How to Convince Clients to Invest in a Responsive Website

Tips to best explain the benefits of responsive web design

Mobile phone with colorful squares
The importance of mobile devices to a website's success cannot be ignored.

If you are talking with clients about potential website redesign projects, one of the important topics in those discussions is sure to be support for different devices and screen sizes. The best way to achieve this multi-device support on your website is by building it with a responsive approach. The downside to this approach, and why some clients decline to go this route, is that creating a responsive site is more work, and therefore more costly, than not add this level of support.

The reality of the situation is that multi-device support is an investment that must be made if a website is expected to succeed on today’s Web. If you need some ammunition to help convince your clients to make that investment, here are some points you will want to discuss with them.

Keep the Traffic You Attract

More and more visitors to websites are using mobile devices. In fact, mobile traffic now makes up more than 50% of global web traffic. If a site is not optimized for mobile (and that means much more than just having the site show up on a mobile device – it should be optimized for use on those smaller screens), you risk visitors abandoning that site because it is not mobile-friendly.

Years ago, people on mobile devices would accept a bad user experience where they had to “pinch and zoom” in order to use that site. They accepted this because that is how most sites worked on mobile. That is no longer the case.

With the rise of mobile-responsive sites, the bar has been raised as to what is expected of mobile web experiences. If your site does not meet those expectations, visitors will look elsewhere for a site that does.

By not investing in mobile support, you are actually negating other investments you may be making in your site, especially any advertising you may be doing.

The traffic that you seek to draw from search engines, social media, print ads and other campaigns will be worthless if visitors decide to click a link or visit the site on a mobile phone, discover a poor experience, and quickly go elsewhere. By going responsive and providing an optimal experience for all screen sizes and devices, you ensure that the traffic you drive to the site does not immediately go elsewhere because of a poor mobile experience.

Search Engines Reward Mobile-Friendliness

Everyone wants their sites to perform favorably in search engines, but if your site is not mobile-friendly, you are hurting your chances to rank well in Google.

Google has long suggested that sites should use responsive design in order to deliver a multi-device experience, and as of April of last year, they started rewarding sites that did offer a mobile-friendly experience. While Google never came out and said that they were penalizing sites that were not mobile friendly, the reality is that by rewarding sites that were responsive, they were penalizing those that were not.

As you consider a site’s search engine performance, realize that mobile-friendliness is an important factor and one key reason why that company may want to make this mobile-friendly investment.

Improved Speed and Performance

Another factor that matters to search engines and website visitors alike is quick download speeds.

When you deliver a website that was designed for desktop screens, which likely includes giant images and other resources that are download-heavy, to mobile devices, you are not really considering that site’s performance. A responsive approach that takes performance seriously and works to deliver quick page speed to all devices will help you in search engines and with visitors alike.


Finally, if someone is making an investment in their site, they obviously want that investment to have some longevity. Well, the Web is not going to get any less “mobile-focused” anytime soon, so if you redesign a website today and do not focus on mobile support, your site is already behind the times and certainly not going to be very future-friendly.


By going with a responsive site today, you do your best to create a site that will accommodate not only the range of devices we see now, but also those that will become available tomorrow. That is a smart, future-friendly investment.