How’s Your Responsiveness? The Importance of Responsive Web Design

85% of web crawlers prefer a seamless experience across all devices or platforms. There’s a term for this kind of seamless experience. Responsive Design.

Sure, you might have heard the term “responsive web design” before, but do you know what it actually means, or just how important it is when it comes to SEO and other digital marketing factors?

It’s pretty important, especially considering that Google has recently changed their indexing methods to gear them towards mobile-first techniques.

So, how’s your responsiveness? Take a look at the following guide to learn more about what responsive web design is and make sense of how your website stacks up.

The Importance of Responsive Web Design

Understanding the Basics of Responsive Web Design

If your website features a responsive design, then it means that it’s going to respond to whatever kind of device that a user is viewing it from. 

Simply put, this kind of web design technique ensures that when someone views your website on their smartphone, that it adjusts immediately so it’s visible in the same way that it is on a desktop or tablet.

Usually, this involves creating different versions of the same website. You might also have to reduce the kind of content you feature on certain pages. 

Oftentimes, visual-rich content doesn’t load as well on a smartphone as it might on a desktop. Therefore, you have to adapt the design to fit the device and the size of the screen.

Right now, the major focus of the responsive design movement is on mobile. This is due to the fact that mobile traffic is going to increase by 700% by the end of 2021.

More people are viewing websites on their phones, and this changes how designers need to design them.

Therefore, businesses in recent years have been looking for ways to ensure that mobile users and those using various sized devices can adequately view their content.

They’re now designing websites that respond to a user’s browser settings and device.

Search engines love to rank websites higher if they load fast and correctly. So, responsive design benefits you as the business owners of a website in more ways than one.

Why is Responsive Design Important?

As mentioned, responsive design is a pretty crucial part of SEO rankings. However, there’s more to this development upgrade than meets the eye. 

As a business owner, you should definitely be thinking about investing in responsive web design, and here’s why.

Responsive Websites are Easier to Change

While it’s a good idea to have a quality web designer on your team, sometimes small businesses don’t have the budget for that.

If that’s the case, then responsive design is really going to help you out, as these kinds of sites are easier to edit and manage.

Instead of having to speak with your designer each time you want to make a small edit, you can just do it yourself. That saves time, money, and a whole lot of hassle on both ends.

Responsive websites are more flexible if they’re built on the right kind of framework.

This means that, even though it might take a little more work in the beginning, it will be well worth it in the end when you’re easily able to enter and make changes yourself. 

As a small business owner or individual, this is priceless when it comes to budgeting time and money.

Responsive Design Can Save You Money

Before responsiveness became a thing, businesses were scrambling to create multiple websites to fit different browsers and devices. That’s a pretty costly endeavor.

Imagine how much your web design costs are now. Then, multiply that by about two or three to cover the costs of creating a few more websites just for mobile devices and tablets.

This is what makes responsive design so cost-effective. You only have to pay for one website and manage that one site.

Responsiveness Equals Greater User Experience

Your users are your most important asset when it comes to web design. The website is, after all, a place specifically where they meet your business online for the first time.

So, you’re going to want to pay a lot of attention to the kind of experience you offer visitors who arrive on your website. 

Not only should the site possess outstanding design techniques and present clear, concise information, but it should also load fast and be easy to read and navigate.

This is all a part of responsive design, and modern-day internet users know the difference. In fact, 57% of them say that they wouldn’t recommend a business to a friend if it had a poorly designed mobile website.

When you invest in responsive CSS design, you’re investing in a better experience for your visitors. This is because the pages are going to load fast, and they’re going to load properly. 

If someone visits your website on their tablet at work, and then shows the same page to a friend later on their phone, the website should load just the same.

This is going to ensure a great user experience, which is going to increase your brand’s reputation for quality.

Responsiveness is Good for SEO

Let’s not forget that user experience is good for SEO too. When users have a great experience on your website, search engines are more likely to rank the site higher. It’s also an important component of paid ads to keep in mind.

However, the most important aspect of SEO and responsiveness is the fact that Google recently changed their crawl preferences to prefer a mobile-friendly website.

On July 1st, 2019, Google officially switched over to their mobile-first indexing, which really set the stage for coming changes in the future.

Now, web designers are either going to have to prioritize mobile websites, or focus on responsive design.

