Why Does My Website Need to Be Responsive?
A responsive website means your website automatically responds with a different layout when accessed from a different screen. For example desktop, tablet and mobile phone screens. An easy way to see if your website is responsive while on desktop is to change the size of the browser window using the ‘restore down’ button between ‘minimise’ and ‘close’ in the top right corner. Here you can alter the size of your browser window and see if your website responds. Alternatively you can check your website on a mobile phone or tablet. Google also provides a free test that tells you if your website is mobile friendly. However it is important to remember that mobile friendly and mobile responsive are slightly different. While mobile friendly sites may look good on mobile devices, they will likely have glitches and be harder to navigate especially on devices with a higher resolution.
So why has it become so important to have a responsive website? As of Q1 2018, Google has begun rolling out its mobile-first index ranking algorithm. According to Google: “Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking, to better help our primarily mobile users find what they’re looking for”. Put simply, the mobile version of your website will now be judged by Google first instead of the desktop version like before. If your site is not responsive, or you have a separate desktop and mobile site, this update from Google poses a significant threat to your online presence. This new algorithm has been in testing since 2016 when worldwide internet usage on a mobile surpassed internet usage on a desktop.
Not only will your non-responsive website be penalised by Google, but 38% of users will stop interacting with a site if it has an unattractive layout. Additionally, 48% of people said a business’ website was the number 1 factor in determining the credibility of the business. Plus a whopping 94% of users cited bad web design as a reason they mistrust or reject a website.
The best way to prepare for Google’s new update and ensure your customers on mobile have a good online experience is to migrate your website to a new responsive design. Not only will you pick up on increased traffic from mobile and tablet users, but you’ll provide them with a seamless customer experience, improving trust and credibility for your business. The most important benefit to a mobile responsive website in the face of the mobile-first index is an improved SEO score.
SEO (search engine optimisation) is how far up the Google rankings your website sits depending on the phrase being searched. The better your SEO score, the higher up the page you’ll rank and higher up the page you’ll be than your competitors! Unfortunately it is likely the opposite will happen if you don’t have a mobile responsive website when Google’s mobile-first algorithm fully rolls out and you could get demoted further down the listings page.
If your website is not responsive, and you’re worried about the cost of a new website, drop us an email. We believe a modern, responsive website shouldn’t be a luxury only some can afford and specialise in affordable web design for small businesses. Move your business into the digital age with a modern, responsive website consistent with your branding, the cost of a professional new website could surprise you!