Responsive Websites: How does your website look on your phone?
There are important reasons to make sure that your website presents a well formatted and easy to use version of itself to visitors using phones and tablets; among them:
- It is easier for website visitors to use a website that is formatted for the size of the screen they are using. The easier it is to use, the more likely they are to stay on your site, contact your business and/or purchase your product or services.
- Nearly 40% of visits to websites now are taking place on phones and tablets. This number will only rise.
- In mobile search results (ie. people searching on their phone), Google will demote sites that are not mobile friendly.
The way the world views the internet has changed, and there is no going back.
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People are no longer just sitting at a desk and looking at their computer as they check your products or read your blog. They are on busses, in cafés, lying on the sofa, etc.; and they are checking out your business on their phone or tablet.
The easiest website to view on a mobile device, and the one that will keep visitors there the longest and ideally encourage them to contact your business or make a transaction, is one that is responsive; that is it adapts to fit the screen of of the user: be that phone, tablet or desktop. Having a responsive website is now crucial for today’s businesses.
Earlier this year reports came out that showed that 30% of website visitors are using mobile devices1, we can verify this by looking at the statistics of client sites with which we work. On average over 10 sites we find that desktop visitors account for 66% of traffic, tablets 10%, and phones come in at 23%. The percentage of visitors using phones actually ranges from 16 – 50%, depending on the site.2
Need a hand with your website? Contact us – we can help turn your website into an online lead generator.
What is a responsive website?
A site that is responsive take all of your content: from your copy to your images, sliders and forms; and seamlessly resizes it to fit the screen it is being viewed on, while also making the menus more mobile friendly.
The obvious benefit here is to the user, as the site is easier and more enjoyable to navigate than the full web version is when viewed on the small screen of a smartphone.
This concept can be taken further to actually modify the presentation to offer content that is most relevant to the visitor on the device that they are using. For example: large images that will lose meaning when reduced to mobile size can be turned off or replaced with ones that are more effective at the particular screen size, contact and location information can enhanced and tied in with a phones technology (so phone numbers and map become clickable, launching the phone mapping or call service), and in general the site can be streamlined to the mobile visitor.
Before responsive design was possible, site owners did have the option to provide a mobile version of their site. This wasn’t without its problems however, as it sometimes meant paying for, maintaining, and updating two separate versions of the same site.
If your website predates mobile internet browsing, it probably won’t be responsive. If it isn’t responsive, it is probably hurting your business.
Why your website needs to be responsive
In truth, it would be fair to say that responsive websites are now the norm. When responsiveness is implemented well, the average user most likely won’t even think about it. Only when a website isn’t responsive will the user wonder why. They will also, most likely, not want to interact with it. If they coming to a site via a mobile search on their phone, and the text is small and hard to read, it’s only 2 clicks to go back and view another site.
The number of Google searches made on mobile devices is on course to top those made on computers, while social networks like Facebook and Twitter have massive mobile audiences too. If you’re putting in the hard work to create great content on your site and sharing it on social networks, or have been busy improving your SEO, any traffic brought in from mobile devices is likely to bounce straight off again if your site is not responsive.
This is a big problem if we consider that people aren’t just browsing on their mobile devices; they’re also buying.
Giving potential customers a positive experience is the best way to get them to buy your product. If your website is outdated, slow to load, and hard to navigate, they will likely go elsewhere.
Non-mobile friendly websites can negatively impact your mobile search results
Google has stated that in mobile search results – ie. when users are searching for websites on their phones – non mobile friendly websites will be demoted in these listings4
Responsive websites are the future
While we don’t know what the next major evolution in consumer technology will bring, as long as we have smartphones and tablets, responsive websites are by their very nature future proof.
The percentage of web browsing being done on mobile devices is only going to continue growing too, so making sure your site is responsive now so you don’t get left behind is crucial to the success of your business.
2. Average percentages of mobile visitors to websites over 10 sites.
3. Mobile versions of sites
These days most websites are built responsively by default, and if you check our work, you’ll have to scroll quite far back to find one that is not.
Try Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to see how well your website works on phones.