Research shows that over 50% of the total internet activity happens on mobile devices, followed by desktops at a little over 45%, with tablets making up the rest. With many people using their phones for surfing the internet, it is imperative to offer a great mobile website experience.
With over 5.7 billion searches conducted on the web daily through Google, there is now a Google-recommended configuration for smartphone-optimized sites – based on the principle of responsive web design.
Google has gone a step further and even offers a mobile responsive test. It helps to see how easily a visitor can navigate the site on a mobile device. All you need to do is type out the website URL, and you get a score immediately.
Without a seamless mobile experience, internet users will be dissatisfied, leading to reduced traffic and loss of potential leads.
Several years ago, flexible layouts were a luxury for most websites. It left the creators to make the individual elements on the site flexible in a design such as the layout columns and the text. However, images could easily break pre-configured layouts, and even flexible structural elements broke a layout’s form when pushed enough.
It merely proved that flexible designs weren’t all that flexible; images could give or take a few hundred pixels, but they couldn’t seamlessly adapt from a large computer screen to a tablet or even a mobile phone.
Today, this has become much simpler and evolved into a necessity. In the present-day context, images are automatically adjusted with workarounds so that layouts never break. This solution provides many options and is perfect for devices that switch from portrait orientation to landscape instantly or when users switch from a large computer screen to a smaller device.
How does it work?
Creating a website with responsiveness in mind allows the site to adjust to the device’s size and browser to display the content appropriately. Default breakpoints are configured to target ranges that define specific displays. It creates a single website system with just one URL and one content source through a fluid and flexible layout that adjusts according to screen size.
Creating mobile websites can be done either through responsive web design or mobile templates. The former requires the coding of a single webpage capable of getting adapted to all screen sizes.
However, a mobile template is an entirely distinct entity. It requires the presence of a second, mobile-only website, or subdomain. Further, these mobile templates are built for individual sites and not per screen size.
A responsive website is much more cost-efficient and more comfortable to develop and maintain. It makes mobile-only websites great solutions for social media and businesses alike.
Designing mobile websites in isolation requires you to create an entirely separate version of a mobile device website. A responsive web design automatically adapts the layout to the specific screen size through fluid, proportion-based grids. These websites make use of HTML and CSS media queries to change the website on each device.
With the number of people surfing the web from their mobiles, increasing at a steep rate, responsive design will make things smoother and more effective. Further, a mobile-friendly website will reduce expenses in the long term, deliver an intuitive, seamless user experience, and enhance performance across all devices.
What are the benefits of a responsive mobile design?
A responsive layout’s primary benefit is that all end-users across devices will have the smoothest and most consistent website experience.
It makes it an easy and streamlined way to refine the content on the site. It will help ensure that people using a mobile device are only seeing essential information.
With the most recent Google algorithm update, a responsive web design increases visibility on search engines as mobile-friendly. It means that a site with an efficient mobile experience will show up in search results above one without.
Further advantages include:
- Improved and increased reach to customers and clients on smaller devices
- Consistent experience with higher b2b lead generation, sales, and conversions
- Centralized analytics, tracking, and reporting
- Reduced time, effort, and cost of on-site content management
- Staying relevant and ahead of the competition
The Road Ahead
Google requires the following optimized elements for a practical and intuitive mobile-friendly user experience through responsive web design:
- Readable text, without the need for zooming into them.
- Website content is capable of fitting a device’s screen adequately without the need for scrolling horizontally.
- Sufficiently spaced out hyperlinks & call-to-action buttons so that tapping is not difficult
- Reasonable loading times for pages within the website
- Eliminate or restrict the use of Flash
The increasing usage of mobile devices marks the beginning of the gradual shift to more convenient web usage. It makes it necessary to ensure that users across devices can view the website. In the face of the increasing presence of wearables such as smartwatches, responsive websites are becoming less of an option and more of a strategic imperative.
The primary reason for a responsive web design is to keep things mobile-friendly. It helps increase the website’s visibility on search engines, leading to increased visitors—improved traffic results in enhanced lead generation, added conversions, and higher sales.
If you wonder if your website is responsive and search-friendly, get in touch with us for a free website audit.