Responsive websites have been around for some time now, so they are a common feature of website design in Auckland. Any good website designer creating a new website for you in 2019 will make your site responsive.
Not all responsive websites are the same, however. At the bottom end of the scale, you have websites that are technically responsive, but which don’t deliver a good user experience. At the top end of the scale, on the other hand, are optimised responsive websites.
Website design has moved on considerably since responsive websites were first introduced, so it’s no longer good enough to just have a responsive site. Instead, yours needs to be optimised.
What is Responsive Website Design?
Let’s first do a quick recap on responsive website design. A website that has a responsive design will respond to the user’s size of screen. So, when a user views your website on a desktop computer with a large screen, they will see the full-size desktop view of your website.
When users view your website on tablets or mobile devices, however, the screen dynamically resizes to fit on the smaller screen.
Why Responsive Website Design is Important for Users
For users, responsive website design is essential. This is because there is no need to pinch-to-zoom to see the content on the page.
In addition, responsive website design eliminates the need for sideways scrolling, keeping all scrolling vertical.
Why Responsive Website Design is Important for SEO
Google has been promoting responsive website design for years now, plus its been gradually moving its strategy to a mobile-first policy.
For example, Google prioritises websites that are responsive on search results pages where the searcher is using a mobile device. In addition, Google now uses mobile-first indexing. In simple terms, this means it checks for a mobile version of your website before checking for a desktop version.
Google’s focus on mobile means you could lose rankings and, ultimately, traffic if you don’t deliver a good user experience to mobile users.
Key Factors to Consider
You might be thinking you already have a responsive website, so what’s the big concern. As mentioned above, having an optimised responsive website is crucial in 2019. This means going beyond ensuring the content displays on the screen properly. You also need to look at a range of other factors, the most important of which include:
- Site structure – is the structure of your website confusing for mobile users with multiple layers of navigation and sub-menu options?
- Menu design – is the menu on your website when viewed on a mobile device easy to use?
- Content – is the content on your pages easy to read on a mobile device? The text font and size are important in this regard, but the structure and layout of the text is important too. For example, do your pages have large paragraphs or chunks of text? This can be off-putting to users on mobile devices.
- Functionality – do all the functions on your website work, or are some of the features only available to desktop users?
- Links and buttons – people visiting your website on a phone or tablet will navigate it using their fingers. This is quite a bit different to using a mouse and a mouse pointer on the screen. Are your links and buttons easy to tap using a finger which is much less precise?
- Speed – there is a greater chance that mobile users will access your website on a slower internet connection, so mobile page load speeds are incredibly important. Does your website load fast enough?
If you have concerns with any of the points above, you should prioritise getting them sorted.