One of the most interesting developments in the website design industry is the introduction of responsive web design (RWD), a mechanism that allows a website to adapt to the size of the user’s screen, be it desktop, iPad or laptop. The real benefit has been its use for creating mobile friendly sites. This means the users can have a seamless experience without the need of any redirection. The bottom line is as long as multiple devices for browsing are accessible, responsive design will always be a requirement.
As we are shifting into a world where Smartphones and tablets are beginning to rule the roost in terms of connectivity, more people are searching information from their tablets and mobile phones. Here, responsive design has a major role to play regarding its impact on the SEO. In the world of SEO, the concept of mobile has always been tricky. Yes, everybody wants a mobile site but what is the best way to do it? Google has finally recommended that website should use responsive design as the components of RWD can positively affect SEO.
How Responsive Website design helps in better SEO
Responsive design increase local SEO ranking:
If you are targeting local keywords, RWD will increase local ranking. More and more people are searching for directions to local business using their mobile devices. It has been estimated by YELP that 40% of searches come from mobile apps. Mobile search results are partially influenced by Geo-specific parameters; therefore, website will have to meet the SEO pointers. This helps Google to identify your optimised site as the one that is suitable for quality placement in search engines.
For instance, mobile users will press the BACK button if your pages are not displayed in the right way on their mobile devices. They will return to the results and search for the one that does the job easily. Such actions will be identified as poor user experience by the search engines and affect your placement in the mobile results.
RWD eliminate duplicate content:
Webmasters who develop the mobile version of a website usually replicate the content from the main website to the mobile version. This ultimately reduces the credibility of the mobile site in the eye of the search engine. Also you may find the same content on two places on the web, which can bring visitors to the wrong version of your site. However, a responsively designed mobile site means that content is only in one place and removes the challenges of updating the duplicate content.
RWD helps in Link building:
As you invest your time and resources in building backlinks to your site, you need to equally invest your effort in using those links for your mobile site. However, if this is your stand-alone mobile version of your website you will have to start from the beginning with SEO and link building. Also the pages from any responsive sites are more likely to be shared. Mobile links which gets shared usually open up to fit the browser. However, such links contain no graphics associated with the original site.
The onsite SEO efforts do not go in vain:
As we know SEO is time consuming and expensive. However do not worry, all your SEO efforts you have invested will not go in vain. Social sharing and onsite SEO efforts will also be applicable to the mobile version of your site. All your onsite SEO tasks will be maintained for the mobile site including title tags, search engine and content-friendly URLS, Meta description, internal link structure, keywords and anchor text.
Check out EasyWPSEO – Keyword Optimization plugin for WordPress
Responsive design means one website:
Multiple repetitions of a website mean that a search engine has to spend more time at each changes or differences of the website. However, with one website it means Search engine gets to save time crawling at each things. A responsive site will deliver all of the site’s content rather than any short cuts. This allows the mobile users access the entire site and get information they are looking for.
RWD is Google’s favourite:
Google says “Responsive website Design is the best way to go”. Google is dominant in the search engine fields. Until its dominance is replaced by someone else, we have to listen to what Google says. Its algorithm puts a lot of emphasis on user’s experience and Google reward those sites which has higher placement in the SERPs if they improve their users experiences. An improved user experience also includes average time spent on a site, its bounce rate and social sharing. If these factors can be taken care of it will help to increase the site rank and satisfy the mobile browsers.
Google will direct the visitors to the site they want to see. If your site disappoints the visitors for not finding the required information, they will come back to the search engine results pages. Now Google will make a note that your site is not the best choice for that search team. If your mobile site looks different from the regular site and contain less content, it would automatically frustrate the visitors who are looking for something they already found in the desktop versions. On the contrary, if you do not have mobile site, the majority of the visitors will return to Google to find a site that is easily readable. This ultimately raises your site’s bounce rate and lowers your ranking. However, with RWD, visitors can access all content they want in a format that is easily readable.
If you are using WordPress, you can take advantage of themes offered by Genesis which are responsive and looks very professional.
As both Responsive Web Design and Search Engine Optimisation is for enhanced user experience Google wants you to provide value to them. Google wants you to keep USERS as your top priority and not the sales pitch. Google wants you to meet the USERS any place, at any time and on any screen. Therefore, responsive design and SEO goes hand-in-hand.
Do let me know your view on Responsive web design Vs. mobile site? What other SEO benefits we get with a responsive design?
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17 thoughts on “Find out How Responsive Web Design equals to SEO benefits”
Excellent Point for learning.No confusion, Responsive web design is very necessary for mobile users because most of people searching anything on mobile phones.
Thanks for good blog
Some excellent points here. Responsive web design is indeed a need for every online businesses these days. People don’t want to view minified websites on smaller devices anymore and so its imperative to tailor and adapt your website so that everyone, no matter what device size, gets the best out of your site.
However i started using a non-responsive theme for my desktop users and then raking started loosing day by day and my traffic came from 5k to around 2.5k. I was just crying my traffic and i didn’t know what actually happening but after reading an implementing this the way you said to make it seo beneficial, i purchased your Genises theme which you suggested. And just after few days miracle happened, i started ranking higher again and now this time its above many top sites. Just back to say, thanks a lot man. I Subscribed here to get more updates from here.
Great to hear that. Genesis theme is the best.
Great article. According to Google’s latest update, responsive websites will rank higher in SERP’s than non responsive. So, it is must to have responsive website for higher rankings.
Nice share, there is no doubt that responsive web design is very important for today’s webdesign point of view.
In short, use genesis and HTML5 🙂 There are only 40% of themes in market that are responsive.
If yours is not responsive, you can use WP Touch. It makes the site mobile friendly.
Well, it’s good to know, but if you are buying any wordpress theme they come with the package of RWD, still thanks for sharing the post.
Unless a majority of the sites are responsive, I don’t think a Responsive design will help in the ranking. So many sites that doesn’t have mobile or responsive design ranked higher than those with.
Content is still king.
Insightful post! We are now in the process of switching our website to the responsive design and although it’s going to be a lengthy process, I’m glad to read that we will still be able to maintain our previous SEO work and even get some ranking increases as well!
Nice article William!!! Nice article. You can also embed this video of Matt Cutts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D03wRb4s7MU
The whole world will use the smartphones only when they will solve the small screen problem soon. Also, loading time does matter over here alot. Especiall, in India, where most 3G is still costly hence, many of the users are still on 2G. Also, you can include the Google page speed.
[email protected], Johnson:- you have mentioned the two most famous theme. i.e. Genesis and Thesis. No doubt that they provide good responsive design for any blog, but according to me you also need to mention another great theme i.e. Theme Junkie which is also seo friendly and provide a good user experience.
Yet why hasn’t ShoutMeLoud been made responsive yet? I mean even the mobile website came in recently…
The first thing I do when I come to website is resizing my browser to see if it dynamically changes shape. And I made sure that I use a responsive theme for my website.
Isn’t it time for a change?
I’m already working on re-design of the site and usually such major re-design takes more than a month. Our next design of SML will be truly responsive. 🙂
Awesome! Can’t wait to see a responsive version of ShoutMeLoud m/
This is a Complete Guide Bro Thanks a Lot for it.
Well, it’s good to know, at least I know 2 templates that are responsive so my next project, I’ll use one of them 😉