As more and more people use smartphones and tablets to access to the Internet, responsive web design has emerged as the solution for online businesses looking to keep pace.
A responsively designed website is able to present the same look and feel to visitors regardless of what device they use to connect. It can accommodate different screen sizes and resolutions, balance user-friendliness for both touch and click, provide support for Adobe Flash (a must for mobile devices), and much more.
There’s no question that responsive viewing enhances the overall experience for mobile users of a website. However, the advantages of a mobile-friendly site go far beyond aesthetics and user experience. Responsive design also is essential for SEO, the core of any online business’s online marketing strategy.
There are four key ways that going responsive will boost your performance on search engines — specifically on Google, the undisputed king of search.
In 2015, Google switched from merely recommending that sites should be designed with mobile-friendliness in mind to outright incentivizing it. Thanks to an update of Google’s search algorithm that went into effect on April 21, pages that pass the mobile-friendly test are getting a boost in mobile search results. Those that aren’t passing the test have been dropped.
In the first wave of multi-device web design, many businesses opted to develop two different sites — one traditional site and a whole separate one just for mobile users. Unfortunately, Google considers this duplication of content, something they do not like for various reasons. Other than not wanting to offend the search engine gods, there’s another huge reason going with a unified responsive site is the best choice. Avoiding having multiple URLs referring to the same page helps to prevent the dilution of PageRank, a key factor in search engine rankings at the page level.
If you force mobile visitors to zoom and scroll a lot to engage with your content, or if some of the features of your site won’t work for them, your bounce rate is going to soar. Since bounce rate is a ranking factor, you will take a hit in Google search rankings if a high rate of mobile visitors are immediately leaving after landing on your site.
Page load time is an often overlooked factor that can affect search engine rankings. The average load time for mobile pages is more than seven seconds. Google has said they prefer pages to load within one second. By streamlining code, reducing the number of redirections to duplicate URLs, and many other advantages, responsive web design promotes faster loading of pages for mobile users and may help improve overall rankings. Find out more infromation regarding how your website speed can impact your website.
Responsive web design is the logical choice for online businesses looking to enhance SEO while catering to the rapidly growing number of mobile users. Mobile searches already outnumber desktop web searches! Your search engine performance will continue to suffer if you delay implementing a mobile-friendly solution.