Responsive web design drastically improves your conversion rates.
It’s a bold, true and above all else – easy to apply definition. But, there’s always that huge “IF” looming above it and in this case, that IF demands understanding.
So, let’s start at the top.
What is a Responsive Web Design?
A responsive web design ensures a website “looks good” on all devices. It’s especially important now when browsing on mobile devices became the preferable option.
On a responsive website, no matter what device you’re using, information and/or page elements appear the same, they’re just resized and organized to better fit the screen size.
That way, the website responds to device resolution, providing an intuitive experience for your visitors, which massively helps with your search engine optimization (SEO) value.
Not every website is optimized for mobile traffic, but as more and more prospects are getting used to the responsive design, they inadvertently gravitate to ones utilizing the best web design practices.
By using the same accounts on various devices, visitors subconsciously expect a seamless transition. Websites founded on that expectation will undoubtedly benefit from a longer dwell time, lower bounce rate and, by proxy, more conversions.
Building a responsive website from the ground up may be more lucrative in the long run, but generating steady engagement, traffic, leads and finally, conversions requires some fine-tuning. For that reason alone, many seek aid from local professionals. For example, a business based in New York would benefit from hiring a good New York web design agency and boosting those efforts further by enlisting reliable PPC advertising firms.
Optimize for Mobile Devices
We already touched upon this point, but it’s worth backing it up with some tangible data. According to Google, if the mobile version of your website is difficult to navigate you will lose more than 60% of your visitors.
On the other hand, if the user experience (UX) was mostly positive, they are more likely to convert. Current stats show that one in three online users have already purchased a product/service on a mobile device and/or continues to do so.
Every year the number of users searching the internet via mobile devices continuously rises. They enjoy or expect to enjoy an optimal online experience, regardless of the type of website they visit.
If your site isn’t responsive on mobile devices or if it’s a hassle to use, they will immediately leave. To create an intuitive mobile UX you need to:
- Prioritize content – put the most important information at the top of the page
- Put calls-to-action (CTAs) close to the top of the page and make them thumb-friendly
- Limit scroll-time to subscription points and minimize the amount of personal information users need to fill in.
Understand your visitors/users
“Understanding your audience” is both the broadest and ultra-specific advice. Depending on the nature of your business/industry/content, your target audience may vary wildly. Different demographic aspects, including age, habits, demand, expectations, cultural conditioning, may affect how they interact with or even how they interpret your website.
Don’t forget that many visitors come to your website with preconceptions about how things work. The page navigation should mitigate their often-misguided expectations but also address them accordingly.
That knowledge gap can be tricky, so your website should provide the intuitive steps where they can learn, adapt and ideally seamlessly fill in the blanks.
Before you start designing, define who your visitors are by including them in the process. Do your homework, survey the prospective customers, monitor the industry competitors and don’t be afraid to experiment.
An eye-pleasing design is always welcome but easy navigation is a must. Luckily, it’s not mutually exclusive.
Consider where your visitor wants to go after landing on your Homepage. Will they click on the main menu, internal links or will you offer a mapped experience by providing the next few steps.
When browsing through your products and/or services, you want to present your visitors with different options, including categories, types, etc. Finding what they search for easily, significantly improves your website conversions.
Provide Answers and Solutions Conveniently
This is basically a combination of our previous two points but bear with us.
Ask yourself – What do you want when visiting a website? Options may vary, but they’re not infinite. Generally, you either seek information/solutions or a product/service.
It’s the same with your visitors. Make all the information available on one page. Don’t make them follow the breadcrumbs. If your unique value proposition (UVP) is worth it and answers their unmet needs, you don’t need to sweeten the deal any further.
Just consider all the questions a visitor may have when making a decision and present your answers conveniently on one page. If the customer’s questions are too specific, you can always find an affordable solution, like a VoIP phone, that will make you available to your visitors 24/7, so you can be ready to tackle any specific request they might have.
For example, if a shopper is looking for an exercise bike, have all the specifications and dimensions readily available next to the aforementioned product.
Most of the visitors look for one specific information/product on your website. On average, he spends just 6 seconds interacting with the main menu. If every element, from naming to navigational structure, makes sense at first glance – they’re one step closer to convert.
Be Mindful of Click Fatigue
It may sound counterintuitive at first, but an expansive, complicated offering may do more harm than a lack of options. Nobody has time or patience to run through infinite menus. Balance is the key.
Let’s go back to navigation. The idea is to limit the number of clicks for a visitor to make a purchase or complete any desired action to a bare minimum.
It’s better to streamline the visitors’ website journey than showering them with the abundant offering. Use a prominent search bar and large calls-to-action (CTAs).
Less is more. Use expandable content for reviews, collapsible menus, making sure that price, payment and shipping options capture visitors’ attention straight away.
Heatmaps are essential, especially in the starting phases of a new website. Most people absorb a website’s content in an F pattern. Heatmaps make it easy to track which page elements are they most drawn to.
They are an ideal way to pinpoint what works well, what should be optimized or what is completely ignored.
Although not without their fault, heatmaps make it easy to visualize complex data and understand it at a glance.
Heatmaps are an umbrella term for different tools. Depending on which website aspect you want to improve, you might want a scroll map, click map or a move map. Knowing the difference is easy and every single one improves your understanding of website performance.
Use Negative Space
Negative space is that “cold” area, when viewing through heatmap lenses but it is no less important. Leaving empty spaces is often frowned upon, but besides being a design choice, it gives other website elements a chance to breathe and guide the visitors’ eyes.
Negative space also improves your copy visually, as no one wants to read huge blocks of text. Breaking up paragraphs into narrow, two-line chunks is THE way to go.
Optimize Page Speed
This would be the universal advice for any website, be it a news outlet or an eCommerce giant. Page loading speed is everything. The tips above are worthless if your website speed is lacking.
Almost 50% of users expect a webpage to load in two seconds! Every additional second feeds the beast known as bounce rate. If it takes more than three, say goodbye to 40% of your visitors.
Page speed is one of the most important elements of SEO ranking so you need to consider several key factors to improve it, such as:
- Minimizing features that increase your loading time (animations, high-resolution images)
- Removing unused media
- Updating your PHP version
Over 50% of all website traffic comes directly from mobile devices and it’s likely to increase further, so a responsive website experience is a key element to grow conversion rates.
Crafting a responsive website means more than cramming your website content in a smaller screen. It’s an improvement of the overall user experience, by reducing clutter on your website, prioritizing elements shown to each visitor and finally, designing the shortest path to the conversion funnel.