There is no doubt that over the last few years, mobile Internet usage has significantly increased. Experts are even saying that within this year, mobile Internet usage will be on par with desktop usage, and that is definitely saying a lot about how dominant mobile is going to be in 2014.
However, despite all the facts about mobile Internet usage exploding this year, many websites still haven’t made the switch to responsive web design, which adapts to all screen sizes and all devices and makes any given website mobile-friendly. This is quite puzzling, because there is no reason for any website owner worth his salt to not have a responsive website these days.
If you’re one of those website owners, perhaps you’d like more compelling reasons why your website should be responsive. So here are some of them.
1. You’d want to give users a positive experience
With so many people surfing the Internet on their mobile devices today, you wouldn’t want to frustrate readers and potential customers with a website that doesn’t display well on their smartphones and tablets. Once they have it with your site’s inability to display properly or give what they want on their mobile devices, they will most likely move on to a responsive site, one that your competitor probably owns.
2. Google prefers responsive web design
Let’s say that you are going the mobile route, and you pick a mobile template over responsive design. Wrong move, if you value your SEO. Pierre Farr, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google UK, has already said that Google prefers responsive web design over mobile templates, which are not as flexible as the former. They are not built per screen size the way responsive web design is, but are rather built for each specific site, and that has given rise to a number of issues. Mobile templates also require a second, mobile-only website or subdomain, which, to me, is a bit bothersome.
With responsive web design, you will only have one URL, and that will make it easier for the bots of Google to crawl your site. This minimizes on-page SEO errors, which may abound when your site uses a mobile template.
3. Mobile visitors come with social media use
According to a recent study by ComScore, 55% of social media consumption happens on a mobile device. Now imagine all those social media users clicking on links that lead to your website that isn’t mobile-friendly. With no responsive web design, you can expect that audience to show their frustration with your website in the form of high bounce rates and low conversion rates.
4. A responsive website loads faster
One of the main issues mobile users have about websites that are not responsive is the loading speed. Normally, when accessed on a mobile device, a page of a responsive site takes less than 2 seconds to entirely load. That simply is not possible with a site designed only for a desktop. Considering how short people’s attention spans have been getting lately, they are not likely to wait for a non-mobile friendly website to load.
5. Sites with responsive web design will work well on any device
The beauty of responsive web design is that a website will always display properly no matter what device is used. That’s because the template size is designed based on the size of the screen and not the gadget. That means users can use their TV sets, glasses and watches when surfing the net and your website will still look great.
6. Mobile Internet usage is going supernova
In the United States alone, 25% of internet users exclusively use a mobile device just for accessing the Internet. It’s also a fact that more than 20% of Google searches are performed on smartphones and tablets. As for local searches, more than half of them were performed on mobile devices in 2012. And when offered a good mobile experience, more than 60 per cent of people think better of a brand or company.
If none of the above ever convinces you to switch to a responsive web design, nothing probably will.