So, next time you speak with your web designer, you’re going to want to discuss these kinds of changes, especially if you care a lot about SEO rankings.

Components of a Responsive Design

As mentioned above, responsive websites are more flexible as long as they’re built on the right kind of framework. In the web design world, they refer to this as a flexible grid foundation.

This means that instead of building a website on a rigid “grid” that doesn’t adapt and respond to various design factors, designers build it on a flexible grid.

This grid adapts to fit certain devices and alters elements such as columns, boxes, spacing, and images accordingly.

Images are a huge part of this kind of design, as they’re one of the main elements of a website that don’t load properly if the site isn’t responsive.

To ensure that your site is responsive, you’re going to want to pay special attention to the flexibility of your images.

This is not only crucial when it comes to user experience, but it’s a big part of your site’s loading speed too, and that’s one thing that really frustrates visitors.

According to the Search Engine Journal, you might only have up to one second for your site to load properly before someone gets frustrated and leaves the page.

So, make sure you not only size your images properly, but make them flexible as well. This is especially important if your website is image-heavy.

One option to increase the responsiveness of your site in this regard is to use CSS responsive tools to crop your images to fit on smaller screens, rather than resizing them for each device.

On top of this, you’ll also want to make sure you or your web designer are paying attention to media queries. This CSS feature allows your website to adapt to various screen sizes and fit various media types.

Responsive Design Techniques

To employ responsive design techniques on your own, you’ll want to adopt a content-focused and mobile-first design methodology. This means that you’re designing a website with the mobile version in mind first.

While you’re still going to need to make a few adjustments down the road, this kind of design is going to look better across any device than other types of web designs might.

It’s important to note that if you’re using a website builder like Wix to build your website, or have downloaded a paid WordPress theme, they often come with the option to edit various different sites. 

This means that you can view the desktop, mobile, and tablet versions of your site, and make changes to each one. You should take advantage of these functions as they’re easy to manage and even easier to publish.

Try to look for a theme that’s vertical in nature and doesn’t feature a lot of horizontal scrolling options or menus. Mobile-first websites a vertical and linear, and often feature one single column of content.

This looks just as great on a desktop browser as it does on a mobile phone, and it’s going to be a lot easier to adapt when it comes time to alter some design elements.

This also plays to the preferences of modern-day internet users. Most people prefer a clean, minimalist look. Avoid including lots of bulky, colorful, distracting objects on your site.

Not only will this help increase your visitor’s focus and direct their attention to what you really want them to focus on, but it will also help when it comes to responsiveness.

What to Consider in Your Site’s Responsiveness

When it comes to responsiveness, you’re going to want to consider taking a look at your website’s:

– Loading speed

– Image size and flexibility

– Framework

– Adaptability to different devices

This is a condensed list, but the point is that it really is that simple to ensure that your site is responsive. 

The second point is that if you focus on all of these factors then you’re going to save time, money, and a lot of hassle in the long run.

Start by speaking with a web designer who knows all about responsive web design. Make sure that understand what you’re looking for in terms of flexibility and aesthetic design.

Once they’ve created a responsive website for you, you’ll be able to easily edit the content and make changes that will echo throughout all versions of your site.

Make sure you’re monitoring the loading speed of your website from time to time and ensuring that all pages load properly across various devices.

Reduce the number of images on your site if you need to or at least resize them for flexibility.

If this sounds like too much for you, or if you don’t have the budget to carry out all of this right now, then you can just focus on mobile-first design.

This will help you target the large majority of web traffic your site receives until you’re able to create a fully responsive website.

Ensuring Your Business is Future-Proof

Hopefully, it’s clear by now that investing in the responsiveness of your website should be a top priority, especially as we move further into an age where mobile visits are going to continue to dominate web traffic.

Essentially, investing in responsive web design means that you’re ensuring that your website is future-proof. That’s invaluable in today’s business world.

However, that’s not the only part of future-proofing your business. You’ll also need to think about other digital marketing components such as social media marketing, local search, and even paid ads.

Interested in seeing how your website and business are currently performing?

Sign up for a free digital marketing review and we’ll provide you with valuable insight that will help you see what you’re doing right and where there’s room for growth.

Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry. With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.

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About the author...

Located in the heart of the Emerald Coast - Destin, FL, founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization / and PR campaigns, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry.

With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.

Jason Hall

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