5 Ways Responsive Web Design Benefits Your SEO
With the way mobile has dominated desktop over the last few years, you would think that responsive web design is already the standard for all websites, especially ones that are doing SEO.
The funny thing is, about 60% of all websites still don’t display well on devices. Despite the myriad of statistics that show the benefits of having responsive web design, the response by many webmasters to the apparent demand for responsiveness remains slow at best.
This rather lukewarm response to the mobile explosion is puzzling since responsive web design does amazing things for a site’s SEO, which all webmasters who know what they’re doing care about. Maybe knowing the ways that responsive web design benefits SEO would do the trick. Here are of 5 ways responsive web design benefits your SEO:
1. Google’s Mobile-First Index
The Mobile-First Index launched by Google early this year should be more than enough reason for webmasters to go responsive.
In a nutshell, the Mobile-First Index is all about Google predominantly using the mobile version of a website during the indexing and ranking process. It’s essentially Google favoring websites that are optimized for mobile users, and that should give your SEO efforts a major boost.
2. Faster Loading Time, Better Rankings
The chances of a site ranking well in search engine results become better when its pages load fast. Google itself has confirmed that page loading time is a ranking factor, and it has been consistent about favoring fast-loading sites.
Responsive web design will boost page loading speed, especially on mobile devices. Users appreciate it when they don’t have to wait for an eternity for a page to load, and that ultimately leads to better user experience and eventually, higher rankings.
3. Better User Experience
Since we’re on the subject of user experience, Google has long declared that user-friendliness is now a search engine ranking factor.
The better the user experience or UX, the more satisfied users will become, and that will convince them to spend more time on your pages.
Since ‘time on page’ indicates how valuable your site is for any given query as far as Google is concerned, the search engine giant will eventually reward your efforts to make your site’s UX great with higher rankings.
Make your website design responsive, and your site will do and achieve all of the above.
4. Reduced Bounce Rate
Google keeps an eye on the length of time people spend on your site. When people bounce off to another site almost immediately after the page loads, Google takes note, and will likely interpret it as an indication that your page offered nothing relevant to the user. The result, more often than not, would be a downward adjustment in your ranking in the SERPs for that query.
Now imagine your bounce rate if people access your site on their mobile devices, and your site doesn’t display well because it isn’t responsive. They will drop your site like a hot potato, and your bounce rate will go through the roof.
Your site may have the most gorgeous web design, the most compelling content, and backed up by excellent optimization work, but if it’s not responsive, mobile users are not going to stay longer than a few seconds. Make your site responsive to make mobile users stick around longer, and impress Google enough to get those higher rankings.
5. Minimizes Duplicate Content
You know how Google feels about duplicate content, but you are risking its wrath when the route you take towards mobile-friendliness is making a separate website for mobile.
Such a setup requires the use of a separate URL, but the content of the mobile site and the one for desktop is virtually identical, which Google’s algorithms will undoubtedly pick up on and judge one of them as having duplicate content.
If your site has a responsive web design, all of your web content will remain on a single domain while displaying well on mobile devices. That way, you won’t be called out for duplicate content while trying to be mobile-friendly.
If you want your optimization efforts to bear fruit in this day and age of mobile domination, go for responsive web design now.
About The Author
Shawn Byrne is the founder and CEO of My Biz Niche, an Arizona-based digital marketing company that has achieved superior results for their clients. Before My Biz Niche, Shawn worked for Venture Capitalists where he built a private portfolio of e-commerce and informational websites that generate revenue through various digital marketing strategies.