Have you heard the word ‘Mobilegeddon’? The chances are that if you have not heard it, you will definitely have experienced it.The term is used to refer to the changes that Google made to its search engine ranking algorithm in 2015. Webpages which were not responsive began to lose their rankings in Google’s search engine. It also ushered in a new era for website design.
People associated with website design in Dubai and elsewhere began to study the change in the algorithm. They concluded that webpages that were not mobile friendly would suffer in rankings on Google search index. Therefore, they had to redesign their websites and make them responsive.
Before we progress further, we need to know what is meant by ‘responsive’?
Responsive Websites – What Are They?
Most of us would recall when we opened certain websites on our mobile phones or tablet, and the pages would drastically shrink. It was certainly not a comfortable viewing experience. Such websites were not responsive, i.e. the webpages were not optimised for viewing on mobile devices or tablets.
Therefore, Google began giving more weightage to websites that were mobile friendly in its search index. It was doneto accommodate the growing number of users accessing websites through their tablets and smartphones.Simply put a responsive website must react to the size of the user’s display screen.The website had to be:
- Readable without requiring zoom in or zoom out;
- No horizontal scrolling; and
- Accommodate touch screen functionality.
Now that we know what a responsive website is, we need to understand why a responsive website is essential apart from its role in search engine ranking.
Increasing Mobile Usage
In late 2015, the percentage of traffic coming from mobile devices surpassed the traffic coming from desktop computers. It was not just a remarkable feat in termsof technology but also in terms of marketing and the World Wide Web. A recent survey also shows that individuals spend up to five hours a day on their tablets or mobile devices.
Therefore, to accommodate the ever-growing mobile users, a website design must be responsive. Otherwise, you risk going down in the search index, losing existing and potential new customers as well.
Improved User Experience
In today’s world, user experience or customer experience is the only thing that matters. It helps to drive your revenue and acts as an advertisement mechanism as well. A responsive web design improves the user experience and enables you to achieve your targets with regards to website traffic and advertisement.
Research has shown that the click-through-rates increase 21-24% for websites with a responsive design. Moreover, users are likelier to recommend websites that are user-friendly to others as compared to non-responsive websites.
Previously, website designers had to design two websites – one for desktop viewing and the other a dedicated mobile website. This not only increases the cost but also brings added headaches like ensuring security and maintenance of the website. Another choice was to create a desktop site which would be viewable in mobile as well without zooming in or out.
Both the above options are unfeasible. Instead, a responsive website allows you to serve both types of users – desktop and mobile- under a single website. It saves not only the cost but also valuable time which can be invested elsewhere.
Speeds Up Website Loading
How quickly a website loads factors heavily in Google’s search engine ranking. Therefore, if your website takes less than one secondto load, then your website will be highly ranked. If your webpage takes longer than 1 second to load, your ranking is bound to take a hit.
Responsive webpages allow for faster loading, thereby, increasing your site’s ranking. It is so because a responsive web design will enable Google to efficiently discover your content and index for its users to access easily.
Future is Secured
A responsive website is only a recent development in the world of technology. There are little chances of change in Google’s search algorithm or web design. Therefore, if you invest in redesigning your website to make it responsive, you are making an investment which will ensure long-term benefits as well. Consequently, it is one investment from which you are guaranteed a high return.
The future is mobile! Mobile phone and tablet sales already outpace desktop PC sales around the world. Therefore, investing in your website design is the need of the day if you wish to remain relevant.