New figures in August 2022 showed that a little over 62% of all website traffic comes from a mobile device. This means that over half of all the traffic coming to your website is viewing it on a mobile phone or tablet.
With such huge statistics in mind, companies are realising that it’s more important than ever to consider a professional website redesign and have a mobile-responsive website.
But what exactly are the benefits and is it a must for all businesses?
As experienced website designers in Melbourne, we can help ensure your business’s website is fully mobile functional so that customers and Google find it easy to navigate and use.
Here’s what you need to know about mobile-responsive websites and why they’re so important.
What Is Mobile-Responsive Design?
It may be easier to start with what is not a mobile-responsive design. We’ve all landed on one and we’ve all left one just as quickly!
A non-mobile-responsive website is a site that has been designed for a desktop and squeezed onto a smaller screen for mobile use.
From a user perspective, it means pinch-zooming to see the navigation bar, clicking on the Home button rather than the Products page, scrolling horizontally and looking at images that are larger than the screen width. Not exactly a pleasant way to find the information you need.
A mobile-responsive website, however, is designed to fit on a smaller screen. It might use a hamburger navigation bar rather than small and squished writing across the top of the screen.
Large chunks of text (which look OK on a desktop but overcrowded on a mobile device) will be broken up into smaller and easy-to-read paragraphs too.
Responsive website design also means you don’t have to have two different versions of your website – which can get complicated to manage and expensive. You simply have one website which changes depending on whether your user is visiting from a desktop or mobile device.
So, Why Should You Use Responsive Design for Your Website?
There are many reasons why your website needs to be mobile-responsive. It’s important for your customers, business and Google.
Benefit #1 – Better UX
This is arguably the most important reason when it comes to making your website mobile responsive. You’ve probably worked with designers to make sure your desktop version is easy to navigate and attractive. The font is a perfect size, CTAs are in the right place and you’ve sourced high-quality images to use.
But you need to think differently when it comes to a mobile device. People have fingers, not mice. This means that buttons need to be spaced out and touch targets need to be enlarged. It has to be easy for a customer to move around your website.
Design techniques such as mouseover hovers work well on a desktop version of a website, but get completely lost on the mobile one. Likewise, desktop screens are generally landscape and mobile screens are often portrait. This means you need to think carefully about the format of the graphics and images you use (landscape pictures on a mobile device are often way too small or too big and you just see the corner).
User experience is hugely important when it comes to getting people to trust your brand. They need to like your website and think you’re a professional business if they’re going to buy from you. What’s more, non-mobile-responsive websites will leave your customers feeling frustrated and they’ll probably bounce before they’ve gotten past the home page.
Benefit #2 – Improves Search Engine Optimisation
Any good web designer will tell you that web design is a hugely important part of your SEO strategy. And that includes mobile-responsive design. Google rates mobile-friendly websites and even has labels that appear in search results showing whether a website is mobile-responsive or not.
Simply put, if a website has been optimised for mobile screens, Google will like it more and help it to rank higher in search results. If you don’t have a mobile-responsive website, you’ll rank lower and miss out on potential traffic and sales.
Benefit #3 – More Cost Effective
This isn’t something most people think of when it comes to how web design helps business – but it’s true!
When you work with experienced web designers in Melbourne, they’ll be able to create a single website that can be scaled up or down depending on the screen size. This means you won’t have to pay for a separate mobile website which can be expensive, less flexible and more time-consuming to manage.
Furthermore, any small adjustments (such as text colour etc) can easily be changed across both versions of the website. You won’t have to pay for additional web maintenance on two websites!
Benefit #4 – Website Loads Faster
Humans are getting less and less patient – mainly because we have everything at our fingertips. Users visit more pages on a website when they load quickly and are much less likely to bounce because things are taking too long. According to Google, bounce rates increase by 32% when a page takes more than 3 seconds to load.
A mobile responsive website can reduce loading times. Mobile-friendly websites load visible content first, compress images and reduce server response time so that users can navigate quickly and effectively around the website.
What Will A Web Designer Do To Make Your Website Mobile-Responsive?
Without going into too many technicalities, there are some core things a web designer must do to make your website more user-friendly. These include:
Losing the Mouse
Your website needs to respond to fingertips, not the tiny point of a mouse. This means CTAs and buttons need to be bigger and have more space around them. They’ll also consider the best placement on a screen for important buttons that a finger can easily access.
Make the Loading Time Quicker
A great way to do this for a mobile website is to compress images and embed videos through a third party (such as YouTube).
Break Up Text
Text that may only be a couple of lines on a desktop website can look like a huge block on a mobile version. The text needs to be easy to scan so that visitors can get the information they need quickly.
Make It Suitable for a Smaller Screen
The proportions that work well for a desktop website may not work well for a mobile version. Banners may need to be larger, you might need to lose some text, use different images and change the position of the logo. These are all things that custom website designers can adjust.
Choosing Elevate As Your Website Designers in Melbourne
The team at Elevate Websites have a lot of experience in web design, web maintenance and SEO – all things which can benefit from a good mobile-responsive website.
Whilst we’ll take care of all the technical bits of your website design, we’ll also keep you up to date throughout and take our time to get to know your business.
If you’re interested in making your website more mobile-friendly and seeing the benefits that this could bring, get in touch with the team at Elevate. We’ll be happy to take you through the initial steps and improve your online presence.
Calem Koek is a web designer and owner of leading Melbourne-based digital marketing agency Elevate Websites. He has been helping businesses in Melbourne and across Australia scale their business online through quality website design and world class SEO services.