• 91% of smartphone users access mobile internet daily
  • 33% of UK page views are now from mobiles / tablets
  • 70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour
  • 40% of UK users make a mobile purchase via their smartphone once a week (15% per day)

Responsive design not only creates a highly engaging user experience, the facts (above) speak for themselves when it comes to where the web revolution is heading next.

Having the right strategy for your future web presence is important and below is some ‘food for thought’ for your planning process.

1.  Responsive websites are easy to maintain

Creating multiple versions of your website (e.g. for desktop, tablet and mobile) is not only cumbersome but also costly.  A responsive website is designed to work seamlessly on all devices and when updates are required, you only update one through a single content management system (CMS).

2.  Responsive design improves your search engine optimisation (SEO)

This is another huge bonus to employing a responsive design.

You only need to optimise your site for one page link as the web address (URL) structure remains the same for all devices.  You have one URL that is easy to update, optimise AND therefore easy for the Google crawlers (the programs used to automatically discover and scan websites by following links from one webpage to another) to index your website pages.

Redesigning a current website utilising responsive best practise enables you to maintain your backlinks, focussing your SEO on a single site.  Backlinks are links that are directed towards your website and the number of backlinks is an indication of the popularity or importance of that website.

Backlinks are important for SEO because some search engines, especially Google, will give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks, and consider those websites more relevant than others in their results pages for a search query.

Therefore, when all your links are directed to one domain, it gives your site a boost in the search engine results pages (SERP’s).

A single URL also have great benefits when it comes to social media as you only need to build one set of social shares.  When the site is shared, wherever the link is viewed (mobile, tablet or desktop), all the content will be clear and easy to navigate.

However, keep in mind that a separate mobile website does have benefits – if your website features a lot of content a responsive site will become a ‘scrolling marathon’ whilst a mobile site with carefully refined mobile browsing will enhance the user experience.

There is a balance to strike and this is where a considered digital strategy will pay dividends in the long run.

3.  Responsive websites helps combat a high bounce rate

However well a website is performing in search results, if it does not work effectively for mobile and tablet users, the bounce rate and will be higher and become a performance issue.  Bounce rate is the % of visitors that open your website and then leave, directly from the homepage before spending any significant amount of time on the site.

If a mobile website offers content that is too stripped down or dissimilar from that of the desktop site the bounce rate will increase and Google will see it as a site that is not offering relevant content to users, which in turn may cause a drop in rankings. 

On the other hand, a responsive site presents all of the same content found on the desktop site but in an optimised, functional way.  You therefore don’t have to compromise the content you choose to display which ensure that visitors always receive the information they are looking for, keeping them on page.

4.  Responsive design enhances user experience

We use websites to share information.  When your site is user-friendly visitors can easily find, digest and pass on the information. 

Visitors should be able to browse a site via a mobile or tablet just as easily as they can via their desktop and that includes sending a link to colleagues. When your website is a well-designed responsive site the content will work just as well on a mobile as on a tablet and a desktop.

5.  Responsive design is loved by Google

We all know that Google is the one to impress when it comes to websites so we need to understand how to achieve that.

Not only do Google recommend responsive as the best way to target mobile users, they also favour mobile optimised sites when presenting results for searches made on a mobile device, especially for users searching for  local services.

Responsive design helps modern websites appeal to modern users; users who are increasingly likely to browse the internet using a mobile or tablet, but also still expect their desktop experience to be as smooth as ever.

Going responsive is the most effective way to make the most of mobile and tablet traffic, and to offer visitors the best possible user experience.

To see a copy of MEMO 2, please click here

Author: Marina Jones