Responsive web design refers to a website’s ability to optimize viewing and navigation based on the device on which it’s being viewed. For example, a website being viewed using a mobile device may automatically detect this and switch to a mobile version of the site itself. These days, responsive web design is more important than ever–and this trend doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon.
Why Responsive Design Matters
2015 was the first year in history that mobile web use surpassed that of desktop computers. Since then, the number of people primarily using their mobile devices to surf the Internet has continued to increase. For this reason, websites that want to remain competitive and invite visitors need to incorporate responsiveness into their designs. This means that any given website should be just as easily viewed and navigated on a desktop device as it is on a smartphone, tablet, or any other mobile device.
From an SEO Standpoint
Believe it or not, responsive design also matters from a search engine optimization (SEO) standpoint as well. That’s because many search engines (Google included) have recently changed their algorithms to reward websites with responsive design and “punish” website that aren’t responsive. Specifically, sites that are optimized for a variety of devices are more likely to have better search engine rankings, and sites without responsive design could even end up being de-indexed over time.
For these reasons, there has never been a better time to make sure your website’s design is optimized for any and all possible mobile devices.
Best Practices for Responsive Design
If you’re the one who designed and coded your website, this is something you may be able to do on your own. However, for added peace of mind, it’s generally recommended that you hire a professional to ensure that everything is done correctly. Specifically, there are a few important factors that will need to be taken into consideration when optimizing a site for responsive design.
For example, optimizing for mobile use typically doesn’t mean creating a fully functional version of the desktop website for mobile users. It’s important to instead consider the context in which a mobile user may be trying to access the site. For example, most people visiting a company’s website through a mobile device may be looking for quick information. This may include the company’s contact phone number or e-mail address. Or, they may have a specific question that they want answered. This is where it’s a good idea to have a prominent search bar displayed at the top of the page.
Furthermore, you’ll need to make sure that all of your website’s images are optimized for mobile use. All too often, website owners will use the same images they have on their desktop sites in their mobile designs. The end result is extremely slow page loading times, which is often enough for the average user to exit the site altogether (and possibly not even come back). Ideally, you’ll want to ensure that your page load times are four seconds or less on a mobile device. One of the best ways to do this is to minimize the amount of content on your site and make sure that images are resized to suit your needs and desired load times.
These are just a couple of tips to keep in mind when it comes to optimizing a website for responsive design. By doing so, you can improve your search engine rankings while also making your visitors happy. For help optimizing your website’s design for various devices, be sure to contact us today; our team would be happy to help you.