At Brady Mills, we work with our clients to create whichever mobile website styling they prefer. But while there are other workable approaches for mobile optimization, responsive web design is the obvious frontrunner.
Simply put, responsive design is a web design approach that reformats the site’s layout to fit whatever screen size it’s displayed on. If it’s displaying on a mobile device, or if the user resizes the browser on a PC, a responsive site adjusts to provide the clearest viewing experience.
Before the term was coined in 2010, an approach called “progressive enhancement” was all the rage. Only three years later, Mashable labeled the entire year of 2013 as “The Year of Responsive Design.” But is there any reason to be skeptical of the new state of mobile optimization? Below are four of the reasons we think responsive design isn’t just a passing phase.
1. Responsive Design is Better Suited for SEO
Google couldn’t make it clearer that they prefer responsive sites. In their tips for webmasters, they officially recommend it over other design approaches, and analytics tests have proven them to favor sites simply for being responsive.
But responsive designed sites aren’t just better because they receive unabashed preferential treatment from Google—they’re simply better-optimized for display across all search engines. Non-responsive web design approaches that feature a separate mobile site require a separate URL and subset of HTML, often doubling the amount of code a search engine has to crawl through to index the content. Longer indexing times are bad news for SEO, because search engines only spend a certain amount of time crawling any given website.
2. Mobile Takeover
An estimated 90% of people in the United States report switching back and forth between devices to accomplish a task. If your site isn’t mobile-optimized and your competitors’ sites are, you’ll miss out on significant business. Conversely, if your competitors haven’t optimized for mobile, you can edge out the competition with an outstanding responsive website.
3. Unify Your Brand
If consistency and reliability is part of what your brand communicates, a single, unified website with one URL can’t hurt your campaign to convey this to your target audience. A responsive site looks and feels more or less the same no matter what you’re viewing it on, and creates less risk of disorienting the mobile-viewer.
4. Adapt to Devices That Don’t Even Exist Yet
In the world of tech, the only constant is change. No matter how big future smart phones get, (we’re looking at you, iPhone 6+) your site will be prepared to adapt the moment any new device hits the market. No one knows what the future of mobile viewing may hold for the next ten years, or even for the next three. So if redesigning your site to adapt to changing trends isn’t always the number one priority for your business, opt for a single responsive web design now so that you’re optimized for whatever the future may hold.