The world we live in today has already moved from desktop as the main search tool to mobile search. Consumers are now addicted to their tablets, iPads and mobile phones. As such, responsive web design has ceased to be innovative and turned into a requirement.
Web has changed drastically over the last year. The top of that list is the moment mobile web searches worldwide exceeded the volume of desktop searches. According to research, there are now twice as many people using smartphones as those using desktop computers among the people who only access the internet on a single device.
Neither of the above developments came by surprise; we’ve been leading to this from 2014 when mobile search exceeded desktop search in the USA. It is therefore surprising to find small business owners in 2017 that haven’t taken to improving their mobile accessibility and visibility. As high as 60 percent of websites had still not embraced responsive design by the end of 2016.
This is a major cause for concern given the disadvantage that such businesses are at, particularly those targeting local search traffic. Google’s top priority is to service their users’ needs. You can therefore expect that, no matter how good a desktop site you have, Google will not be leading its users to a non-optimized site when they’re searching on mobile.
If you’re an SEO expert that still doesn’t understand the importance of responsive design, there’s simply no salvation for you. These are some benefits of responsive design.
- Improving user experience
Users will not stick around on a site that is difficult for them to navigate. Google weighs session duration as an indication of the value of a site for a user query. Through responsive web design, you can make it easy for site visitors to read and navigate your site. This results in overall improvement in user experience, which translates to longer site durations.
High usability scores means that your visitors will return more often and are likely to convert. Google is all about satisfying user queries, and users coming to your website repeatedly will prove your worth and have you ranking higher and attracting even more users.
Mobile responsive web design is pivotal for good mobile customer experience. Therefore, the importance of usability cannot be overstated. Digital marketing agencies must take every step to ensure consumer expectations are fulfilled because this is the biggest driver of conversions. As you get more traffic and good reviews, you’ll have an increase in branded searches and all of these can contribute to better rankings on SERPs.
Online businesses must work hard to map out their mobile consumers’ journeys and ensure that their needs are met at every turn.
- Faster loading speeds
Page loading speeds are a well-known ranking factor. Every website must be optimized to load within the shortest time in order to increase chances of ranking well within search results. In fact, loading times that exceed 2 seconds can lead to more than 40 percent of consumers to abandon a website.
Google has been consistent in stating that sites which load fast will have more favorable search results. Responsive design ensures that only the most important elements are loaded depending on the size of the device the consumer is searching with. Speed is more important on mobile devices than desktops because users are often on the move and have little time to wait for slow-loading sites.
- Lower bounce rates
Bounce rates are higher depending on the user experience. If users come to your page from search results and they are unable to easily and quickly find what they need, they will bounce back to search results. This is interpreted badly by Google, that your site does not fulfill user requirements for that particular query. You can then lose you ranking position. The result of this negative vibe is that you’ll have less visitors coming to your site.
Having a well-designed website that is easily navigable can keep users on your site longer, which is where responsive web design comes in handy. You can have stellar content, but this will be of no use if users cannot read it quickly and easily.
Such is the importance of responsive design.