You already know why it is important for your business to be found on mobile devices, as the amount of people using their mobile devices and tablets to browse the internet is increasing daily. A responsive website design (RWD) is mandatory, as you need to deliver a website that works on all screen sizes and devices.
A responsive design adjusts according to the device that is browsing the website, making the content user friendly and easily accessible. Several years ago it was necessary to create a separate mobile version of the website but that presented more work in the long run. A responsive website design is easier to maintain and it eliminates the need of having to run two search engine optimization strategies.
While the main benefit of a responsive website design is the functionality and user experience, there are also several SEO benefits of a RWD that can help position your website higher in the search engine rankings.
1. Single URL to Optimize
Prior to responsive designs, a business would have a desktop version and a mobile version of their website. These were essentially two separate websites, and this caused mobile websites to be difficult to rank. If a website had attracted several high quality inbound links over the years they were starting from scratch when they launched their mobile versions.
Recommended for YouWebcast: The Art of Growth Hacking: Gaining Early Traction by Doing Things that Don't Scale
A responsive design allows you to focus all of your link building and optimization efforts (and budget) on one URL. Now with social signals playing a large role in SEO and so many people sharing content you don’t have to worry about attracting shares for your main site as well as your mobile version. It is much easier to manage just a single URL.
2. Great User Experience Equals Natural Social Signals
Publishing great content is such a key piece of a successful SEO strategy, and one reason that content is so powerful is because it can easily be shared. Think of your website as a platform to display your content for visitors to not only read, but also share. A responsive web design provides a great user experience and allows visitors to read and share the content regardless of what device they are accessing the website on.
With such a large percentage of visitors using mobile and tablet devices you want to make sure that they can read and share your content just as easily as someone that is viewing it on a desktop. Imagine if someone was reading your content on their desktop and shared it on social media and someone who was browsing their social media on their mobile phone clicked on the link. If your website is responsive then the user will be able to easily read your content and they might also share your content. If your website wasn’t responsive and the content was not easy to read then they would probably close it out and not attempt to read it.
3. Google Likes Responsive Websites
It is no secret that Google likes responsive websites, as outlined by this Google developers information:
With increasing smartphone usage, making a website that is friendly to smartphone users has now become a critical part of website management. This document outlines Google’s recommendations to webmasters who wish to serve content in optimized formats for both desktop and smartphone users, and notes the common mistakes you want to avoid. We have pages about websites for tablets and feature phones too.
Responsive design: serves the same HTML for one URL and uses CSS media queries to determine how the content is rendered on the client side. This removes the possible glitches of user-agent detection and frees users from redirects. This is Google’s recommended configuration.
A single responsive website instead of several versions allows search engines such as Google to crawl and index content on one URL. Create good content, attract natural high quality links, and watch your website rise to the top of search results.
4. Lowers High Bounce Rates
A high bounce rate tells the search engine that your website isn’t providing users with quality content, which can result in lower rankings. If it appears that all visitors are quickly leaving the website without visiting additional pages it is a good indication that the information isn’t relevant to the search queries.
A responsive website design delivers the same content that is found on the desktop site to mobile and tablet devices in a way that makes it easy to read and navigate. With such a large percentage of traffic coming from mobile devices it is important that they can easily read your content and interact with it. Keeping them on your website will help you maintain a low bounce rate.