Let’s go back to a time when creating a website was a responsibility delegated to only the savvy developers. You didn’t care how it got done, just as long as it worked properly.
Fast forward a few years from that point and that same developer is talking you into creating a mobile site. A version of your site outside of your main website dedicated to a few devices just in case someone decided to they needed to grab a bit of information on the fly.
Now join us in the present day, where mobile usage is exploding. People are constantly accessing information from devices other than desktop computers or laptops and the website you created years ago looks like junk. Users are pinching their screens, zooming in and out, scrolling wildly, clicking tiny buttons, not finding the information they need, getting frustrated (ultimately, with you!) and leaving.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s called responsive design. Responsive design is a technology in which your website changes its form depending on the each type of device out there, from a four-inch mobile screen to a 25-inch desktop monitor and everything in between. It’s easy, available to everyone, and your visitors will love you for it. And that's the point of responsive design: keeping your visitors happy.
Here are three reasons why you need a responsive site. As you read them, remember: if you don’t have a mobile site, you’re sending the opposite message to your users, visitors, customers, prospects, leads and everyone else you care about.
1. You Care About the Mobile User
Let’s get this straight. When we’re referring to the mobile user, we’re not only referring to someone using a mobile phone but everyone that is accessing your site from something other than a PC or Mac.
A responsive site is already optimized to suit all screen sizes. And, believe it or not, it’s also already optimized for future devices that haven't even been created yet! It’s wild, we know.
But by having a site that works wherever the user needs it to, you’re also sending the message that…
2. You Care About the User Experience
Your newly responsive site will be able to provide your visitors with the same positive experience regardless of the device they’re accessing it on. Why allow someone on a desktop computer to find something as simple as your address with ease but make someone on a cell phone zoom and scroll around your page in frustration?
The biggest plus side of a responsive site is that everyone is accounted for and with a little know-how you can even tailor certain pieces of information to different visitors. You can tell your site to display, not display, or reorder certain bits information to further optimize the experience for the user by speeding up load times and putting specific information front and center.
Maybe you want your phone number or contact information to be the first thing a mobile visitor sees. Done! Or maybe you want to hide that super large graphic at the top of your page to speed up load times. Done!
The moral of the story is that, if you know what information people are looking for on your site, and they ways they prefer to view it, you can use your responsive site to tailor to that visitor!
3. You’re Keeping Up With the Times
Gone are the days of having multiple URLs for specific sites that are created only for specific screen sizes or platforms. Your responsive site is the only site you will you have to worry about updating. Update your information once, and you’re done!
Having just one site, rather than several as in the recent past, will help improve your ranking in search engines. Having one URL for all visitors keeps all of your information in one place, creating less work for search-engine crawlers, ultimately driving all of your traffic to one place, leading to a higher ranking for you.
The latest and arguably the most important reason to adopt responsive design is the recent announcement by Google of their latest mobile search algorithm update. This latest change to how Google ranks the results in an organic search will give higher priority to sites that are responsive. You can read more about the update here, but what this ultimately means is that Google is protecting the users from outdated sites in order to streamline their search process and get them the information they need quickly and easily.
Does the game keep changing. Yes. You can complain about that all you like, but that doesn’t make it go away. And is Google the one that keeps changing the rules. Yes, again. But Google is doing you a favor. They’re pushing you toward the three good outcomes I’ve shared in this article—you need to cater to the rapid increase in mobile usage, to deliver a superior user experience, and to stay current with the changing times.