The notion that a website should work smoothly and quickly when viewed on a phone or tablet is not a new concept. In fact, Google made mobile friendliness a ranking and indexing criterion in search results in 2015, and ramped up its importance this time last year (March 2018) when it rolled out mobile-first indexing more broadly, crawling the web as though from a mobile phone, rather than from a desktop-based browser.
However, even one year from this update, many companies are still neglecting the importance of upgrading their websites for a more mobile-user-friendly experience. But the time has come to take action - statistics released from the Office for National Statistics this week (4 March 2019), reported that in 2018, 77% of adults in Great Britain accessed the internet ‘on the go’. That’s right, three-quarters of your potential customers and clients use the internet when they’re out and about. Which means that if your website is not up to scratch on mobile devices, then you could be missing out on a huge number of opportunities.
Web design for Wigan & Leigh College
So what do you need to consider to make a website mobile responsive?
There is a lot of design and development work that goes into a responsive website, but - boiled down - there are two key issues to consider:
If your website is laden-down with big image files - or a lot of images - then despite everything appearing fine and well on a desktop, a mobile phone will struggle to load the images as quickly. Blank empty spaces on your website do not look good, particularly if you are an e-commerce business that relies on your customers viewing pictures of your products before making a purchase.
Not only that, but you certainly won’t make any friends if large file sizes mean your customers need to use more of their mobile data in order to download the very images that you want them to see! And don’t forget, we are an impatient nation, used to getting what we want quickly. If your image takes too long to load, then your customer could get impatient and bounce away to find what they need from one of your competitors whose website is up to the task.
Simply put: how things appear on your website when viewed on a laptop or desktop does not always look good on mobile. Your website will shift the layout around in order to fit a smaller screen, and this can mean things appearing in odd places or in the wrong order. For example, consider if you have a contact form on the your service pages - on a website this would mostly likely appear in the right-hand side column. On mobile however, this column could disappear off the edge of the screen, forcing the user to - horror of horrors - scroll sideways to find it, or it could appear right at the top of the screen when the user isn’t ready to commit to getting in touch with you.
The best responsive website designs often have two versions of pages that appear depending on how the user is accessing the site - via desktop or mobile. This may not be needed across the whole site, but could be implemented for certain pages where it is crucial for the phone or tablet user to see the right information in the right space at the right time.
Web development for JMW Solicitors
What are the benefits?
Aside from ticking all of the right Google boxes to help improve your search engine ranking, the key benefit of having a responsive web design is the user experience. A well-organised, fast-loading website will help your users find what they need, where they expect to see it, quickly. And with this comes the holy trinity of:
- Reduced bounce rate
- Improved user engagement
- Increased goal completions
Essentially, your users will stay on your site for longer, visit more pages, and fill in that contact form, make that purchase or click through to give you a call. Not only that, but they may buy more than what they were originally looking for, and be more likely to return again in future.
At I-COM, all of our websites are built and designed with mobile responsiveness as a key element. We know that the future is handheld and on-the-go, and we are here to ensure you do not miss out on any opportunity that lands on your site.
Interested to find out more? You can see examples of our web design work here, or take a look at our User Experience and SEO services to discover how we can make responsive improvements to your current website.