We live in a world where almost everything can access the internet. It’s surely only a matter of time before your shower is logging on to show you the morning news while you wash. In all seriousness, with such a wide spectrum of devices able to surf the web, including desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, games consoles and now even watches; it’s all the more important to have a responsive web design that allows your site to be viewed on a device of any size or type.
People sometimes ask what a responsive web design’s advantages and disadvantages are. The simple truth is that there aren’t really any disadvantages, while the benefits of a responsive design are numerous. In this article, however, we’ll be focusing on the SEO benefits of responsive web design.
Ideally, you will have a website designer or hire a website design company to build the actual site. If they’re good, they should already be making the website responsive, but if your business is having a website built, it’s best for you to understand the principles behind a responsive site, since you would be giving design input.
That being said, there is really only one major feature that non-designers need to understand, and that is the fact that a responsive design will allow your website to resize depending on the size of the screen being used to view it. This means that key things to have are percentage and relative based designs that change depending on the size (and orientation) of the device.
What are some of the SEO benefits of responsive website design?
Accessibility and the bounce rate
This one is very simple; if a site doesn’t work on someone’s device because it’s not optimised for mobiles or tablet or whatever device they’re using, they’ll usually go back to the search engine they found the site on and go to the next one down. Not only does this lose you traffic and increase your bounce rate (where somebody goes to your website but clicks off it without visiting any other pages) but it also gets picked up by search engines, which will think that your site isn’t relevant or useful to what was search, thus lowering your place in the search rankings!
You don’t need two sets of pages
If you want mobile visitors to be able to see your site (in a way that even remotely works) then there are two options: either you build a responsive site, or you build a separate mobile site, that is automatically accessed by mobile devices. However, the latter option presents some problems when it comes to SEO. Search engines like Google will notice that you (technically) have two sites with the same content, and will penalise you by lowering them in the rankings. Therefore a responsive design is a far safer option for keeping your SEO strong. It also means that there are no problems linking from a mobile page to a page on your PC or laptop. You know when somebody sends you a link from their mobile, you open it up on your PC and it looks all wrong because it’s the mobile version (and therefore not meant to be viewed on a monitor)? A responsive design solves that, since it’s the same page that’s just adapting to the different sizes.
There are plenty more SEO benefits of having a responsive website design, and if you have any questions regarding either SEO, designing a website, or if you’re just looking for some responsive web design examples, then drop us a line on our contact page, or on social media. Hopefully from this article, you’ve gleaned a few useful pieces of advice, including the answer to the remarkably common question of when to use responsive web design (hint: the answer is always).