Today’s digital age has allowed us to appreciate the accessibility of information readily at our fingertips. Along with this privilege comes an expectation that digital information ought to be presented at an accelerated pace. Because we have made great strides from the early days of slow Internet (molasses slow to be exact), we have grown accustomed to everything being faster and thus better. 

Things are no different in the wonderful world of websites. We expect a website to load in a matter of seconds. Anything more, we lose interest fast and leave; probably without any intention of returning ever again.

Just as we normally focus on traffic generation, a slow loading site can be detrimental to our goal for online success. If a site loads ever so slowly, you’re never going to capture the leads you want, let alone maintain visitors. Website speed is crucial. (For related reading, see: How Advisors Can Use Inbound Marketing to Grow.)

This is where responsive websites come into play. A well-built responsive website can tackle the problem of slow loading speeds. Here are the top 3 reasons why we hate non-responsive websites (the speed edition).

#1 Poor Loading Speeds

As mentioned, websites that are non-responsive suffer from being significantly slower than their counterparts (responsive/mobile-friendly). But why is that so?

In the simplest terms, responsive websites require less steps to deliver content to their mobile users. It runs the same as any other webpage as it is just html and CSS.

On the other hand, non-responsive websites take additional steps before the user receives the content. These steps include browser detection and redirection which is most taxing to page loading speeds.

#2 Poor User Experiences

Websites are essentially tools for sharing content. What we share and how we go about doing so ultimately affects our conversion rates. A website that promotes friendly user experiences through its design allows its visitors to navigate around the site effortlessly, absorb its content and pass on your information to others. (For related reading, see: 5 Huge Benefits of Blogging for Your Business.)

Responsive websites emphasize designing for the user in mind. I sometimes like to think of them as the modern website built for the modern user due to their flexibility in catering to different user needs through a diversity of screen sizes (mobile/tablet). 

While non-responsive sites are rigid and static such that content does not adjust for usability, its slow loading speed further hinders it from establishing a greater user experience.

We know from experience that slow loading speeds deter us from staying on a website. It then shouldn’t be a surprise that, per statistics, 74% of consumers will take no longer than 5 seconds for a web page to load on their mobile device before abandoning the site altogether.

Think about it – if you have a site that fails to consider flexibility, functionality and, on top of all that, loads incredibly slow (molasses slow), then you can guarantee your online success will plummet.

#3 Poor Rankings (SEO)

As Google is the divine being you’re continually aiming to impress, it only makes sense to pay attention to what Google loves and I can assure you, Google loves responsive websites.

Because of its fast loading speeds and hence, user-centered design, Google favors mobile-optimized/responsive sites when presenting results for searches made on a mobile device. This is especially true when searching for local services.

It also makes sense when thinking of it in the perspective that if a website is responsive, it is user-friendly and fast which helps drives traffic, pushing you closer to the top of Google searches.

If your site is too slow, your Google ranking could drop.

Next Steps…

Having a responsive website does not magically rank you the highest on Google search engines nor does it help you generate traffic instantly. Although a responsive site lays a better foundation to succeed online than a non-responsive site, there still requires work on your end as an advisor to follow best SEO and design principles. (For related reading, see How to Build a Credible Online Presence, a Webinar featuring Advisor Websites' Lester Tiro and Investopedia's Greg Fraser.)

-This article was written by Fiona Leung and first appeared on Advisor Websites.

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