Do you know that 60% of people access the Internet through mobile? Imagine losing 60% of your customers only because your website is not optimized to be viewed on a mobile device.
Your customers won’t hesitate to press the back or exit button if your website looks awful on their smartphone or tablet. If that’s the case, not only will you be driving customers away, but your mobile search ranking will also drop.
If you are not aware, the results from a desktop search and mobile search differ. If your website is not mobile-friendly, the chance of appearing on top of the mobile search results is rather slim. And this could mean bad business.
If you don’t want to keep on losing money, one of the best solutions that you could do is to have a responsive web design.
Understanding responsive web design
A responsive web design is a kind of approach that makes your website look good on all types of devices such as desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets, or any other device which can be used for Internet access. If your website is responsive, its layout will change and will automatically adjust itself depending on the screen size of the device used.
For a clearer understanding on what a responsive web design is, let us view SelectBlinds.com via desktop and smartphone.
See how SelectBlinds.com’s layout differ using both devices? With a responsive web design, their website becomes snugly fit on the screen of a smaller device.
Now, let us look at a non-responsive website such as Stoneside.com. (They have a great design by the way.)
In order to navigate Stoneside’s website on a smaller device, the users still need to zoom in and move the screen around on every page. This provides a very difficult for user experience, and Google recognizes this problem.
Why make your website responsive now
Aside from making your website look good on most types of devices, a responsive web design has many advantages. If you opt for a responsive web design, you can gain the following benefits:
Your website will be more visible on mobile search results. I assume that you have already performed search engine activities using your mobile phone. If you would notice, the websites that appear on top of the mobile search results are marked as “Mobile-friendly.” To help you visualize what I’m referring to, here’s a screenshot:
I have searched for the term “blinds” and these are the results. It’s very rare to see a non-mobile friendly site appear on the first page results. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, it is pushed deeper into the last pages.
You can get more customers. Compared to a website with no responsive web design, you could actually gain more customers with a responsive web design. Based on statistics, 61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience.
Your website will have a higher conversion rate. If your competitor has a non-responsive website, you are more likely to gain an advantage if you opt for a responsive web design. Based on this responsive web design infographic, 67% of users are more likely to buy from a mobile-optimized website than a non-mobile optimized site.
The ugly consequences of a non-responsive website
You might think that having a non-responsive website is not a big deal, but it is.
Google, the search engine giant, has updated its mobile search algorithm to reward mobile-friendly sites to increase their rankings, and penalize non-responsive ones.
Here, you can see that Google openly admits that they favor responsive websites over those that are not (April 2015).
This only means that responsive websites will rank in front of yours, pushing your rankings down on mobile search results.
Since you are pulled down on the mobile search results, your business website could possibly suffer from these dreadful chain of events:
- Your website’s mobile traffic will drop.
- You will be wasting your advertising spend, since people will only bounce off your website.
- Your customers will go to your competitor’s responsive site and purchase from them instead.
- You will be left with few to zero successful sales.
To avoid this tragedy, you have to make your website responsive. I’ll show you how to fix it. But first things first, let us check if your website is already mobile-friendly or not.
How to test your website for mobile-friendliness
It’s fairly easy to check this out. Google has a simple tool called Mobile-Friendly Test which helps analyze if your website has a mobile-friendly design.
To begin, go to this URL https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ and enter your website’s link in the “Enter a web page URL” field. Then click “Analyze.”
Let’s see if SelectBlinds.com is really a mobile-friendly site. So I entered its web page URL and clicked the Analyze button.
When you run the test, it will appear like the screenshot above. Wait until it is 100% complete for the result.
The Mobile-Friendly Test tool will then flash this kind of result if your page is mobile-friendly:
Otherwise, the result will be like this:
If you encountered this problem, there’s a simple and cheap way on how to fix it. And it doesn’t have to be expensive and complicated.
Fixing your non-responsive website in an uncomplicated way
If you know anything about my work, you will know that I only use WordPress. (I’ll cover why in a future article, so be sure to join my LinkedIn group to get access to this.)
I find that converting older non-responsive websites is more time consuming than new ones, since it requires a lot more coding, and of course, browser and device testing.
If you would be taking a look at my site, it is sexy and well-branded, but it isn’t rocket science.
Here is how mine looks on another cool tool I use over at ResponsiveDesign.is
Notice how everything renders nicely and that the user doesn’t have to scroll around the screen?
To make yours responsive like mine, I did the following steps:
I went to ThemeForest and searched for “Responsive WordPress Templates.” ThemeForest is a marketplace where you can buy ready-made templates, so you don’t have to design or code from scratch.
I sent the design to my developer to install. It only costs me $59 for the template and a few hours for my developer to install. Here is the template I used and here is its live demo. And of course, you are now looking at the end result.
And that’s it. By installing a responsive ready-made template, my website becomes mobile-friendly.
In my opinion, it is far easier to purchase a template and modify it than to do a custom design and try to convert it to a responsive one, just my 2 cents worth.
If you like your current website design or it takes too much effort to change, open up a dialog with your developer and see what can be done. If your website needs a 100% overhaul, go with a template.
Sixty percent of you reading this still have a non-responsive website and you need to take action.