The growth of mobile platforms over the last decade has been unprecedented. Desktop computers have been relegated from being the most popular way of accessing the web, to the powerful machines that we carry in our pockets. Businesses with outdated websites and un-optimised layouts are failing to capitalize on the single biggest market, but perhaps worry that building two separate websites – for desktop and mobile – isn’t cost effective. Responsive design fixes this issue.
But what is Responsive Design exactly?
A single website layout that adapts to the size of the screen it’s being displayed on. This allows for a clean and consistent layout that adjusts across a variety of platforms, rather than having to be rebuilt like the times of old. While elements of the page are rearranged and adapted, the essence of its design and visual language remain intact and familiar, enriching the user experience as your customer becomes accustomed to your website’s layout, look and feel.
Responsive design – rather than being an alternative way of building a website – has become a web development standard, with major conglomerates like Google behind it. This has made it a major factor in search engine optimisation.
“Mobilegeddon” – a coined term that derives from algorithmic changes Google made to search in 2015 – made responsive sites a universal standard by pushing them up the search rankings and replacing those that did not fit Googles criteria. As the term implies, these changes made huge dents in website discoverability, leaving unprepared organisations with as much as 10% of their web traffic lost, with some outliers such as HubPages.com losing as much as 22% of their traffic after this application.
Google is championing Responsive Design, making adapting this standard practice essential for achieving higher search rankings and improving brand discoverability. It also helps in effectively marketing your brand to new and existing customers.
One of the greatest elements of a strong content marketing strategy is a solid social media presence. Sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are great for sharing your brand and creating a conversation, but ensuring that your website works on every possible device – mobile, tablet and desktop – is crucial for the marketing strategy to be effective. 60% of social media engagement is said to be on mobile, and with 90% of millennials owning one capable of avid social media browsing, responsive design becomes far too important to ignore.
Responsive design is a great solution to a relatively new problem. Business websites are no longer about merely providing users with information, but rather providing an experience that sees-to-fit within a brands ecosystem. Logo’s, iconography, and even typography create a consistency that customers are familiar with, and websites are just an extension of that brand’s social presence. This consistency needs extend into the digital, thus making responsive design no longer just a trend, but an inevitable necessity.
Falling behind the responsive line? Keep up and contact us!
Author: Ryan Southall