Web Design for the Mobile Age In the western world, we are reaching the point where the mobile device market is almost saturated. Mobile search traffic is expected to exceed search traffic within the next two years, and more than half of all consumers use a combination of smartphones, tablet PCs and desktop computers to go through the process of researching, selecting and purchasing a product. This change in the way that people shop poses several challenges for online businesses. How easy is your website to use? How easy is it for consumers to find? Do you rely on traditional marketing methods, or are you harnessing the power of local search, social media and other modern, mobilecentric web features? If your website has not been updated for a few years, then there is a high chance that it is not mobile friendly. Slow loading web pages that require visitors to scroll horizontally to read content are detested by mobile users. If your website is not mobile friendly, then most smartphone owners will simply hit the back button. Of those who leave your website in that fashion, 80% will never return. This is why responsive web design is so popular. If you are new to the world of mobile marketing, you may have questions about Responsive web design, just how important is it? Is it easy to maintain? Will a responsive website work for desktop users too? The answer to those questions may surprise you. Accessible and Attractive Responsive web design is very important, and not just because responsive designs are easier for mobile owners to use. Responsive design is good from an accessibility point of view too. When you take the time to make a website have a responsive layout, this encourages you to think about usability and efficient design. A website that scales well and has a consistent design will work for people using desktops, phones, laptops, tablet devices and even screen readers. In addition, the styling is likely to be simple enough that someone who applies custom stylesheets ? perhaps because they are colour blind or short sighted, will still be able to enjoy your website. Google Wants Responsive Design Responsive web design is particularly important for websites that are targeting a mobile audience, such as restaurants, local stores and automotive dealers. Since the Hummingbird update, Google has started to emphasise efficient and responsive design, and will penalize slow loading websites, or mobile websites with broken links and excessive redirects.