Why responsive web design has become vital to your business

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Following on from our article last month on what is responsive web design? is we will examine the impact to your business website and why you really should have a mobile friendly or more importantly a ‘responsive’ website.

Google now measures your website for mobile friendliness. There is strong indication that Google will favour mobile friendly websites in their search engine results, positively effecting the SEO (search engine optimisation) of that website.

Recent changes from the Google search engine algorithms have resulted in a far more intensive focus on mobile friendly websites. It’s becoming clear that the impact your business website of not becoming mobile friendly is obviously very negative. However, to put a positive spin on it, the more progressive reasons to have a mobile website include the following:

  1. A mobile friendly search listingAs stated by Google themselves: “We are also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal”. Some are already indicating increases in their search engine rankings as a result of this.
  2. Now, when your website is listed in a Google search from a mobile device, that listing will indicate if the website is mobile friendly or not. This will likely have quite an impact on click-through rates, where people browsing on a smartphone will be far more likely to click on the listing.
  3. Mobile web usage is set to grow for some time yet. A report from We Are Social indicates that mobile, tablet and overall internet usage growth was substantial in 2014 and likely to be similar in 2015 onwards.

The arguments are pretty convincing. So, is it now clear that your business needs to have a ‘mobile friendly’ website? If so, the next question is why it should be ‘responsive’? I can hopefully answer that by simply pointing out that a ‘responsive’ website is far more cost effective in the long term.

Responsive websites adapt to numerous different screen sizes (again, see our previous article to understand this in more depth) and can more easily be adapted in the future without heavy refactoring work. This means less time intensive work needs to be done and therefore at less cost to your business. Further to this, more and more devices with different screen sizes are being launched into the market and being popularised. For example, smart televisions can now browse the web, as can Kindle reading devices. These all add extra screens and dimensions to have to cater for. A well designed responsive website will naturally adapt to most of these devices. Plus, if any work is needed to adapt to a new screen size this can more easily be done than with older methods.

So, how can you tell if your website is mobile friendly or not?

  • Well, firstly if your website was designed and built prior to 2010 and hasn’t been updated since, you will NOT have a responsive website. This technology simply wasn’t around much at the time.
  • If your website was designed prior 2013, it is unlikely you will have a mobile responsive website as the practice of creating them as standard wasn’t as prevalent as it is today.
  • If your website was designed from 2014 onwards it is very likely that your website is exhibiting responsive design, unless you paid for a very cheap website (responsive websites take more time and cost to build) or you specifically asked for a non-responsive website.
  • Finally, and most importantly, you can test your website for mobile responsiveness through a handy tool: the Google Mobile Friendly Test.

“We are also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal”

Hopefully, as explained above, the case for having responsively designed websites is very clear nowadays. You really should make sure that your business website is responsive or at least ‘mobile friendly’. In fact every website should be made responsive unless there is a specific case not to. Be sure to Contact us for a FREE quote if you have found that your website is not mobile friendly. We specialise in web and responsive design at The SeedMill. As of 2013 we have been automatically assuming that a website will need to be responsive unless we are told that there is a good reason not to.

Note: If you have read this far but have no idea what responsive design is please refer this article: What is responsive web design.

Ray Dale

Brand Strategist. Web Designer. Web Consultant. UX Designer. WordPress Specialist. Creative Director. Co-founder of The SeedMill. With 20 years of commercial experience in web and design industries, Ray is fascinated with all forms of design and business strategy, whether that is web design, video or data driven design. Having worked for small design agencies and large corporate companies, Ray has seen all sides of the web design and marketing industries. With a head full of ideas & strategies and a skillset that is rare to find, Ray is extremely passionate about helping businesses to achieve growth online through strategy and design.