SEO experts all over the world have declared 2013 as the “Year of Responsive Web Design.” Not only will smartphones and tablets more prolific this year, but bigger screens are expected to debut as well. Today, responsive web design has transcended its status as an emerging design principle and is now a staple for online marketing success.
Aside from supreme compatibility across different screen sizes, designing a responsive website holds a throng of search engine optimization benefits.
Minimizing Bounce Rate
When internet users visit your site via their mobile devices and your site is not responsive, there’s a high chance that they’ll hit the back button to return to the results pages. This is called a bounce. When this happens, Google creates a note that your site might not be delivering the information internet users are looking for and this can cause your website to slip down Google’s rankings dramatically.
Day in and day out, more traffic are originating from mobile devices and a high bounce rate from mobile internet users can increase your overall bounce rate. Hiring an expert web designer to transform your site into a responsive one will not only make your mobile presence stronger but protect your overall search engine rankings as well.wne
Recommended for YouWebcast: The Art of Growth Hacking: Gaining Early Traction by Doing Things that Don't Scale
Directing Traffic to One URL
One way of capturing mobile web traffic is by creating a dedicated mobile site which is perfectly fine as long as you have something different to offer your audience in terms of content. If not, responsive web design is the best route to optimize your site for mobile use to drive traffic to just one URL and to avoid confusion among your site visitors.
Harnessing the Power of Existing Inbound Links
Since mobile web browsing is a relatively new phenomenon and did not really become popular until recently, Google uses already established inbound links in terms of ranking websites in mobile search. Site using responsive web design are ranked higher and by leveraging existing inbound links, you are reinforcing your sites SERP performance thereby increasing visibility among mobile search engine users.
How Do You Know if Your Site Needs a Responsive Design Makeover?
There are three basic questions you should answer to determine whether responsive web design is right for you?
First, does mobile traffic comprises more than 5% of your total traffic? If the answer is yes, then go for it. However, if it’s below 5%, then maybe you can hold this off for a little while. However, SEO experts recommend that you plan ahead as mobile internet traffic is evidently constantly increasing.
Second, does your mobile site look good on majority of screen sizes? This question is specific for those who have sites dedicated for mobile use. Remember, more screen sizes are created everyday and your mobile site may not look good as you want it to be. Fluid responsive sites are more future-proof as they can adapt to any size of screens.
Third, is your mobile bounce rate higher than your desktop bounce rate? These two numbers should be almost equal to each other. If your site’s bounce rate from mobile searches exceeds that of your desktop bounce rate, it’s probably time to get an expert web designer involved and optimize your site for mobile browsing.
Simple Tips When Transitioning to a Responsive Web Design
While an expert web designer is there to take care of all the technical requirements for you to transition to a responsive web design seamlessly, knowing the basic things is one of the best next gen SEO, SMO & internet marketing tips that you can adhere to. So, here are the responsive web design essentials you need to know.
Let go of big files. Studies show that 3 out of 4 mobile internet users will abandon a site if it does not load in five seconds. So, while you love your HD photos and videos, you might have to abandon them for more compressed versions of your files.
Start from the smallest screen size and expand. Different devices have different screen sizes – from 3-inch smartphone screens to 30-inch desktop monitors. Make sure your responsive web design takes into consideration all these different permutations.
Don’t deprive mobile internet users of content. One of the most common mistakes website owners commit when making a responsive version of their sites is the mindset that they have to cut down on content to fit their site into smaller screens. This defeats the purpose of responsive sites which is to provide optimal internet browsing experience. Cut down on other components such as ad spaces or recalibrate your navigational tools but never ever cut down on content.
Don’t forget touch screen browsing. Browsing a site with your finger and clicking on the wrong buttons or links is simply annoying. Remember that touchscreen technology is present in almost all devices and your responsive site should take touchscreen browsing into consideration in terms of layout and other elements.
Follow Your Audience Wherever They Go
Mobile devices are the next marketing battlegrounds and a site optimized for mobile browsing will soon be one of your main success drivers. Next gen SEO & SMO will highly target the mobile audience and if you want to strengthen your mobile presence, then a responsive web design should be in your to-do list.