Responsive Web Design: Do You Have It? Do You Need It?

September 18, 2015

Having responsive web design is no longer an option for any website. Today, your clients are just as likely to visit your website from their tablet or their TV set as their desktop computer.responsive-web-design

Whether people seek you out using a smartphone or a giant flat-screen monitor, your site needs to look right, and more importantly, be readable and functional. Not only is this a good idea from a user experience perspective, but also because Google says you have to. If your site is not responsive to any and every type of display, it’s time to consider making a change.

How Does a Responsive Website Work?

For a long time, if you visited most websites from a smartphone or a mobile device with a small display, you simply saw a teeny, tiny version of the basic site. If you had no way to zoom, you essentially couldn’t read the words on the site or access any links or menu items. In other words, if your site visitor wasn’t using a full-sized display, he or she was in for a struggle.

Today, most web designs and pre-packaged themes are programmed to respond automatically to whatever device the visitor is using, and resize or modify the display accordingly. On your mobile device, for example, you’re probably used to seeing a simplified version of most websites with a simple menu interface that even the chunkiest fingers can navigate. Most sites give you the option of switching to the full site, as some users simply prefer the full functionality.

How to Determine if Your Website is Responsive

The Internet is full of widgets and applets and tools designed to tell you if your site is indeed responsive. The one that counts, of course, is Google’s mobile-friendly test. Simply visit that link and type or paste in your website’s URL and voila, you’ll have your answer. Don’t stop there, however.

Visit your site on your smartphone and on your tablet. If you don’t have one or the other, ask a family member or staff member to call it up. See it for yourself, and try to access the important segments of your site. If you have an e-commerce site, for example, try to go through the purchase process on each device. If something doesn’t look right or seems difficult to navigate, make a note and talk to your web developer. Just because Google thinks you’re A-OK doesn’t mean your customers are enjoying the experience.

Here’s Why You Need a Responsive Site

Google’s algorithm update from last April forced businesses to adopt a responsive platform or be discounted in the rankings anytime someone performs a mobile search. This move sent thousands of business owners into a tizzy, trying to get their sites updated before Google brought down the hammer. Certainly it’s important to rank highly in a search, but isn’t it just as important for your customers to have a great experience? What good is scoring highly in the rankings if potential customers become frustrated with your site interface and move on to your competition?

Before long, people will access your site from their car display, from the LCD screen on the refrigerator, from their watch and even their TV remote. If you want to convert as well as attract visitors, it’s time to upgrade to a responsive site.

Although it might seem confusing, switching to a mobile interface is less expensive than developing a new website, making it worth the cost for most businesses. Contact the experts at Be Locally SEO to find out how you can convert to responsive web design today.


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