What does it mean to say your website is “responsive”? A responsive website is a website that responds and adapts seamlessly to the environment it is being viewed within, which would be a desktop, tablet or mobile screen. How does this differ from a mobile site? Mobile sites are a completely separate website that is developed specifically for mobile, which means that you need to maintain & update it separately to your desktop site. This is costly and takes up more time than you need to be spending. Introducing the responsive website, which allows you to only need to update one site, saving you time and of course, money.
So let’s get into all the reasons that having a responsive website can help you and your business:
1. SOUTH AFRICA IS TRULY A MOBILE-FIRST NATION
South Africa has more mobile devices than people and the numbers grow year on year. According to Roots 2016, (hyperlink: http://sparkmedia.co.za/about-roots/roots-insights-2016/) 60% of South Africa’s urban consumers access the internet and 57% access the internet through a mobile device. Your website has to cater for this huge market, if not your business will lose out to its competitors whose websites are ready for this mobile traffic.
2. YOUR SITE NEEDS TO DELIVER A POSITIVE USER EXPERIENCE.
If your website is not responsive you’ll be dealing with some frustrated users pinching and zooming trying to get the just of your site. This will lead them to leave your site and go straight to another site which is more user friendly. Consumers are not patient and will not go to great lengths to find the information they need. Make sure people have easy access to your website and have a pleasant user experience when they get here.
3. GOOGLE PREFERS RESPONSIVE DESIGN
Google will penalize your site if it is not responsive. Since 2015, Google’s algorithm has promoted sites that are mobile ready and hence demoted sites that are not.
This effects your SEO (search engine optimization) as you won’t rank as highly on the Google search results page. Don’t jeopardize your business’s online visibility by letting it fend for itself on the 2nd page of the search results – Google themselves will tell you that no one goes there.
4. HOW QUICKLY YOUR WEBSITE OPENS IS KEY
According to Google’s mobile analysis in page speed, the top of your website (the area known as being “above the fold”) should load in under a second. While the user is going through that content, the second part of the webpage should load in under 2 seconds. If a user is trying to load a full desktop site on their mobile device it will take the page much longer to load which could lead to the user leaving your site.
5. BEING PREPARED FOR FUTURE DEVICES
A big selling point for responsive websites is that they will adapt to future devices. As more devices enter the market, you won’t need to worry is your site will display correctly on those screen sizes, as responsive sites will adapt automatically.
6. 10.6 MILLION ACTIVE MOBILE SOCIAL ACCOUNTS
Being active on social media is a must for any business nowadays. With more and more people discovering new businesses via social media posts that link back to your website, you need to ensure that the people wanting to read these posts land up on responsive website and not a desktop site trying to load on their mobile device, as you will inevitably experience a high bounce rate and some pretty frustrated users.