Responsive design is fast becoming standard practice for many websites
It’s been shown to increase engagement and conversions and most importantly better your customer’s experience. But can a responsive website design affect your search engine ranking? Let’s see.
Let’s start with responsive design. What is responsive design? Well, the responsive design of a website enables you to view the site on your desktop, iPad, and on your phone in a user friendly way. This is very important now that websites are being viewed on mobile devices more than on desktops.
Desktop’s long standing dominance as the primary gateway to the internet officially ended. In March, mobile-only adult internet users surpassed the number of desktop-only internet users. The numbers also tell us that the majority of digital population is multi-platform which uses both mobile and desktop platforms. 48% of users believe that if a business site doesn’t work well on mobile they conclude that the business doesn’t care about them.
So lets see how having a responsive website can help a business in SEO.
1. Google loves responsive websites
It is official. Google favors websites that look and perform better on mobile devices, making them appear higher on search results. There is a catch though – mobile optimization is not enough. Google now pays attention to factors like readability, using mobile friendly software etc., when considering a website’s search ranking.
2. One URL ranks better
If you manage separate mobile and desktop websites, you have to manage separate URLs and different HTML. Responsive sites use one URL and one set of files and pages that are easier to maintain. Google finds it simpler to crawl through one URL and index it and thus it ranks well.
3. Responsive site makes focusing your SEO efforts easier
When one responsive website takes care of all your users on different devices, it makes focusing on your SEO efforts easier than it would be if you had a mobile website and “desktop” website.
4. Responsive websites decrease the bounce rate
If people come to your site through mobile search and if your website is not optimized for mobile, the users do not get a good experience and they might leave the website quickly, increasing the bounce rate, which is not good for SEO. The more time people spend on the website, the lower the bounce rate, the better for the rankings.
5. A Responsive website eliminates the need for duplicate content
When you have two separate websites – one for web and another for mobile, the content for both the sites remains the same and hence is duplicated. Duplicate content reduces the credibility of both the sites. Having one responsive website makes it simpler to eliminate the duplicity.
6. A Responsive website helps in Link Building
If you have different sites for tablets, phones and web, you would have to spend time and resources in building backlinks for all of them. If you have one responsive site you could take all the old links and embed them together in the design you are trying to make responsive. If you make a stand-alone mobile version of your website, you need to start the time consuming process of link building from the scratch and all the old link building effort done in past on the old website goes to waste.
7. Content from responsive site is more sharable
Content from responsive site is more sharable. Users have a better experience on a responsive website and are more likely to share content organically creating more engagement. Both Google and Bing track publicly shared links as a factor for ranking. Thus if content from your responsive site is shared more, the ranking of the site goes up.
There are a lot of huge benefits to responsive web design and that is why has become a standard best practice in the industry. Some of the benefits responsive design has on SEO are subtle but when it comes to SEO every little benefit add up and is ultimately important to the overall result. For more great information into SEO strategy check out this article: The Fundamentals of a Successful SEO Strategy.