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It’s very easy to ignore and dismiss the importance of building a mobile responsive website. After all, isn’t this just a passing fad? Not at all. The majority of connections to the internet are from mobile devices. According to the POTRAZ 2016 2nd Quarter Report, the total number of internet connections in Zimbabwe stands at around 6.7 million. Of this about 6.5 million are mobile connections. That’s an astounding 97% that’s mobile based. Be warned, ignore the buying power of mobile users at your own peril.

What is a responsive website?

Traditionally, people accessed the internet from desktop and laptop computers. As more and more people started to increasingly make use of their mobile devices (tablet and smartphones) to connect to the internet, a new challenge began to develop. The websites did not fit on the small screen of these smaller devices. To view the website you needed to do a lot of scrolling sideways and downwards. The solution to this problem are responsive websites. A responsive website adapts the content of the website to the size of the device screen.

Here are 6 key benefits of having a responsive website:

Content flexibility

A responsive website is fluid. This means the content fits freely on all screen sizes and devices. It’s much like water. Water takes the shape of any container that it is poured in making it highly flexible. Just as water fills an allotted space and retain its appearance, a responsive website’s fluidity achieves the same result with website content on a device screen.

A great user experience

The secret to every successful website are happy customers. Your website must allow people access on their own terms. If someone wants to access it from their workplace laptop, or on their phone while on the bus it’s their choice. Empower your website users to exercise their choice. A rigid website will stress a website visitor by making them zoom in and out of content and scrolling to view your pages. A responsive website allows your visitors to do the one thing that’s important – concentrate on the message.

Increased traffic and conversion rates

A responsive website will help drive traffic to your website. Mobile users are more likely to use sites that are designed for mobile use instead of those that simply display a desktop version on mobile devices. Upgrading to a responsive website allows you to better meet mobile users’ needs and can positively impact traffic to your site.

In addition, a responsive design helps in converting all that traffic into actual customers. Your responsive website makes it easier for users to follow through on your website’s purpose and goal. Every website must have a goal. This is the what you want people who visit your website to do after visiting. In other words traffic must have a purpose. This could be to register an account, make a purchase or fill a form. So let’s say your website goal is for a user to register an account. Your website then receives 100 visitors and 20 visitors proceed to register an account. Your conversion rate in this case is 20%. The goal is to raise that figure as high as possible.

If visitors to your website encounter challenges in registering an account they will leave and your conversion rate will fall. A responsive website ensures that visitors on mobile devices view your website without hassles therefore allowing them to complete the end objective.

Saves development time and costs

The traditional approach to building a website that can be viewed on both desktop computers and mobile devices is to build to separate websites. One for desktops and one for mobile devices. The boring thing about it is that these two websites have the same content, the only difference is that the content for different devices. So for every work you do on your website you have to do so twice. This means twice the time, twice the effort and twice the cost.

A responsive website solves that problem. You can have one website serving content for all types of devices. Talk about efficiency.

SEO boost

A responsive website has another benefit in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). Google now favors responsive websites in search results made on mobile devices. So by getting a responsive website you get a visibility boost over those websites that are not responsive. The second SEO advantage is that a mobile site means you no longer have duplicate content on your website. Since you are no longer maintaining two versions of the same website, it means Google has to index only one website version. Google hates duplicate content and by eliminating it from your website you gain an advantage.

Easy to manage

Having a separate desktop and mobile site requires having to duplicate site management and marketing campaigns. It means running two SEO campaigns and updating two websites. Managing one site and one SEO campaign is far easier than managing two sites and two SEO campaigns. This is a key advantage that a responsive website has over a separate mobile site.

Do you have any questions or contribution to make to this article? Join the discussion in the comments below.

Do you need a mobile responsive website?