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Why Responsive Web Design Matters

Does your website design look amazing and function seamlessly across all user devices?

Hopefully, the answer is yes, because otherwise, you’ve got some work to do.

Today’s visitors expect all websites to work seamlessly across all devices, including mobile and desktop devices.

If a website doesn’t automatically adapt to a given device, visitors bounce. When visitors bounce, you get fewer conversions, which negatively impacts your revenue.

If your website doesn’t work seamlessly across all devices, you need a responsive design. Responsive web design ensures that a website’s design looks great and maintains a user-friendly interface by automatically adapting to a user’s device, whether it’s a desktop computer, a tablet, or a smartphone.

Without responsive design, a website might look great on a desktop computer, but on a smartphone, the images might be distorted, the text might be difficult to read, and other elements might be misplaced or overlap.

When a website is built with a responsive design, it looks clean and pixel-perfect across every device. For instance, on a mobile device, images are automatically resized and viewport settings can make the text larger and easy to read.

Although, text size is pretty much the only thing you can’t automatically scale without consequence. Viewport attributes (vh, vw, vmin, & vmax) break a browser’s zoom feature. Being able to zoom is an important accessibility feature, so that’s why most websites have large text even on a desktop.

Unresponsive websites make visitors bounce

Unresponsive websites make visitors bounce

If your website isn’t built responsively, you can bet many of your visitors are bouncing and going straight to your competitors’ websites.

Are you still using an older, unresponsive website design? If so, it’s time to make the switch. If you’re on the fence about building a new website, consider the following benefits of responsive web design.

1. You only need one website for all visitors

You might remember a time when a separate version of a website was needed to accommodate mobile devices. Today, the majority of people browse the internet on a mobile device and websites are expected to work on both desktop and mobile.

With responsive web design, it’s no longer necessary to have multiple versions of a website just to satisfy both desktop and mobile users. One responsive design works for all devices. This alone provides many additional benefits, including:

  • Lower maintenance costs. Web developers charge by the hour. It’s more expensive to update your website when your developer has to make the same changes to two separate websites. This can get especially expensive when you need programming changes.

With multiple sites, your maintenance bill basically doubles and the more involved your updates are, the more expensive your maintenance bills become. With responsive design, the update process is less expensive.

  • Easier selfupdates. If you perform your own updates and edits to your website, a responsive design means you’ll only be editing one site. Just like hiring a developer will be cheaper because it won’t take as long, you’ll spend less time making updates when you only have one version of your website.
  • SEO is easier. Whenever you have two separate websites, you have to perform SEO on both sites. Search engines consider subdomains to be a completely separate entity from a main website. This not only doubles the time you need to spend on SEO, but it doubles your cost as well. If you’re working with a professional SEO agency, you can expect a massive bill when you have two websites to rank.

On the other hand, responsive design ensures your SEO agency only needs to rank web pages on one website, and generate backlinks to one website. Since ranking web pages and generating backlinks are involved strategies, you’ll be thankful when you only have one website to optimize.

  • Fewer errors. It’s easy to forget about updating both versions of a website when all you need to do is make a few edits. When you forget about multiple edits over time, your desktop website might be perfect while your mobile website maintains some spelling errors or other small errors that can make your brand look bad.

With a responsive design, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to update content on a second website so you’ll have fewer errors floating around.

Responsive design has been a game changer in the website development industry and it’s quickly become a standard. You won’t find many professional developers who support multiple websites. Responsive is the way to go.

2. Excellent user experience (UX)

Excellent user experience UX

The user experience (UX) is far superior on a responsive website simply because the design, including navigational elements, resize to fit the device screen perfectly. Full-size navigation menus collapse into hamburger menus for small screens, and text resizes also.

When your website has a smooth user experience, you’re more likely to retain visitors until they at least sign up for your email list or make a purchase rather than run off to your competitor. If your site has an abundance of valuable content to offer, a smooth user experience will give them a reason to come back again.

3. Responsive design will help you generate more sales

There are countless factors that contribute to generating sales from your website, including your copy, color scheme, typography, calls to action, design, and more. Add responsive design to that list because it’s important.

A responsive design will help you generate more traffic to your site, which will help you increase sales. You’ll get more traffic for several reasons:

  • Your regular visitors will come back
  • Search engines will rank your site a little more based on your existing traffic (with an unresponsive site, traffic gradually dies off and search engines won’t rank your site as high)
  • Visitors will tell their friends and family about your site

Simply having a responsive design won’t automatically guarantee you sales, but it will establish the foundation required for increasing your sales.

4. Better SEO results

Mobile First Indexing

If you want good SEO results, you need a responsive website design. Google indirectly uses responsive design as a ranking factor under mobile-first indexing. Although responsive design is considered ideal, it’s not a requirement to rank, but it all depends on how a site is designed.

Google only has one database of indexed search results where all versions of a web page are stored. Under mobile-first indexing, whenever there are two versions of a web page, Google will favor the mobile-friendly page and that’s what will turn up in the search engines.

If your site isn’t responsive, it might still be considered mobile-friendly, but there’s no guarantee. Be cautious, however, because if Google thinks your website is bad for mobile devices, it can lead to your web pages being de-indexed.

Keep in mind that a website has to be pretty bad for Google to consider it not mobile-friendly, but you can run your site through this mobile-friendly test to make sure you’ve got the green light.

5. Responsive design makes your business scalable

Not to be confused with ‘scalable design,’ responsive design makes it easier to scale your actual business. For example, say you’re running a local print shop and you decide you want to open additional locations across the country. You’ll need a website for each new location, especially if you plan on selling franchises.

When you already have a responsive design, you can create a new copy of your website for each location and change the details. You won’t need to hire anyone to create a brand-new website design for every location, and that will help you scale your business quickly.

6. You won’t need to redesign your site for new devices

Back in the day, each time a new device hit the market, businesses needed to redesign their website to make sure it looked good on the new device. This was before responsive design was the norm and people were still creating different versions of their website for mobile and desktop. Sometimes mobile designs worked great until the next Android device shipped.

Today, it’s easy enough to program your website to adapt to virtually any screen size and orientation, so it doesn’t matter what devices hit the market next – the screens could be shaped like an elongated rectangle and responsive designs would still look good.

7. You won’t have to worry about duplicate content

Duplicate Content

The old way of building mobile websites – on a separate subdomain – creates duplicate content. Since subdomains are considered individual domains, having two different versions of your website can make Google think both sites contain duplicate content.

There are ways to tell Google your sites aren’t duplicates, but that’s just one more inconvenience you won’t have to worry about with responsive web design.

Although there isn’t an actual Google penalty for duplicate content, there can be negative consequences. For instance, Google will determine which page is better, and might favor one version over the other. Soon, one page won’t even show up in search results anymore.

Additionally, having duplicate content can prevent the rest of your website from getting indexed once your Google crawl budget has been spent.

With responsive web design, you’ll have one website for all users and you won’t even need to worry about duplicate content.

Responsive designs rank better – find out for yourself!

Websites with a responsive design tend to rank better in the SERPs, partially because they load faster, which decreases bounce rate. Page load speed is a ranking factor in Google, and it also impacts the user experience. If your web visitors bounce because your site is slow, you’ll eventually see a drop in your rankings.

While it’s true that responsive web design ranks better in the search engines, you need professional SEO services to get results. If you’re ready to start ranking your website in Google and other search engines, reach out to us to find out how we can help.

Don’t have a responsive website yet? We can start optimizing your site and connect you with our web design partners to see about getting a responsive design. Either way, our SEO services can help you generate traffic, leads, and sales. Contact us today for more information.

Ryan Nead
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