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Google is planning to implement its new mobile-first Index update in March of this year. The update will introduce a number of changes, making the search algorithm more favorable to mobile-oriented websites.
Desktop-only sites will be dropped from Google’s index altogether. This means that if your website is desktop-oriented or desktop-only, it is time to start making some changes.
Google’s decision comes as no surprise to any self-respecting web design company. The number of people accessing the world’s most prominent search engines through smartphones and tablets has been steadily increasing for some time, and web designers are continually working on creating more responsive, mobile-first solutions.
Let’s take a look at what it means to have a responsive website in 2021.
What Constitutes a Responsive Website in 2021?
More responsive websites improve usability and readability on smartphones and other devices, so there’s a direct correlation between responsive design and user experience. A responsive website can seamlessly adapt to the various devices that consumers use to access it.
Considering the rising numbers of users accessing websites from smartphones and tablets, as well as the mobile-first index we mentioned earlier, any web design strategy in 2021 must have responsiveness at its core. Neglecting this concept is likely to lead to impaired campaign performance and a decrease in sales.
How to Make Your Website Responsive
Here is an easy-to-follow list of practices you can implement to offer your customers the best experience regardless of their chosen device.
1. Keep Things Simple
Keeping your website simple and free from excessive embellishments and animations is a crucial point. This will allow the site to provide its visitors with a slick and smooth experience, no matter which device they happen to be using.
Rather than thinking of this as a function-oriented compromise you’re forced to make, think of it as a win-win scenario; a well-done minimalistic aesthetic will make your website look especially appealing to a modern audience.
Clear and simple user interfaces are gaining popularity by the day and offer a way to make your calls to action stand out even more — a point which we will discuss in a bit more detail later.
2. Focus on Making a Responsive Homepage
We don’t need to tell you that desktops, smartphones and tablets all have different-sized screens. This means that the elements of your site that fit the screen perfectly on one device may not come out looking that great on another.
Imagine a desktop-oriented site that features all kinds of information on its homepage, including links to other pages, customer experiences, calls to action, etc. You may think that all of these elements are essential to your presentation, but you’ll have a hard time transferring this concept to a smartphone screen.
This is why you should adopt a mobile-first strategy when creating your homepage. You may need to think hard about which elements of your site truly are essential and make a conscious choice of what to display on its smartphone version.
3. Make Your CTAs Pop
Your website likely has a call-to-action that you want your prospective customers to complete. It might be signing up for an app or buying an item from your online store. If you’re going to give people the best possible chance to do this, you’ll need to feature a primary call-to-action on your page.
The best way to do this is to make the CTA stand out from the rest of the page. You may want to enlist the help of a digital marketing agency to make the CTA as effective as possible on all platforms.
4. Make Sure Your Site Loads Quickly
Users today are not exactly patient when it comes to waiting for websites to load. Most people will jump ship if your site hasn’t finished loading within a few seconds. The negative effect of this is two-fold:
- You lose a potential customer
- Your website gets a bad mark in Google’s rankings
Having too many users abandon your site before it loads is a big problem for SEO, and it can lead to fewer people seeing the site. If it takes more than two or three seconds for your website to load on a fast internet connection, it’s time to make some changes.
5. Think Carefully About Your Fonts
Typography should be a primary concern if you’re trying to build a responsive website. Visitors shouldn’t have to strain their eyes to read your content, regardless of the device they’re using.
If your font is too small or otherwise difficult to read, you will lose prospective customers before having a chance to convert them. For a truly responsive website, ensure that the font sizes complement the device they’re viewed on.
That said, try to avoid using too many different styles. This can dilute your brand identity, along with making the website seem unorganized and scattered. There are four factors to consider when it comes to responsive typography:
- Text amount
- Font style and size
- Line lengths and hierarchy levels
- Color contrast
6. Keep Things Interesting with Interactive Elements
This step is all about engaging the site’s visitors. Fun interactive design choices can be the difference between a dull, brutalist website and an entertaining one.
We know what you’re thinking. Wasn’t the first point all about keeping things simple? It was, and these two tips aren’t mutually exclusive. There are lots of ways to include creative animations and interactive elements without making the site cluttered. The trick is to find the balance.
7. Use Personalized Content
A website’s responsiveness is not only determined by its ability to adapt to different screens and devices. The most advanced websites out there respond to their visitors’ interests, presenting them with personalized content.
What your website shows each customer can change depending on their location, search terms, or the sites they have visited.
Personalized content is becoming more relevant each day, and it is a key component when it comes to keeping your conversion rates high.