A mobile responsive website will automatically change its interface to suit the device the user viewing the site is using. The most commonly used screen sizes that mobile responsive websites are typically designed for include large desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile phone. Designing a website for these screens helps to maintain a good user interface (UI) for anyone visiting your site, no matter what screen size they are using.
Mobile Responsive vs Mobile Websites
Responsive sites can support a variety of devices and their screen sizes. They are used to give the user a good experience of the website, no matter what device they are using to view the site. In contrast, a mobile website is designed and developed for mobile use only. It is a completely separate website to the main desktop site. A responsive website will be viewed on all devices, whereas a mobile website can only be viewed when using a mobile.
Companies may choose a mobile website over a responsive one because it can offer more opportunity for creating a different user experience. For example, a company displaying train times may choose a mobile website over a responsive website as a higher percentage of customers will be searching on mobiles rather than on desktops. Therefore, the company may want to invest a little more in their mobile website.
However, a mobile website is not commonly used as it means updating two separate websites. Whereas with a mobile responsive website, only one website needs to be updated as it will cover all devices it is viewed on.
The Benefits of a Mobile Responsive Website
One benefit of having a mobile responsive site is that visitors can access the site on any device they want and not have any issues with how the content is displayed. People will be more likely to engage with your site if the user experience is good. Therefore it is key to enable a mobile responsive design of your website, in order to provide them with a positive user experience. Good user experience will also reflect well on your brand and business, giving the users an overall positive impression. If a user can access your website easily across all platforms and devices they are using, it will encourage them to return to your website again in the future.
Increases Mobile Traffic
For many years there has been a steady Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
“In 2018, 52.2 percent of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones, up from 50.3 percent in the previous year.” Source
This means it is very important to ensure your website adapts to factor this trend into the digital strategy.
Google has been implementing mobile-first indexing strategies meaning that ranking factors impact the position of your website in the search results for people searching on mobile devices. People who have a mobile responsive website already will not have to make any changes to their sites as they will rank as usual. Whereas non-responsive websites will need to upgrade to offer a mobile-friendly web experience if they want to rank well for mobile searches and also attract organic traffic to the website from searches made on mobile devices.
In 2015 Google announced they would be using mobile responsiveness as a way of ranking in searches. When the change was implemented, there was a clear divide between the websites that were mobile responsive and those that were not. Every single website on the internet was impacted by this change within a week. The Google update was more about improving the user experience than anything else.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) also become a lot easier when your website is mobile responsive. This is because there is only one website that you need to look after meaning that it will be less time consuming to look after in comparison to having to repeat tasks across the main site and the separate mobile-friendly version too.
Reduced Bounce Rate
Another point is that a good, responsive, fast site will also help to decrease the sites bounce back rate because the quicker it loads and the easier it is for someone to find the content they are looking for, the better user experience.
Bounce rate is:
“the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.” Source
The bounce rate can be related to the responsiveness of a website. This is because a responsive website is easier for users viewing on mobile devices, so it offers a good user experience by making it more straightforward to access information. The better the user experience, the happier the visitors of the site, which means the less likely they are to leave, hopefully reducing the bounce rate.
A mobile responsive website is important to ensure a good user experience on any device that they wish to view the site on. As technology continually evolves, so must a website. So in order to keep your brand and website looking up to date, it is important to take advantage of new technologies in your website development, to allow users to have the best online experience.