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By in Design + Develop

Can you think how many screens you have in your household?

Mobile screens, tablets, desktop computers, laptops, TVs … and each one is a different in size.

As our screen time increases each year, the future of ‘the responsive website’ is secure. However, you might be asking … what on earth is a responsive website?

Bouncing like Tigger!

Conventionally designed websites need to be viewed on a desktop or laptop computer in order to get the best viewing experience.

Not too long ago, websites suitable for viewing on a mobile phone were created by developers specially for viewing on a smaller screen such as a mobile phone that tends to fit in most pockets.
Tablets or i-Pads tend to fall under the mobile category, too.

You’ll know if a website is NOT mobile responsive … you’ll end up zooming, scrolling or panning … in other words, such a site has not been optimised for a smaller screen. These sites are very difficult to navigate around, and you might leave them fairly quickly (in other words, ‘bounce’ off them, rather like Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh due to viewing frustration!).

And with year and year increases in mobile phone usage, you’re missing a trick if your website is not suitable for mobile phone viewing.


Respond with Responsiveness

So, going back to the original question, how many screens have you got in your household? It is not so much about the quantity, it’s more about the disparity in sizes.

A responsively designed website will look amazing and is easier to find your way around whatever gadget or device you’re using. This will reduce the Tigger effect (the bounce rate) and should increase the dwell time of visitors to your site (the time they spend on looking through your pages and menus).

Simply put, the viewer finds your content easy to read (without the need for zooming etc). A responsive website also means businesses no longer need a dedicated mobile-friendly website … in other words, one website fits all.

The responsive website is the combination of traditional website development with mobile web design: the two have now dovetailed which is great news for you as it means only one website needs creating.


Mobile Phones

As more and more folks use their mobile phones as ‘mini-computers’ (which is effectively what they are), then a responsive website is a must. As is widely known, search engine Google also likes mobile friendly websites. For Google, it’s all about the viewing experience … so the better the experience, in theory your website should be easier to find.

One key area that has elevated internet browsing on mobile phones is Social Media, and video sharing platforms such as YouTube and TikTok.
So, responsive website design is now imperative for the digital footprint of a business or organisation. By having one, you are reaching out to your audience no matter what device they’re using.


Remember Old Fashioned Screens?

Hands up who remember that huge TV set in the corner of the sitting room, and space-sucking monitors in the early days of personal computers? Then along came LCDs and TFTs … and the world of websites had to change, quickly! The new screen technology altered the way consumers experienced websites, layouts looked weird and there are still hiccups with this today in certain instances.

This is where, once again, responsiveness ticks yet another box! From a 4.2inch mobile phone screen upwards, whether it is a Social Media platform, an app, a website or a landing page, responsive website design will ensure viewing is easier, more legible, easier to navigate and above all, usable.

This includes the all-important images and/or videos … a responsively designed website will ensure the images and videos are of the correct resolution, cutting down the loading time of your website … let’s face it, we’re all impatient if a website takes time to ‘wake up’!


The Dark Art of SEO

In a nutshell, Search Engine Optimisation is a strategy that helps boost a website’s rankings on Google. The closer you are to the top of the list, the better chance customers have of discovering you. Ask yourself how many times do you visit page 2 of the results Google throws up at you?

Google just loves to keep people happy … if your website looks good on all gadgets, this will help.

It is an idea to get to grips with SEO basics … the goal is to appear on page one of Google and this does take time once your website is ‘live’. Patience in this instance is a virtue.
There are some simple steps to follow:

  • Think about what your customers are searching for. So, for holiday accommodation in Scarborough, people might use ‘places to stay; hotels; rooms’ as search terms … this bit is reliant on good old common sense! Do some research into your sector.
  • Are people using different phrases to search for the same thing? Ie ‘Cheapest hotels in Scarborough?’
  • Consider other search terms … hotels near the sea Scarborough; 3 star hotels …
  • Create content that aligns with search content
  • Create unique content
  • Optimise your images
  • Install a n SSL certificate
  • Create a sitemap
  • Link internally between pages and posts on your website
  • Get blogging!

Are There Some Other Bits That I Should Know?

Yes. We’re not about to say it’s all things to all women or men.

If you are currently creating your own website through one of the many website creation platforms, then you’ll know it’s not easy to create a responsive website (best to let the experts do this).

And users of desktops might be using the internet differently to someone on a mobile phone. The biggie here is voice activated searches … a whole new way of searching the internet in the era of Alexa or Siri … yet we’re prepared.