Have you ever visited a website from your smartphone or tablet and found it’s simply a zoomed-out version of the company’s desktop website? Was the text so small it was unreadable, requiring you to continuously pinch and zoom to see anything? Did that drive you mad? That is an unresponsive, non-mobile-friendly website.
Is that the type of experience you want your customers to have on mobile devices? When visitors encounter a poor mobile experience, there’s a 61% chance they’ll leave the site and visit another one—probably your competitor’s—according to Google’s Think Insights on Mobile.
Why Should my Business Have a Responsive Website?
A responsive website adjusts to deliver a comparable experience on all devices and screen sizes. In today’s mobile world, this aspect is more important than ever. Why?
Enhanced user experience
Just as 61% of users will leave the site with a poor mobile experience, they’re 67% more likely to make a purchase with a quality experience, according to Google Think Insights on Mobile. This positive experience requires more than just sizing, though; take the customer on a purchasing journey that is easy to understand and complete, and there is a stronger likelihood of increased conversions.
Responsive design provides more than a mobile template
A mobile template site is an entirely different site than your desktop version, with a separate URL in the form of “m.yourwebsitename.com.” Having two independent websites means if you make updates to one site, you have to do them all over again on the mobile site. Sound like fun? It’s about as much fun as watching infomercials about mint coins.
Mobile sites typically contain a limited amount of pages that are shown on your desktop site. This limits the available information and requires users to view the desktop site for additional pages, leaving you right back at the initial problem of catering to mobile users.
If you’re on a tight budget, a mobile template is an option, since initially they’re less costly than responsive websites. Be aware that some mobile templates may require special updates to pass Google’s mobile-friendly test. They’re also far less efficient than responsive websites, require much more maintenance and will not automatically fit new screen sizes as mobile devices continue to develop.
Google loves responsive websites
Back in 2012, Google’s Pierre Farr shared that Google prefers responsive design over mobile templates. Today, that preference is even greater. On April 21, 2015, Google rolled out yet another algorithm update with a heavy emphasis on the need for a mobile-friendly site.
As we all know, Google is the powerhouse when it comes to search engines. In fact, it claimed 67% of the search market share in 2013, as reported by comScore. By not following Google’s guidelines, you run the risk of being down-ranked in search results. Check out “for a rundown of Google’s strict mobile-friendly qualifications.
Blogging and social media bring mobile traffic
If you write blog posts and use social media for your business, the majority of those viewers are using mobile devices—55% in fact, as comScore reports. With all the effort you put into your social presence, don’t waste the leads that come through by sacrificing mobile quality.
New mobile devices continue to develop
As anyone who has ever bought a new smartphone can attest to, within a year of purchasing there’s a bigger, better phone to take its place—the same goes for tablets. As these new devices emerge, responsive sites are ready to adapt, because they’re designed for the screen size, not the device.
It may seem cheaper not to have a responsive site, but the residual effects add up over time. The customers you lose due to frustration or lacking search results ends up costing much more than a responsive website ever would. If you’re still unsure if your website is up to search engine standards, or if you’re hungry for more mobile-friendly knowledge…