Gone are the days when having a store with a large sign out front was enough to let people know you were there. For most consumers, the internet is where they find businesses they want to buy from. That means it’s imperative for all small businesses to have a great website to attract customers.
Getting a professional website made can be a big outlay for a lot of businesses, but there are upsides. Having a correctly optimized site can help you keep your customers and boost your organic search results. Here are the top 5 reasons you need a website with responsive design:
5. Browsing and shopping via mobile devices is on the rise
According to the most recent research, over 57% of all web traffic is coming from mobile devices. That includes both on smartphones and on tablets. You can no longer rely on on your desktop site to work across multiple platforms, as screen sizes can vary widely from device to device. The best way to cater to your customers, no matter how they come to you, is to use responsive design. That gives them a tailored experience no matter what.
4. Responsive site provides a better user experience
There are multiple ways to create a mobile version of your site. The most common until recently is the “Mobile Friendly” site. It means the site will display accurately on a phone or tablet, though it will look small. This can be a frustrating experience for people with a small phone screen as they’ll lose a lot of details. The more advanced version of this is a “Mobile Optimized” website. This is a specific mobile experience that offers larger navigation buttons, reformatted content and optimized images. However, most of these sites offer to let you still view the desktop version. This is typically because the mobile version only offers a fraction of the content of the larger site. With a responsive design, it doesn't matter what size the device is, your website will display perfectly. No clicking to another site, no zooming in to click on a menu.
3. 39% of people will close your site if your images won’t load or your page is slow
We’re spoiled for choice on the internet. Not only can you buy just about anything you can think of, you can buy it from multiple places. That means if the site you’re on isn’t delivering, you have other options. For many businesses, the images on their site are everything. It shows items for sale, work they’ve done, or they keep your site from looking like something from the early 90s. It doesn’t matter if you have one image or hundreds, with a responsive design you can be sure they’ll load correctly. And that means your customer won’t click away.
2. Having multiple versions of your site is terrible for SEO
Remember earlier when we described the different kinds of mobile friendly sites. Anytime you’re on a site and you’re offered a mobile experience or a “full” or “desktop” site, it means that company is running multiple versions of their website. This means that search engines don’t know which version of your site to rank, and they typically won’t show different versions of the same content in search results. This can damage your site’s rankings and can affect the amount of organic traffic driven to your site.
1. Google recommends it
Probably the most important reason to use responsive design is because it’s the preferred method according to Google. Their algorithm now gives preference to websites that provide a good user experience. They also prefer sites that use one URL instead of multiple (which will happen when you’re running both a web and mobile version). That means if you’ve done everything on your site right, except use responsive design, you could still rank below your competitors in basic Google search.
While building a responsive website will most likely be more money out of pocket, it will create value through search and should also require less upkeep. Talk to your bookkeeper to find out if redoing your website fits in your budget.
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