There are SEO benefits of switching to a responsive web design (RWD) and this except from this Google Developers page is why they are very fond of responsive websites:
Why responsive design
We recommend using responsive web design because it has many good aspects:
Using a single URL for a piece of content makes it easier for your users to interact with, share, and link to your content, and a single URL for the content helps Google’s algorithms assign the indexing properties for the content.
No redirection is needed for users to get to the device-optimized view, which reduces loading time. Also, user agent-based redirection is error-prone and can degrade your site’s user experience (see “Pitfalls when detecting user agents” section for details).
It saves resources for both your site and Google’s crawlers. For responsive web design pages, any Googlebot user agents needs to crawl your pages once, as opposed to crawling multiple times with different user agents, to retrieve your content. This improvement in crawling efficiency can indirectly help Google index more of the site’s contents and keep it appropriately fresh.
The simple fact that Google likes RWD is a very valid reason to switch over to a responsive design, but there are additional benefits as well:
1. Gives your visitors a good browsing experience
Have you ever visits a website on your mobile device and you had to zoom in and move it around with your fingers in order to access certain sections or menus? It can be quite the inconvenience and many visitors will simply leave the site if they are not able to use it without feeling like it is an inconvenience. Not only will a responsive design provide a great user experience but it will help you really be able to break down your conversion rates. With a traditional website that doesn’t change to fit different sized screens it will not always display the content and call to action as designed. This can really throw off your conversion rate across different devices. A responsive design that adapts to each device and provides the same information in an easy to read and interact format will result in a more realistic conversion rate. This data helps you to improve your campaign without having to assume the mobile rate is lower because of the design, etc.
2. Great re-branding opportunity
While it is possible to convert an existing website design to a responsive design this is a great opportunity to redesign the website and launch a re-brand. The new trend in web design is very simple designs with flat colors and simple layouts. The flash and animation that was once popular is no longer the best option. Instead of impressing the visitor with fancy animation it is better to give them a simple site to navigate and search. Look at Apple’s new iOS7 and you will see a perfect example of a flat simple design that works well. As we continue into 2014 you will see many more companies re-branding their websites and switching to a simple responsive design.
Image credit: Shutterstock