How much time have you spent online today? Of that time, how much of it was via a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet? If you’re like many of us, it’s a lot. While mobile usage has skyrocketed in the last few years, many small businesses have been slow to build a mobile friendly website. I’m hoping that is about to change.
Up until this year mobile friendly websites were a luxury of large brands or companies with big IT budgets. Then a little thing called responsive design arrived and it changed the mobile landscape for the average business.
Responsive web design allows website developers to best utilize the available screen real estate on desktop and mobile devices. The website adapts in layout without removing massive amounts of web content.
What was once considered a costly expenditure is now part of the standard website design project. Businesses no longer have to create two independent websites or pay to support two websites. They can develop one website that simply adapts to accommodate the smaller footprint of mobile devices.
Benefits of Using Responsive Design
- Captures more mobile traffic
- Captures higher ranking and more search traffic for local terms and phrases
- Improves overall bounce rates because it cuts down on mobile user frustration
- Avoids duplicate content that can result from managing two websites
- Increases online sales (yes people really do buy products off of mobile devices)
- Cheaper than developing separate websites for desktop and mobile usage
- Saves development time because you create only one website
- Provides a consistent user experience across devices (as opposed two multiple websites that look and act differently)
Responsive Design According to Google
Still not drinking my mobile kool-aid? Let’s take a look at some quotes directly from Google on the subject.
- “Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices and using only CSS media queries to decide the rendering on each device.”
- Responsive web design “keeps your desktop and mobile content on a single URL, which is easier for your users to interact with, share, and link to and for Google’s algorithms to assign the indexing properties to your content.”
- “Google can discover your content more efficiently as we wouldn’t need to crawl a page with the different Googlebot user agents to retrieve and index all the content.”