Responsive Website Design for The Google Mobile Update

Responsive Website Design and Your Business

Google changed its mobile search algorithm to give top priority to websites that Google deems to be “mobile-friendly”. This ‘Mobile-Geddon‘ was expected since Google announced the mobile update in a blog post back in February, and hyped almost as much as Y2K. Alarmingly, 81% of all business website are not based on responsive website design and do not provide users with a mobile-friendly experience! This includes 67% of all Fortune 100 company websites.

Responsive Website Design Title Image

This change affects only searches on mobile devices, for now. However, if your website is not based on mobile-friendly or responsive website design, this change could cause you to loose one-third of your organic search traffic, depending on your audience. We already covered Preparing for the Google Mobile-Friendly Algorithm in our last blog post. Today we will explain the benefits of responsive website design as the best way to comply with the mobile update.

Why You Need to Care About Responsive Website Design

If you think that mobile-friendly or responsive website design does not apply to your business, think again. Internet usage on mobile devices accounts for 36% of all internet usage, up from 6% in 2011. According to SumAll, mobile traffic increased by 291% from 3013 to 2014 alone! 4 out of 5 consumers shop on smartphones. 80% of all people use smartphones for internet searches. Interestingly, 77% of all mobile search occurs at home where desktops are most likely available.

Mobile Users Love Responsive Website Design

This is the mobile era. 55% of all time spent on retail websites takes place on a mobile device. According to Google, 61% of all consumers will do to a competitor’s website when faced with a negative mobile experience.Equally important, if they have a positive experience with your mobile website a user is 67% more likely to buy a product or use a service.

And 64% of smartphone users expect pages to load in less than 4 seconds. Speed is important, improving website load time by even one second will result in 11% more page views, 16% increase in user trust, and 7% more conversions.

Not providing a mobile-friendly experience is just not an option any longer. Mobile-friendly sites will rise to the top of mobile searches as of April 21st. And responsive website design is the only way to not only get you there, but keep you there as mobile usage will only increase.

Mobile Shoppers Love Responsive Website Design

How Responsive Website Design Helps

Options for Mobile-Friendly Design

Mobile First is a mantra sweeping the design community. With an ever growing share of web traffic coming from mobile devices, designers are now finding it easier to scale up from an initial mobile-minded design as opposed to compressing information into an increasingly tiny space.

Responsive Design

Pages are built to collapse elegantly as the device browser window changes. Same URL – Same HTML

Dynamic Serving

Pages recognize the device they are viewed on and serve the appropriate code. Same URL – Different HTML

Alternate Mobile Page

Mobile users are routed to a separate URL specifically designed for mobile. Different URL – Different HTML

What Is Responsive Website Design

What is Responsive Website Design?

Responsive website design (RWD) is an approach to web design that ensures the website renders correctly across all viewing environments through the use of fluid grids, images, and CSS media queries. The benefit of RWD to the end user is easier reading, and less pinching, panning, and scrolling. Your fingers will thank you!

Responsive website design (RWD) provides a great experience, regardless of the viewing environment. And RWD is the preferred design pattern for Google. And since it serves the same HTML code from the same URL across all devices it satisfies another Google requirement.

Google Loves Responsive Website Design

Why Google Loves Responsive Website Design

Responsive Sites Attract More Links

A single URL for each page attracts higher links than if the same page was at multiple URLs. Similarly, if your mobile website sits at a different subdomain then the power of those links would be weakened.

Responsive Sites are Easily Shareable

Conceive of a scenario when your visitor wants to share your site and does not move ahead seeing a different MDOT site because he/she is not sure what device the next user will have. Visitors love to share a site that is flawless all devices.

Less Work For Googlebots

In addition to easier indexing, a responsive website design has to be crawled less as a set of URLs only need to be accessed once for content.

Time Spent on Site and Repetitive Search

Google takes two prominent factors into consideration: Time spent on-site (less bounce rate) and quick repetitive search after leaving the page without clicking the link again if it appears in search results (an indication that the site is frustrating).

Getting Responsive Website Design

So you want to do away with the Google mobile-friendly update and not get penalized any longer. Here are a few things you can do.

First Steps

Before you rush off in a panic to get a responsive website design for your business or brand we highly recommend you take a deep breath, and then use one of the tools below to find out where your business website is at, and what improvements are needed.

Take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test

Find out if your page has that coveted mobile-friendly stamp at google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly You can also check your website on mobile devices in real time at http://www.responsinator.com

Read Google’s Mobile SEO Guide

Google offers a pretty comprehensive guide to to help you win their game at developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites

If You Need a New Responsive Website Design

If the above tools revealed that you do indeed need a new responsive website design you have two options. You can always build your own. Over 60% of all websites are built using the WordPress CMS platform. It is therefore critical to have a responsive WordPress site if you want to stay ahead of Google.

If you decide to build your own responsive WordPress site be sure to:

  • Find a responsive WordPress theme
  • Use plugins to extend the theme’s features and design, but be aware that too many plugins will slow down your site
  • Make sure the code is compatible across mobile devices and touch screens
  • If images present a problem consider using icons instead
  • Reach out to a professional web design agency if you get stuck; this is not necessarily for beginners!

Of course, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble and just have our team create a responsive website design for you. We are experts at responsive website design. From highly customized corporate sites, to responsive e-Commerce websites to small business websites and personal blogs we work directly with the client to prepare them for the ever increasingly social, mobile and local consumer. Why not get started by requesting your responsive website design estimate and stay ahead of the Google mobile update?

And if you are still not sure how responsive website design benefits your business website and visitors, don’t worry! Simply reach out and contact us. Our expert team will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine if your business website is all ready for the Google mobile update, or how to get it in compliance in the most time and cost effective way. That is one of our specialties, after all!

Do you have anything to add to our responsive website design post? Feel free to add your comments below so our audience can benefit as well, and grab our feed  so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our responsive website design post with your audience!

By Gregor Schmidt
Co-Founder / Creative Technologist
@gregorspeaks

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