5 Reasons Why Responsive Design Is Essential for SEO

When responsive web design was first introduced in 2010, it was seen as a novel concept that could be deployed for website owners willing to spend a lot more money on a prettier site for mobile devices. It goes without saying that things have changed over the last four years. Responsive design is no longer a luxury. According to Adogy founder John Rampton, not using it is ‘just bad for business’.

Responsive web design is a collection of tools and development strategies used to produce websites that provide uniform display and functionality across multiple platforms. Those platforms include desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. What's more, each of the platforms incorporates different browsers and different operating systems. Responsive design must take all this into consideration.

In 2013 statistics from Smart Insights indicate that more than 26% of all Internet activity for the fourth quarter of that year was conducted using a mobile device. By the following year, the same company announced that it expected mobile usage to overtake desktop. Now, in Q1 of 2015, we're told that mobile now 'far exceeds' desktop and fixed devices. In a day and age when more people are using mobile devices to access the Internet, not catering to that traffic is financially detrimental. Having said that, here are five reasons that responsive web design is essential for SEO in 2015:

1. Google Recommends It

Back in 2012, Google began recommending responsive web design for smart phones and other mobile devices. Today you can still find those recommendations in the Google Developers guide. Google's search algorithm prefers responsive design SEO practices rather than developing separate sites for traditional and mobile deployment. What's more, Google is looking for a single URL using CSS media queries to determine how pages will render on individual devices. Recently, the search giant has announced that it will actually demote results for mobile users where the site is not responsive. That's a clear and present warning!

2. Enhanced Local Searching

The introduction of so many websites to the Internet now makes local searching that much more important for successful small business. Website SEO practices designed around responsive web design increase local engagement by giving your website users more useful search results without having to scroll and zoom.

3. Streamlined Development and Maintenance

Responsive design enables your development and maintenance team to concentrate on a single site rather than having to worry about multiple sites. Not only does this make maintaining your site easier, it also enables your development team to concentrate on those SEO practices that will be most effective over all platforms. This makes for more productive SEO that will improve search engine rankings.

4. Reduced Bounce Rates

It can be maddening to invest so much time and financial resources into developing a high-ranking website, only to experience high bounce rates because of mobility issues. Google does not like high bounce rates, according to Rampton, because it creates a problem with their search algorithm. By incorporating responsive design, you reduce bounce rates and improve your search engine performance.

5. Improved User Experience

User experience is more important to SEO than many web developers understand. Without a good user experience, traffic drops by way of both new visitors and regular customers. One way to ensure a positive user experience is to create a responsive website that works equally well regardless of the device used to access it.

If all of this seems a little technical and you just want to do something positive today about your website and your Google search visibility, just fill in our contact form and we'll get you moving in a jiffy.

Sources:

1.Google Developers – https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/

2.Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-rampton/business-mobile-responsive-design_b_5267077.html

3.Smart Insights – http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/

published on

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March 1, 2015

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Industry

Luke Wakefield

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