What we know about the world of technology is that more people are moving to smartphones and tablets to conduct everyday business and Internet related tasks. This isn't going to change and the mass of users is only going to increase in volume. A lot of businesses have adapted to the change by making their websites responsive for all platforms. But there is a chunk of them that are still in denial; tightly clutching to their desktop websites that they're sure look "pretty fine on mobile devices too".
While they may, mobile sites and responsive sites that have been designed for easy rendering look better and they operate with a smooth efficiency that cannot be achieved with desktop sites displaying on mobile.
That should be the end of the post. If you haven't made the change, do it. It's for the good of your brand, the happiness and satisfaction of your users and the profitability of your business. The end. Oh wait, but there's more... there are a few other reasons why you should adopt responsive design (even over separate mobile and desktop sites), and we're going to let you know what they are.
Google Loves Responsive Design
Aha! It always comes back to Google, doesn't it? When we're optimizing sites for search, it certainly does, considering Google commands almost 3/4 of the traffic moving through all listed search engines. Google's Matt Cutts actually recommends using responsive design over creating a mobile and desktop version of your website.
When you have a responsive website, your users will always be viewing your site on the same URL with everything packed neatly into one website. The mobile or tablet versions will be modified in certain ways to fit on the device screen, but aside from that the URLs, content and all other web elements will remain the same across all devices. When it comes to sites made specifically for mobile and their desktop counterparts, each variation lives on a separate URL with canonical tags pointing to the master version. Crawling and indexing can become a somewhat laborious task, and users could end up viewing the wrong site on the wrong device.
As quoted from Matt Cutts' video below:
"So you don't need to worry about the SEO drawbacks of responsive design at all. You need to make sure that your page works well for users and that it's fast and all that sort of good stuff. But I wouldn't worry at all about responsive design and whether that will hurt you in terms of SEO."
That should be all the convincing you need, right? But there's still more!
Changes Affected Across The Board
Another reason to love responsive design is that it halves your workload when it comes to updates, site fixes and amends. Think of every time a campaign needs to be updated or a banner needs to be changed on your website. Each time a task like this comes into production, you only have to do it once for a responsive site. The changes render according to whatever device you're on and hey presto! Everyone's happy.
If you have both a mobile and desktop site, you have to do the changes twice. Those changes could include creating a design for the mobile site and one for the desktop; creating content for the mobile site and one for the desktop; developing the changes on the mobile site and again on the desktop.
The same applies to your SEO strategy. If you want to update your title tags or perhaps need to tweak some content to make it more relevant, you've got to do it twice if you're not working on a responsive site. Auditing your site for efficiency is also a task that is duplicated, as are any strategic moves you need to implement.
Is it really worth all that trouble when you can handle it all once with a responsive site? The design and development process might take slightly longer, but the rewards in optimal user experience, ease of use and streamlined processes are priceless.
Go responsive! It's the right thing to do.