What is Responsive Design & Why is it Important for Your Website?

As mobile devices become increasingly popular, it is vital that your business's website design can adapt to these platforms. This practice, known as responsive design, reconfigures the layout of your website or app for easy and aesthetic pleasure, no matter the size or shape of the screen.

What does responsive design entail?

Responsive design doesn’t just mean shrinking the text to fit the screen, in fact it’s quite the opposite. Rather than squishing a desktop-screen worth of information onto a 6-inch smartphone, your responsive website needs an entirely new look. To get started, let’s discuss four important components for a responsive, mobile friendly design.


When using a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device, there should be no need for the user to zoom or scroll horizontally. By adjusting the meta viewport tag embedded within the codeyou can control the width and scale of the site. This reconfigures the layout and boundaries of the content and to match any devices screen size.

Fluid Grid Layout

A fluid grid is a layout coded to fit each element based on its relative size proportionate to the device screen. Whether you’re using a 5-inch smartphone or a 13-inch desktop, the pixel-based dimensions will adjust to the screen.

Flexible Media

A subcomponent of the fluid grid layout is something called flexible media. Adding flexible media into your website involves adjusting the aspect ratio of images and other medias to correspond to the size of the screen. Adjusting the size properties--such as height, width, and stretch--allows you to decide how the dimensions will alter in response to the device.

Media Queries

Lastly, a media query is a CSS technique that allows you to design different layouts for each different media platform (mobile, tablet, desktop, etc.). Media queries encompass a wide range of website elements including viewport, aspect ratio, color scheme, resolution and more. When customizing your media platforms, we recommend that you code for mobile platforms first.

Why is responsive design so important?

If you're looking to grow your business, you likely understand the importance of search engine marketing (SEM). Of the billions of Google searches made every day, over 50% come from mobile devices, meaning your website may be viewed on a smartphone more often than on a desktop. With this in mind, let’s take a look at which components of Google’s PageRank are influenced by responsive design.

Loading Speed:

Desktop websites are designed specifically for desktops, meaning the content, structure, and code are developed based on the speed and power of a desktop processor. Mobile devices, which generally have much less powerful processing systems, take much longer to load desktop-oriented sites. According to Google, bounce rate (another influential ranking factor based on what percentage of users visit one page than immediately exit the site) increases by nearly 90% when loading speed goes from 1 second to 5 seconds. Therefore, by developing a responsive website that fits a mobile screen, you keep the loading times low and the bounce rate even lower.

Dwell Time:

Unlike bounce rate, which only measures how many people exit the site after visiting one page, dwell time is a combination of multiple ranking metrics; session duration, bounce rate, and clickthrough rate. Statistically, dwell times on desktop sites are higher than on mobile sites. However, when non-mobile compatible websites are used on mobile devices, users spent significantly less time trying to navigate through the clutter, and quickly bounce back to the SERP. These super short visit times--generally classified as anywhere under 15 seconds--have a negative impact on your ranking score.

Mobile compatibility:

One of the most heavily weighed factors in Google’s PageRank algorithm is mobile compatibility, which plays a significant role in where your website lies on the SERP. As mentioned above, over 50% of Google searches are made from mobile devices, and Google wants to make sure that its users are finding results that can suit any device. If you're uncertain whether your website is mobile-friendly, visit  https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly and enter your URL for a free test.

Not only does responsive design impact your search engine ranking, but using responsive design makes life easier for both the website editor and the website’s user. It reduces the amount of time required to maintain the content across multiple pages and optimizes the user experience by conveniently organizing and displaying content in an easily-navigable way.

How can I get started?

Incorporating a responsive design into your website involves developing an HTML code that is displayed consistently across all devices. As mobile devices continue to garner more of the search engine market share, having a responsive design is essential to your business’s online presence

Traktek Partners has been recognized as one of the best user experience agencies in Massachusetts. Traktek is a full-service web development, design and digital marketing agency that specializes in responsive design, search engine marketing, lead generation, email marketing and custom application development.Our goal is to grow you brand and effectively expand your business. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you develop a mobile friendly responsive website, please contact us.