What is a responsive website and why is it so important?

Posted by Davneet Singh Chawla | January 25, 2021

Key learnings:

  • How a responsive website design impacts your Google rankings
  • The key elements of responsive website design
  • The experts that you need to create a responsive website

A non-responsive website is one of the greatest website design sins.

It is totally unforgivable.

Not only will you be punished by the Google algorithm, a website that doesn’t display optimally on all devices creates a terrible user experience.

Responsive website design is not something you can afford to ignore.

How Google changed the digital landscape

Google hasn’t just changed the digital landscape… it has defined it.

From the way we search for information to the rise of video content, Google has a hand in it all. And as a business owner, it pays to keep one eye firmly on Google’s shifting response to digital trends.

Since 2015, Google has been prioritising responsive websites in the search results. That is to say, if your website is not responsive, it is harder for your potential customers to find you. Ouch!

Even if your customers are able to find you through the Google search results, if your website isn’t responsive across different devices, those potential customers will almost surely bounce straight off your website. Nobody has time to pinch and zoom to find the information they want.

And ultimately, a high bounce rate – where people land on your website and bounce off very quickly – will further harm your Google search rankings.

So, what is a responsive website?

A responsive website changes the layout of your website design to offer an optimal experience based on the device being used, especially ideal for mobile viewing.

A responsive website includes design elements such as:

  • Readable text without requiring to zoom on your screen
  • Adequate space for tapping on links and buttons
  • No horizontal scrolling across your screen
  • Images, graphics and videos that seamlessly resize without stretching or squashing

In the past, to accommodate different screen sizes, website developers would build multiple websites. With the number of device types out there on the market today, this is now a completely inefficient method to design and develop websites.

A responsive website should react to the size of a user’s device using one URL address and one content source. Forget building different versions of your website design for various devices… your website needs to be fluid and flexible enough so that it can adjust to any screen size.

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Think of the user experience

We’ve all visited websites that have a poor user experience.

The menus are cramped, there is no white space and too many words and images that are far too large for your screen. It’s all a bit of a hot mess, really.

If people leave your website because it isn’t responsive and doesn’t offer an amazing user experience, what are you missing out on?

At a micro level, you can’t showcase your killer website content or educate them about your products and services. But when you look at the big picture, you could be kissing goodbye to countless sales.

A good user experience is vital to the success of your website… and nailing a responsive design is one key element.

Design and development go hand-in-hand

A good-looking website will only get you so far… if that website doesn’t have substance and a solid framework to hold it up, it will be a flop.

A responsive website extends well beyond the aesthetics of the website. It also needs to consider your website’s content and how it’s organised, as well as the technical architecture of the website and how that translates into user experience.

A responsive website not only needs to look great on multiple devices, but it also needs to be designed hand-in-hand with functionality and content. There’s no point creating a beautiful website that doesn’t offer an optimal experience for mobile visitors.

Customers are unforgiving of a poor experience… and so is Google. You can’t afford to ignore how design, content and functionality affect the overall responsiveness of your website design.

Pull in the experts

You can’t wing responsive website design. The landscape is constantly changing with new internet browsers, patches and upgrades, not to mention how people interact with websites.

To get the best result, you need to draw on the expertise of a professional website developer.

Coders live and breathe all things website development. A good coder will be up to speed with the latest developments with websites… and they will be able to deliver a responsive website that ticks all of the boxes.

A quality website development team will also be all over your website maintenance to prevent issues that can impact the success of your site.

We live and breathe responsive websites

At Brilliant Digital, we built our first website 20 years ago… and since then we have built business websites for hundreds of happy clients. Responsive design isn’t anything out of the ordinary for us, it’s simply what we do.

More than just website design and development, we deliver a total website package with content, SEO, advertising and ongoing digital marketing.

Contact us to start a conversation.

Read more website design articles.

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