A website is said to have responsive web design when the layout of the website responds to different screen sizes and adjusts to it. That means when users view the website on a desktop, tablet, mobile phone or any other device connected to the internet, they should notice 'hardly any difference' in the appearance of the website.
Increasing mobile traffic
According to Statista, 2.5 billion of the world's polulation had smartphones in 2016. This number has steadily increased and as of 2020, there are 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide. With this increasing popularity of smartphones, internet usage around the world has changed.
People are increasingly using mobile devices to access the web as compared to the desktop, and this trend is unlikely to change. As of 2019, for every 203 organic searches done on mobile phones, there were only 128 searches done on the desktop (Source: BroadbandSearch Data)
Lower costs and maintenance of your website
It is cheaper maintaining one website is cheaper than two separate websites. A responsive website adapts to any screen size to deliver good "user experience". Having a responsive website can be costly upfront, but works out to be a lot cheaper in the long run.
Seamless User Experience
A responsive website design provides a much better user experience. Nobody likes to 'pinch and zoom' just to be able to read a website. Unresponsive websites usually distort the way they appear on mobiles or tablets.
When a website is unresponsive, and designed only for the desktop, users visiting the website on a mobile may have difficulty scrolling through the pages of the website, the text may appear too small or the images may not align as they should. All this seems a pain for the user. This can drive users away and make them reluctant to interact with the website (or the business) again.
Responsive website design is good for SEO
The aim of your SEO efforts should be to drive organic traffic to your website. A responsive website ranks higher in the SERP. Google recommends that we adopt a responsive website design.
"User-focused" browsing experience makes it easier for users to be able to find relevant information more easily on your website, thus making it more likely for them to spend more time on your website. It also increases the chances of them returning to your website again, thereby helping improve your SEO efforts.
In conclusion, seamless user experience, easy adaptability to different screen sizes, lower maintenance costs and efficient delivery of content make choosing a responsive website design a wise investment for any small business.
Image source: Responsive design icon by iconfinder.com
Read my answer to ‘Is it possibly to rank on Google if your site is not mobile-friendly?