Once upon a time all websites were equal - in terms of design at least. They were created to be looked at on a desk top monitor and that was that. Life was pretty easy for a web designer. One size really did fit all.
Then things got complicated. Laptops, mobile phones, tablets and smart phones came along and websites needed to work on those too. Talk about a square peg in a round whole.
How were designs that were built on a nice wide fixed width framework meant to squish down and still look good and, more importantly, be functional? Step up to the plate responsive design.
So what is a responsive website?
Put simply it's a website that automatically adapts to any screen size. It turns multi item navigation bars into hamburgers (those three line menu icons) and makes design elements stack neatly on smaller screen sizes.
Zero tolerance for old, clunky websites
As mobile device ownership continues to rise and traditional personal computer sales decrease, more people are using their smartphones to view websites.
Be warned – these visitors are not patient. It takes 0.05 seconds for the average visitor to get a measure of your website and whether they like it or not. If the website isn’t super easy to use, professional looking and fast loading, they’ll be off like a shot.
To stand out from the crowd you need to ensure your website is polished to perfection and that includes, as a bare minimum, being responsive.
Google hates your site
Of course not. Google only wants to "be kind", but in truth it doesn't like old, non-responsive websites and will not promote them.
In 2018 the search engine announced that it was prioritizing mobile-friendly sites in its search results algorithm. This was and is big news.
It means that if a website isn’t mobile friendly it will rank lower in mobile search results than those websites that are.
How can I tell if my website is mobile friendly?
Get it straight from the horse’s mouth. If you have an existing website Google can run a test to see how easily a visitor can use your site on a mobile device. Simply enter the web address. Test my website
The bottom line
Forget the SEO smoke and mirrors. The facts are simple. User experience and usability affects a website’s position in Google. If you have an old website it will likely rank lower than your competitors.
The solution is to have an up to date, professionally designed website that looks great across all devices with lots of useful, relevant content.
But don't take my word for it. Here's what Google has to say.
Steps to a Google-friendly site