Quote: Andy Clarke
This post was originally published March 23, 2017, and has been updated to reflect new information.
Web developers design today's websites to be mobile-friendly and responsive—that's just the standard now. Both because it enhances user experience and because Google ranks those websites higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). About 89% of people who recommend a brand do so after having positive mobile experience with it.
But chances are, if you're not a web developer yourself, you may not know the difference between mobile-friendly and responsive, and you may believe that your website being mobile-friendly alone—but not responsive—is enough. Here's why that thinking is a mistake.
A mobile-friendly site is essentially a copy of your existing website, designed to display on a smaller screen. However it looks and functions on a desktop is what you're going to see on the mobile version, which means usability is going to take a hit. Having a mobile-friendly site is enough to rank higher in Google, but if your users find your site difficult to read or navigate, you're still losing half the battle.
If you're not sure if you're site is mobile-friendly or not, you should check it out by entering the URL in Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
Mobile-friendly sites were designed for the desktop user, but responsive sites do just what their name implies: they scale to the screen size of the device being used to access it. What you see when viewing the site on a desktop or laptop computer will be different from what you see when viewing it on a smartphone or tablet. Certain elements will be simplified, streamlined, or omitted altogether.
Features of a responsive design can include:
Image source: Unziplogic.com
Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. According to Arish Ali, co-founder and president of Skava, “It isn't just about putting a mobile website out there—it is about building an experience that is easy for customers to use and takes into consideration the unique attributes of mobile devices.”
With the number of mobile users only growing, the time has come to critically assess your business's website and see if it's meeting the needs of your customers. Contact us for a free consultation today!
Catherine has a degree in English literature and a passion for all things marketing. As Digital Specialist, her focus is on web design, search engine optimization, social media, online presence management, and project coordination.