Back in the late 2000’s when responsive web design was picking up speed, a lot of website owners weren’t ready to take the plunge in creating an all-new responsive website. After all, most people at that point were only looking at web pages on a computer or tablet, and most web design could tolerate those platforms.
Then, in 2015, Google changed the rules. The company introduced a major change in its search engine algorithms. These changes made a websites’ mobile responsiveness a key factor in the search engines organic results ranking.
To put it simply, Google told the world that a website needs to be easily seen on a smartphone to get the best rankings.
Still Not Convinced?
If you are still reluctant to make a move to responsive website design, here are some compelling reasons to make the change.
1. Google accounts for over 5.7 billion searches conducted on the web daily.
2. Just a few years ago, over 60% of searches were done on a mobile device, and that number has only gone up from there.
3. The number of smartphone users worldwide is estimated at over 2.5 Billion and will increase to over 2.8 Billion by 2020 according to Statista.com. And, no, that’s not a typo, the numbers really are in the BILLIONS now.
4. Responsive design ensures that all users will have the best experience on your website, no matter what device they are using.
5. The consistent experience will increase lead generation and conversions.
6. It increases your reach to customers and clients.
7. All of your analytics and tracking can be reported in one place.
What is Responsive Web Design (RWD)?
Once upon a time, to be mobile-friendly, you have to have a separate mobile-friendly website built. This extra site would be accessible when your regular site recognized the user was viewing from a mobile device and transferred that user to the mobile version. Remember for a while mobile sites had a separate address that usually began with m dot (m.)?
Fortunately, responsive web design has become even simpler. Newer coding in content management system platforms will now allow you to create a single site that literally “responds” to the size of the user’s device, readjusting the layout accordingly.
Now that we’ve convinced you that responsive website design is an integral part of your marketing (at least we hope we have), it’s time to get started.
Find out Where You Stand – Take the Google Mobile-Friendly Test
If you think it’s possible your current website is already mobile-friendly, there is a quick and easy way to find out. Simply go to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test page at https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly and input your website address.
This quick and easy evaluation will let you know if you are on the right road to a fully responsive website.
So, What Makes a Good Responsive Website?
Fortunately, and especially, since that change to search algorithms, it has become easier to create a website that can be viewed on any device the view chooses. In fact, many content management design sites even let you edit your layouts individually so you can control how they look on computers, tablets, and smartphones.
If you are working with a more custom platform that doesn’t make it as convenient to preview your layout, here are some tips to follow for making a good responsive webpage.
1. Make sure the text is legible without requiring the viewer to zoom in. This means restricting fancy fonts to headers and titles and leaving the body text a clear and simple sans serif font.
2. Leave enough space to accommodate tap targets. If you have multiple links spaced too close together, you risk making it more difficult for users to successfully select the link they want. This difficulty could lead to frustration on the user’s part and cause them to leave your site before a conversion is made.
3. Avoid making the user scroll horizontally.
4. Avoid using Flash.
Need Inspiration as You Begin to Implement this Change?
Just like with any other creative project, it doesn’t hurt to do some research. Start by taking a look at other websites you know you like the look of. Next, bring up those sites on various devices to see how they look.
Do you like the way the pages adjust to the different sized screens? Is there anything you would do differently?
Once you’ve found some inspiration, you’ll have a direction to take. If you are doing this yourself for your small business, be patient. It may take a little bit of time to get each layout exactly the way you want it to be for optimal viewing and interaction.
Then, after you’ve finished your first go around, try to get feedback from other users. Take into account any complaints or suggestions, then implement them.
Once you have a perfect responsive website ready, try to incorporate basic on-page SEO for better rankings and visibility on the search engines. You can use any of the paid or free SEO audit tools to run a complete site audit.
A site audit report will list out all the discrepancies in your website – meta issues, duplicate content, html issues, slow loading pages, broken links etc. Fix these up and you’re on your way to climbing the search engine ranking ladder.
Smartphones are here to Stay – Make Sure You Are Capitalizing on this Important Resource
As we stated earlier, the number of smartphone users are now well into the BILLIONS. More and more website visitors are using their smartphones to access your products and information. Many of these are doing their internet searches and online purchases almost exclusively on their mobile devices which is a seen as a major game changing search trend.
Make sure you, and not your competitors, are being seen by them. Begin your transition to a responsive website design today.
Author Bio –
Sameer Panjwani is the Founder & CEO of Mondovo.com, an online marketing toolset that helps you track your rankings, monitor your site stats, and research your competitors.
A man of many talents, Sameer is currently on a mission to help 1 million businesses grow organically through his products and services.
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