Responsive Site Design: The Next Future of the Web
For many experts in web design and development today, responsive site designs are where the future is headed. A responsive site design is going to provide a number of key benefits that will not only offer increased productivity in things like SEO, but will also bring more viewers to the site over the long run as the numbers of tablet and mobile users continue to increase.
Responsive Site Design
In the simplest of terms, a responsive website is one that responds directly to the environment in which it is being viewed. It will be able to adapt to the gridview that is being used, working on anything from a large desktop computer screen, to a laptop, to a tablet, to a smartphone, without losing any of its design elements and features.
What it replaces are mobile-specific sites. While these sites still provide all of the information necessary in terms of the articles and text offered, traditional mobile sites give up a lot when it comes to the look and feel of their pages.
Responsive sites are designed to allow for link integrity across various platforms. What this actually means is that if a user has started browsing a site on their laptop and then have to leave the site to follow up later on a tablet, they will still have the same quality experience that they started on their laptop.
This is incredibly important now that people are so mobile. Smartphones have become a staple in society, and tablets are following. A growing percentage of users are doing quite a bit of their web browsing via a mobile device. This is where a responsive site can add a far superior user experience.
No Need for Extra Apps
Many well-developed sites began producing apps that would allow their users the ability to access a trimmed down version on their phones. This allowed users to still have a high quality experience, but it did not require any additional site design features that would get lost in the translation from a larger laptop grid to a smaller smartphone grid.
Now, with responsive designs, separate apps for many of these sites are no longer needed. This is going to give users the ability to get rid of those redundant apps, freeing up space on their smartphones and tablets for other things.
Greater Social Signals
As we know with the recent Google updates, social signals are having an increasing impact on the rankings of websites. Responsive web design can tie directly into this concept with their design features. Users will still be able to like or give a +1 to a blog post with a responsive site, something that gets lost in the traditional mobile sites where all of the extra features are swept away.
SEO Tactics Available
In terms of gaining a high place for search results, search engine optimization (SEO) is the name of the game. However, mobile based sites give up a crucial piece of the search engine marketing puzzle because, in addition to not having the capability for the social signals mentioned above, they are also not going to be optimized for ads.
Responsively designed sites solve this, because they can be optimized for the proper viewing environment. Everything that you are able to see on a standard laptop screen can also seen on a responsive site, still allowing for the SEO tactics that are used for conventional web browsing.