Smartphones and tablets have become the standard browsing tools for a majority of users. Some websites that are not optimized for mobile devices are not too bad when viewed on a smartphone. However, most desktop sites are difficult to read, navigate, and find information on when viewed on a mobile device. The result is higher Bounce Rates and lower Conversion Rates for users on mobile devices.
In case you haven't heard, Google will be releasing a new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm on April 21st. The mobile-friendly algorithm will affect how websites get ranked on mobile devices.
So, what exactly is ‘Responsive Web Design’?
The emergence of responsive web design is largely due to the rapid growth of smartphones and other mobile devices. More people are using smaller-screen devices to view Web pages.
Responsive web design is an approach that a web designer uses to create a website that “responds to” or re-sizes itself depending on the type of device being used to view it. The objective is to have one website with elements that respond differently when viewed on devices of different sizes. The result is an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices, such as desktop monitors, laptops, iPads, tablets, and smartphones.
Note: In 2012, Google recommended responsive web design as the best strategy for smartphone-optimized websites.