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One size fits all – Why having a responsive website could be beneficial to your business.

We’ve probably all got one; the expensive, fragile brick in your pocket. There is no doubt that the smartphone has revolutionised the way in which we conduct our lives. According to Deloitte, Smartphone ownership has increased from 52% in 2012 to 87% in 2018 and mobile traffic now represents a global majority of website visits according to Statista. It’s important then that the wants and needs of mobile users is considered, and this can be achieved by creating a responsive website.

What is it?

Responsiveness is all about ease of navigation, enjoyability, and simplicity of your site across multiple different devices. If we consider a page we may access on a desktop device, there are specific expectations we have of the site and how we can navigate it to best effect. From a scroll bar, a wide and full display, and a layout that best uses the space allowed by a desktop device, we know exactly what we expect a desktop site to look like. Increasingly we now know what the mobile experience of a site should look like. Slick, seamless and easy to navigate throughout your time on the site. Responsiveness is the key to this. Allowing your site to play into our expectations of how we navigate through a site but maintaining the difference across all devices to use them each to best effect.

For example, a site may work perfectly well on the large screen of a PC, but if the website displays the site in exactly the same way on a mobile device, our expectations are not met, as the mobile user will be forced to zoom and scroll horizontally to effectively navigate the site to find what they are looking for. Having to do so disrupts the assumed dynamic language and navigation of a site and acts as an obstacle for users before achieving an outcome, such as finding a contact number or purchasing a product.

Finger typing on an electronic tablet device

Why is it important?

Back in 2012, just as Apple launched the iPhone 5 unto the world, Google conducted a studyinto mobile phone internet users. They found that 61% of those interviewed said they would quickly move onto a different site if they couldn’t find the information they were looking for quickly, and 52% said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with the company. Fast-forward 6 years and 8 iPhone models later, and the importance of responsiveness has increased alongside the rise in mobile phone traffic.

It could help increase sales.

Creating a smooth and easy to navigate experience can also help increase conversion. Google reported that 67% of those asked suggested that when they visit a mobile phone friendly site, they are more likely to buy a product or service. Responsiveness is also one of the myriads of criteria that Google uses in its algorithm to organise it’s returned searches. A mobile-friendly site then may receive higher priority than those not optimised for multiple devices.

Building a site to be responsive is no easy task and may involve a significant amount of coding to achieve, but it is something that may be worthwhile mentioning to a web designer you may be working with to ensure that your site is easy to navigate for everyone, no matter which device they may be using.

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