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Here's Why Your Website Needs To Be Mobile Friendly

88 percent of "near me" searches come from mobile devices. So, your website's ultimate success is also determined by it catering not just to visitors using a desktop/laptop, but also to people visiting on smartphone and tablets. A stand-alone, mobile compatible website is no longer sufficient. You must to take the additional step of creating a responsive website design that caters to all devices. Their numbers only continue to grow.

Understanding mobile behavior

Mobile searches differ from desktop searches. Internet users are on their smartphones while they are on the go and will want to find very specific piece of information...quickly. Desktop users are likely to spend more time exploring your website. The searches issued on mobile devices have a narrower range and target more specific intents. A responsive design is a better experience for mobile users since the information they need to access quickly can easily be found without using menus to navigate your site.

What is responsive design?

With a traditional website, the layout and each design element have predetermined widths. Responsive design uses a grid in which the size of each element stays consistent in relation to the other. The display automatically adapts to the screen size on which the content is viewed.

What are the benefits of responsive design?

Responsive design is the new standard, and upgrading your site will create a more modern look. There are plenty of additional advantages as well:

  • Your grids and images will automatically resize to adapt to the screen size. Your site will look the same across platforms and deliver a consistent experience. This is important since 77 percent of internet users between the ages of 18 and 34 use multiple platforms to browse the web. Adopting a responsive design also means your site will be ready for new screen sizes, such as Smart TVs.
  • A responsive design allows you to combine your mobile and desktop sites into one. There is no need to pay for two URLs and to develop content for two separate sites. Collecting relevant analytics will be easier, and you will be able to focus your SEO efforts on a single URL.
  • You can choose to hide some elements if a screen is too small. Use this feature to hide a large banner or footer to deliver a better experience to mobile users.
  • A well-coded responsive design should boost loading times. You can use responsive image attributes to load a different file when a user views your site on a smaller screen. This means you can feature images with lower resolutions for mobile users. A faster loading time will make a difference since 47 percent of consumers expect to wait no more than 2 seconds for a site to load. A 1-second delay could result in a 7 percent drop in conversions.
  • Adopting a responsive design means visitors only have to scroll to explore your content. They won't have to use menus to find the information they want. Once you have determined what your potential mobile users will look for, you can design a responsive site that answers all these questions.
  • You can use the HTML5 Application Cache so that the device cache will store an offline version of your site. The user can then browse the totality of your content in offline mode. With a traditional webpage, the customer only has the pages already visited available in cache.

Will Google penalize you for not having a responsive design?

Google has recommended that webmasters develop responsive designs for a while. In fact, Google has been ranking mobile-friendly sites higher since April 2015.

Here is what you should know about Google's attitude toward mobile-friendly websites:

  • Google has always put user experience first. Even though the search engine never stated that non-responsive designs would be penalized, failing to deliver an optimal experience to mobile users is an issue.
  • An April 2015 update earned the nickname 'Mobilegeddon' after penalizing a large number of non mobile-friendly mobile websites. Mooweb studied the outcome of this update and found that the top three results for any search are mobile-friendly sites in 81 percent of cases.
  • Google implemented another mobile update in May 2016 to further penalize non-mobile friendly websites.
  • The Google Developers Tools currently indicate that a responsive design is the best way to deliver an optimal user experience. It seems likely that Google's next update could specifically penalize mobile websites that do not use a responsive design.

You can use this test tool developed by Google to see whether or not your site is mobile friendly and to find out what needs to be improved. If you scored poorly on this test, now is the time to think about developing a responsive design.

So, put the power of L.E.T. Group to work for you, and let us help you develop a great new website that takes all of this into consideration. Click the "Submit A RFP" button below to get started!