searched when someone is on their smartphone.
For example, someone performing a mobile search for a local restaurant may be more inclined to use the word 'nearby' in their search query. However, a separate mobile site is not a requirement for a mobile SEO strategy, and there's no reason why mobile-specific keywords can't be incorporated into a responsive design site as well.
With there being just one code to change and one lot of content, developers no longer need to frustratingly carry out changes across all of the site versions.
5. Future Proof
New devices are being developed all the time. Building responsively means you no longer need to consider creating a brand new site for another device when it comes on to the market. Businesses who decided to go responsive 18 months ago couldn’t have predicted the introduction of the iPad Mini, yet their websites were built in such a way that easily accommodated the new display when it did come along. Building the foundations for the future now will serve you well in years to come.
6. No need for APP Development
Apps can be difficult to build and maintain, not to mention expensive. With apps only being 'discoverable' through app stores, their visibility is also greatly reduced. With responsive design, you no longer need to build a separate app alongside your site.
7. No Zooming
Viewing a desktop website on a mobile can prove tricky. Buttons are fiddly to click on and text is unreadable unless enlarged. With a responsive site you no longer need to constantly zoom in and out to view text or images. Buttons and links are the correct size and all text is readable.
8. Flexible Imagery
If you are viewing a website on a mobile device that was primarily created for desktop, images will be the wrong size and will not display correctly. This can be a major drawback, particularly in eCommerce where product images are key. With responsive sites, images scale accordingly depending on the device they are on. No more cropped images or incorrect sizes; just beautiful, full-resolution graphics on display at all times.
9. Better use of analytics and reports
Having one site means you can track user journeys much easier and collate reports. Google Analytics is now optimised to work across multiple devices.
10.Improved Conversion Rates
Conversion rates will improve as a result of going responsive. At the start of 2013 we created a responsive site for one of our clients, Robert Phan. Stats taken year on year from 2nd to 22nd April revealed some staggering results; on non-mobile devices and tablets, revenue increased by 192%, transactions increased by 101.54% and conversion rate increased by 35.81%. For mobile, there was an 870.55% increase in revenue, a 636.35% increase in transactions and an overall conversion rate increase of 85.76%.
11. Money Saving
Investing in a responsive site may seem expensive initially, but in the long run you will be saving money on constantly maintaining the main site and its subsidiaries.
Responsive web design is recommended by Google, it allows one website to provide a great user-experience across many devices and screen sizes, and it also makes managing your SEO strategy easier. For these reasons, responsive web design is the best option for your mobile SEO strategy.
Leave a Comment
Yeah! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic!^^