Is your website responsive?

In an age where information is available at our fingertips, companies looking to boost internet traffic need to consider making their website responsive.

It is becoming increasingly challenging to keep up with advancements in technology, but most successful businesses will tell you that an online presence can be a huge driver of sales and of customer trust.

However, with so many devices able to access the internet, and with internet speeds varying depending on geographical location, provider and bandwidth, how can you keep your website responsive across the board?

The case for responsive sites

First of all, let’s take a look at the benefits of a responsive webpage. According to research from Red Website Design, a website with a load time of less than a second for page across its platform will increase customer traffic by 4.6 per cent.

On the other end of the scale, pages that take four or more seconds to load will see your website experience negative traffic growth. From these two statistics, it’s evident how a few seconds can really make or break a webpage.

Faster load times also mean increased bounce rates, with pages that take four seconds to load returning a 100 per cent increase in bounce rates, while pages taking eight seconds to load lead to an 150 per cent increase.

*So how can you increase your website’s responsiveness? *

There are a few things you can do to increase a page’s loading speed. For example, take a look at how much media you currently have on the website.

While audio files, high-quality images, scrolling banners and videos can all look pretty, it can significantly damage the loading time of a page. If possible try and limit the bulky files you use, giving the page as a whole a more streamlined look and feel. These added flourishes to a page might be desirable, but if no one actually visits your page due to extensive loading times, who’s going to benefit?

Try and condense information down as much as possible. Use bullet points to deliver quick and vital information that will benefit a customer, rather than burying key information in a five-minute video.
And If you really want to direct customers to video or audio content, perhaps use external links to keep your website free from clutter.

The next challenge is making your website responsive to a range of platforms. According to Intelligent Positioning, internet traffic from tablets and smartphones increased from 22.8 per cent to 37 per cent in 2013, demonstrating the significant rise of internet use on mobile devices in recent times.

If your website isn’t optimised for mobile usage, it is likely you will lose customers as a result. Many people use their commuting time to search the internet, while the growing presence of publically accessible WiFi networks and roaming data coverage has seen more people accessing their phones while out and about.
Slow loading speeds on mobile devices can be a real burden when it comes to trying to please customers. If your webpage takes an age to load and is difficult to navigate on a smaller screen, it is almost certain that a customer will turn their interests towards a competitor.

As our access to information increases, so our patience drops. We now expect to be able to view information in a few seconds, rather than tapping our fingers while chunks of page data loads.

Don’t base your website design on a one-size-fits-all concept. It's vital to understand that access to the world wide web is changing, and businesses need to adapt accordingly to make the most of the global marketplace.