What is Responsive Web Design and Why Does Your Site Need it?

people reacting to reponsive web design

It could happen to anyone. In fact, it happened to me this morning. I saw a link on Facebook and went, oh I should check out this website. Then BAM! I found myself staring at a website that was unforgivingly non-mobile friendly. It was still early in the morning so I wasn’t thinking straight and struggled through the website trying to read the content. Hours have passed since then and I’m still thinking about that site. It’s 2019 how is it that there are still sites that don’t have a responsive design?

She’s had ENOUGH of sites that aren’t mobile responsive

We’ve covered this topic a few times before (read why your website needs to be mobile optimized and understand what responsive design for mobile is.) but there are so many factors and reasons why responsive web design is important that a third post wouldn’t hurt. Who knows, maybe by 2020 we can create a Greatest Hits list and go on tour. 


Remind Me, What is Responsive Web Design? 

For a quick refresher responsive web design (RWD) is the ability for a site to react to the size of a user’s device and adjust all content and elements to be a perfect fit. It’s like an oversized sweater for web design, it looks good on everyone. RWD makes sites easier for users to navigate, users don’t waste time resizing and scrolling, and it won’t cause them to bounce (leave your site) and run to your competitors who have a responsive website. 

Before I move on here are two cool facts about mobile users that might scare you into responsive web design.

  • There are 3.7 billion global mobile Internet users as of January 2018.
  • Mobile e-commerce will be responsible for $2.32 trillion — or about 67.2 percent — of e-commerce sales by 2021.

If these numbers aren’t intimidating enough or you want more facts, check out the full report here


Why a Website Needs Responsive Web Design 

Responsive Design is Cost-effective and Easier to Maintain

When a website has RWD there is no need to pay to maintain or build separate sites or apps for mobile devices. Let’s take a quick pause here and have a collective flashback of having to click “ View Full Desktop Version” links. By using responsive design, website owners don’t need to pay for developers to create two versions of the same site. The savings also carry into web maintenance, meaning changes and updates over time only need to be made once instead of being made across multiple sites. 

Google Favors Responsive Web Design 

It’s been an on-going trend that Google will strongly favor responsive sites in searches over sites that aren’t. Since 2015 mobile-friendly sites have been a focus in Google’s algorithms and there are a few good reasons for that. RWD is better optimized and faster than sites that aren’t and the single URL makes it easier for Google to crawl site and index. 

Less Duplicate Content and Lower Bounce Rates 

Having two URLs with the same content will cause Google to flag a website as having duplicate content issues. Even though they are two separate URLs Google will still see the content as being duplicate when it crawls a site. This will cause sites to rank much lower than RWD counterparts and potentially help competitors.
Remember how many mobile users there are? By a site not having a responsive design, it will have those users leaving in masses. This leads to an increase in a website’s bounce rate which google heavily considers when it comes to rank. 

lower rates

Adaptive to Future Devices 

Screen sizes and devices are always changing. The market for smart devices is flooded pretty much every quarter when something new is announced. Unless there suddenly becomes a set standard in screen size, having a website that can be flexible is a must. Using RWD is a good way to assure that a site will be able to handle these on-going changes and avoid the need to rebuild if a major change happens.

Is Your Website Lacking Responsive Web Design? 

If your site has been losing traffic and slipping in rankings because of responsive issues, we can help! We can find the main issues, create an action plan and get your ranking in the right direction. Contact us today for a free consultation.

If you already know what you need and are ready to go, schedule a meeting with us!