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Optimizing Responsive Web Design

5/3/2018

Optimizing Responsive Web Design

At a time when search engines run mobile-first indexes, web designers are implementing AMP or PWA methods to optimize their responsive web designs.

In this blog, we'll go through what AMP and PWA are and what they do for your websites. Data shows that 50% of local-mobile searches are for looking up information regarding local businesses whether its the address, operating hours, or cell phone number. Therefore, web agencies often include responsive web design(RWD) as a part of their contracts. However, just having an RWD is proving to fall short of satisfying web users, who want quick and easy access to information online. RWD is a cost effective solution for small businesses who wish to have mobile friendly websites, but it has slow loading speeds with an average of 10 seconds to fully load all its content. This is unfortunate because studies illustrate that 53% of web visits are abandoned after 3 seconds of loading time. In order to hasten this process, web designers are incorporating AMP (accelerated mobile pages) and PWA (progressive web applications) to their RWD. 

AMP is a part of Google's effort to speed up web pages by simplifying their features. It's been highly successful at cutting down loading times with the average duration decreasing to 1 second. 900,000 domains with over 2 billion pages have adopted AMP, and 80% have seen higher traffic, which is a critical improvement in drawing ads to the site. It's no wonder Google has prioritized AMP web pages for their mobile platform, and other giant corporations such as Johnson & Johnson and eBay have adopted it for their websites. However, there are limitations that discourage some web designers. First, visitor activity is difficult to track since their clicks are not actually happening on the site. This hinders possible customer engagement opportunities and as a result affects improving UX (user experience) and conversion rates. Second, reduction in graphical and UI (user interface) elements for the sake of speed make AMP pages ideal for blog posts and news updates but not for e-commerce purposes. 

Another high speed configuration is PWA, which is an app-like interface that works offline and provides universal access to the site on all devices and browsers. It promotes web visitor engagement through enabling features that bookmark and link the web page as well as send push notifications. PWA also offers better security assurances from viruses, and faster transactions between web pages. A downside of PWA is that it's expensive and difficult implement therefore only bigger businesses can afford to integrate it. 

Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. But with 70% of mobile web pages taking an average of 7 seconds to load visual content, the implementation of AMP and PWA or other advanced iterations of them will continue to thrive in the future. Some companies, rather than utilizing AMP or PWA, choose to opt for creating standalone mobile websites. However, this has been proven as an ineffective solution for its high costs, low SEO scoring, and difficult maintenance. Instead, companies achieve the benchmarks of a successful website such as generated leads, conversion rates, and bounce rates by combining AMP and PWA. This way, web designers can draw from the best of both worlds, AMP for its speed and search visibility, and PWA for its UX and UI capabilities. Check out our responsive design services.

Reference: searchengineland

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