When it comes to SEO, Google really is the top dog. It has the largest market share of all the search engines, and as it has basically adopted itself as its own verb, what they say pretty much goes for all. So with Google stating that responsive web design is the ‘industry best practice’ it really is the best step forward for all websites to comply to keep ahead of the competition. No longer are ‘mobile’ and ‘desktop’ versions suitable. One singular adaptable responsive design is an absolute must. Don’t believe us? Here are some of the ways that responsive web design will benefit each area of your SEO strategy.
When working with separate websites that are actually the same site and building links to both equally… it is a complete and utter nightmare. The process is long and tedious, with the slightest mistake causing issue to users and search engines alike.
With responsive design however, you (or your assigned marketing team) only have to go through this process once. The link building to your main site covers all capabilities and devices, as the design covers all capabilities and devices. Mistakes are minimised (if not completely eradicated) and link building is optimised.
Are you running a keyword campaign for both your mobile site AND your main site? Are you paying twice for essentially the same content and spending twice as much time for what is essentially the exact same outcomes?
With a site that holds responsive design, you can merge these campaigns. You can include the mobile based keywords to your existing site keywords, allowing you more time and money to focus on other areas of your marketing strategies.
With two separate sites for both ‘mobile’ and ‘desktop’, tweaks, uploads and updates will all have to be completed separately. This process is time consuming, and can easily lead to mistakes that can seriously impact your SEO. With only one update in one place, you are not only saving time, but potentially saving your top stop in your SEO too.
One of the biggest tick-in-the-box that Google looks for is that your site needs to be usable. The more informative and usable your site is, the more likely it is to rank well. Many, many companies are still faced with usability issues on their mobile sites as well as their desktops, with initial investments ploughed into ‘desktops’ years before, and mobile as an afterthought. Differences between both sites can and will cause confusion and frustration for regular users who perhaps jump between devices and therefore sites.
Using responsive design the same elements are used on every page, just slightly re-sized and adjusted. Usability is increased, and users are less likely to leave your site, staying put and showing the search engine that your site is indeed useful. Which leads us nicely to…..
If a user navigates to your website but then immediately returns to the search engine results page (or SERP for short!), Google will flag your website with a ‘black mark’, citing it might not be the best match (for whatever reason) for the original keywords that the user searched for.
More often than not, mobile websites are a ‘stripped down’ version of the desktop equivalent, offering reduced functionality and user experience in return for faster rendering/loading speeds.
This as a result, invariably means that mobile sites will have a high bounce rate due to the visitors not finding the expected site on their first visit.
With mobile and tablet traffic counting for such a large proportion of overall website traffic, your mobile bounce rate will affect your overall SERP rankings. Put simply – usability is not a compromise.
Alas, some companies do not (still) have mobile sites, mistakenly thinking that this is the ‘fix’ for the problem. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates it. On average 60% of visitors on mobile will ‘bounce back’ to the SERP if a mobile friendly website (in either form) is not found.
The only ‘fix’ to retaining lower bounce rates and higher and longer site visits is responsive web design. With a responsive website in place, the visitors will be able to navigate easily, finding the content they want easily, in a format they can read easily.
Responsive design will undoubtedly improve your customer experience, and as a result give you the gold star of approval from Google.