Responsive web design has become the norm now. Gone are the days where it’s a question, it’s now a given we take for granted.
You don’t need me to tell you that mobile browsing has taken an exponential increase in the past few years. It’s obvious when you consider how often you browse the web with your mobile device. Compare that with how often you browse the web from your desktop PC.
Notice a trend? Maybe, you realise how often you use your mobile devices to access sites in comparison to your PC or laptop.
Thing is, sites are no longer confined to your desktop – they’ve grown legs, and a steadfast determination to become mobile and widely more accessible to a broader user-base.
Is your site responsive?
Not too sure if your site is responsive? Find out here: ami.responsivedesign.is.
Happy with the results?
Why should I consider responsive design?
Since it’s the nature of code-bases and user experience to improve with time, it’s the webmaster’s responsibility (that’s you!) to make sure they keep their site updated and maintained. As well as current with the latest trends.
One of these trends is mobile-ready sites that have been designed and developed responsively to adapt to varying viewport sizes, for any mobile device ranging from smartphones to tablets, as well as laptop and desktop resolutions.
Some advantages to consider…
Ok, so if you’re still not convinced you may want to refer to some of the obvious advantages listed below:
- Your site is accessible to any user, on any device, at any time
- Augmented user experience (legible text, touch-friendly elements, no need to zoom in or out)
- You have one site URL (no mobile sub-domain) and one code base to consider and maintain
What we’ve learned
We have a broad client base, servicing various businesses and industries globally. Statistics gathered and analysed through Google Analytics demonstrate the same demand for mobile accessibility. We see significantly higher bounce rates from users using mobile devices to browse unresponsive sites. Not really a surprise is it?
In one case, a client of ours approached us looking to increase conversions. Considering statistics gathered through Google Analytics, it was evident that this site was seeing enough traffic, but less than 10% of this traffic was converting.
So where are all the potential conversions being lost?
There were many contributing factors to this, one of which was the volume of traffic this site was receiving from visitors utilising mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.
We suggested a responsive site redesign as a working solution to this.
Forms were made more user-friendly with larger input fields, font-sizes where increased for legibility, and buttons sizes increased for a wider touch-surface, layouts were updated to adapt to shifting screen sizes and contact numbers were altered to a call-to-action a user could click/tap on to dial the number directly from their phone. Just a couple of techniques applied to improve overall user experience and responsiveness.
After some time, enough analytics data could be compiled to represent a significant increase in conversions.
Other factors improved too:
- Sessions : + 41.06%
- Bounce Rate : – 5.48%
- Avg time on site : + 28.34%
- Goal Completions : + 60.7
I already have a mobile version of my site, it doesn’t need to be responsive…
The problem with this is that you are now essentially maintaining two code bases. Meaning that if you have anything updated on the primary site, the same updates will need to be considered and applied to the mobile version of the site, every time.
This is not an effective method to manage site content and we’ve seen instances where these mobile sites become disregarded. In some cases, almost forgotten!
It also raises a couple of concerns for SEO and ranking factors if you haven’t got your redirects tied up properly. For example, bulk redirecting visitors to a mobile version of the site from any URL may lead to faulty redirects where the user doesn’t end up where they expect. This usually leads to increased bounce rates – Google warns against this.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that “if your site isn’t responsive, it won’t get indexed by Google” – that would be absurd and frankly, quite ludicrous.
Yet, it can definitely improve your site’s identity, in the eyes of Google, if your bounce rates are dropping and session are increasing as a direct result.
If you’re still undecided – consider your competitors. Do they have a responsive site? Yes? Then you’d probably want to jump on that bandwagon. If not, then you’ll have a significant advantage over your competitors with a site that can engage more users.
Here are some other tools to help you gauge how responsive your site currently is, or needs to be…
- www.responsinator.com – demonstrates how your site appears on various common mobile devices (smartphone and tablets)
- www.studiopress.com/responsive – demonstrates how your site appears on various common viewport sizes (ranging from 240px – 1024px)