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Responsive websites – how mobile optimisation helps your ranking

Responsive websites are key to success.

If you don’t have a responsive website you’re probably asking yourself if you really need to take the plunge and get one. To answer your question there’s both a long and a short version of why you should get one.

Why you need a responsive website; the short version

It’s great for user experience and Google says you need a responsive website. Their latest algorithm update favours responsive websites, which means that one that isn’t responsive will have an effect on your overall ranking.

Why you need a responsive website; the long version

When it comes to optimisation the method previously used by designers and developers was to create two website designs: a desktop version and a very separate mobile website.

Several months ago Google’s latest algorithm update dubbed ‘Mobilegeddon’ was the latest wave in an optimisation attack, this one focuses solely on whether your website is optimised for every possible device out there.

So with a quarter of people browsing the internet on the go it’s vital that your website looks good on a phone or tablet.

With more mobile devices being used than ever before, and a staggering amount of users browsing the web on their mobile device all that has changed; a responsive website is a future proofed way of design.

One design for all devices

Previous methods of designing required two separate entities: a desktop and a mobile version of the same website – but this provides several distinct issues. The main one being that the mobile site is designed for specific screen sizes, meaning the site will look different on an iPhone 5s than it does on an iPhone 6s Plus.

In clear contrast, responsive web design requires one website that adapts to all screen sizes, no matter what sized screen the device has.

Why responsive sites are so important

Mobile browsing is taking over. When a prospective client hears about your business, they likely reach for their phone to search – that’s the one big reason your site needs to be responsive.

These stats from Smart Insights that will hopefully show you exactly why you need to adapt:

The stats from Google’s Think Insights show that if a user lands on your mobile website and it isn’t clear what they should be doing, there’s a 61% chance they will leave your site immediately and find another, clearer, website. In contrast, if the user also has a positive experience with your mobile website, they are 67% more likely to convert.

A responsive website is an optimised website

With the latest algorithm, as of 21 April 2015, Google introduced mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in what was dubbed ‘Mobilegeddon’. This new ranking factor will be the final nail in the coffin for all those old and tired websites clinging to the early days of desktop-only design – if your website isn’t responsive, it will suffer in the rankings.

With a responsive design you only need one website for any future devices that could be created.

If you don’t know if your website is mobile-friendly, we suggest that you take a brief look at Google’s mobile-friendly guide and start working towards getting your website up-to-scratch. If you want some help, please get in touch with us and we’ll be more than happy to help you out.

All Things Code is a website & app development company in Northampton that specialise in designing and developing responsive websites that you can count on. If you want to have a discussion about what we can offer please get in touch: hello@allthingscode.co.uk

Steve Archer

Head of SEO & Content