Mobile-responsive design is a phrase used to describe a website’s ability to adapt to the device it is being viewed from. Designing a website to be responsive ensures that its structure, images, and content create a pleasant experience for users whether they are visiting the site from a desktop, a tablet, or a smartphone.
So why should your website be optimized for mobile devices?
Here are 5 reasons your site NEEDS to be mobile responsive in 2017:
1. Mobile User Volume
In the summer of 2015, Google announced that its monthly number of mobile searches had officially surpassed its number of desktop searches. The official statement from Google executives was that…
…more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.
With Google accounting for 67% of all internet searches worldwide, it’s a safe bet that the majority of internet searches take place on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
2. Easier Management
If you have ever used the internet from a mobile device, there is a good chance you have come across sites that give you the option to view them in “Desktop” mode. While in theory, this practice may have been beneficial for some time, it should be obvious that managing separate websites which cater to different viewing platforms is more time consuming and arguably more expensive.
Having two separate websites means that everything must be done twice! This includes site maintenance, content updates, SEO, and any marketing campaigns you may choose to implement. Having a single site with a mobile-responsive design caters to ALL visitors, regardless of platform, without requiring additional resources and unnecessary expenses.
3. Better Engagement
Research suggests that users who have a satisfying mobile experience on a company’s website are more likely to return to that website from a desktop computer. When your website is optimized for mobile users, it creates a digital environment of consistency and functionality which equates to greater trust and better engagement from your visitors.
4. Reduced Bounce Rates
When smartphone and tablet users land on a page that is not optimized for mobile viewing, they will almost always be required to squint their eyes, zoom in to read content, and use their fingers to move left/right in addition to up/down.
Furthermore, dropdown menus will often load off screen when clicked, making the experience very frustrating. This is a recipe for bad user experience, and will most likely result in that visitor bouncing from (or leaving) your website.
5. More Conversions
Websites that are not optimized for mobile viewing convert fewer visitors into actual buyers. Navigation bars or menus can be a nightmare, call to action buttons are often difficult to see, contact forms are small, and links are hard to click.
Responsive websites have simple and intuitive navigation menus, clear call to action buttons, prominent links, and contact forms that are easier to fill out.
Essentially, mobile friendly sites allow users to quickly find what they are looking for, make a purchase, or inquire further.
But be careful! If your mobile site is cluttered with too many pop-up modals, ads, or call to action functions, it can create too much of a “salesy” feeling, leaving many users uncomfortable, annoyed, and more likely to leave your site.
6. Google Favors Responsive Sites
In April of 2015, Google algorithms developed the ability to distinguish between mobile-responsive sites and desktop sites that were not optimized for mobile. For the first time ever, a website’s “mobile friendliness” has now become a factor that can affect its search engine rankings.
Existing websites that are not optimized for mobile will start to experience a steady decline in Google’s rankings, while new websites will have a harder time climbing the rankings if they are not mobile friendly.
If you plan on having an engaging website in 2017 that caters to the majority of the online population, is intuitive to use, is easily found on search engines, and ultimately generates more business, then you will need it to be a responsive one.