What is responsive design?

And why is it important for SEO?

How Responsive Design Affects Your SEO

Traditionally, the majority of online browsing was done via desktop computers and laptops. These days, however, most people will pull out their mobiles when they want to look for a product, read an article and jump on social media. This has implications for how your website should be designed.

‘Responsive design’ is the practice of tweaking your website so that it looks just as good on both small and large screens. That way, your site’s users will have an excellent experience, no matter what device they’re using to pay it a visit.

Responsive web design can have a myriad of benefits for your business, and you should know about what to expect when you invest in this important development upgrade:

1. One website to design, build and update

When you opt for a separate mobile website, you need to build two different sites.

With responsive, it’s all the same. This not only saves time and money in the original design stage, but it also will make it a lot easier for your development team. With responsive designs, you can make design changes to your website and it gets reflected for all resolutions and screen sizes, it’s all done in one place.

2. It is more cost effective

Building and testing across a number of websites increases your development, support and maintenance overhead. With responsive design you’re looking after one solution which works and be supported across multiple browsers and all screen sizes.

3. Full accessibility equals full visibility

With responsive design, your website is fully accessible to users on large, medium and small screens and devices. This accessibility is now a web standard which is driving the algorithms of Google. Google wants to ensure that the online experience of users on mobile is on a par with users on larger screens and devices. To do this, sites that are ‘mobile-friendly’ perform better on search results performed by users on mobiles. The algorithms are in effect, penalising non mobile friendly sites and their Google rankings are taking a negative hit. With the majority of online usage now experienced via mobile, it is essential to adopt responsive design to not only make your website a great experience for all users, but also ensure that your website remains as visible as possible on Google search.

What led to this shift towards responsive deign?

  • The rise of mobiles
    Smartphones and tablets are now the leading devises for accessing online content. PC’s, Macs and other large desktop devices are sold in millions a year whereas smartphones and tablets are sold in their billions.
  • A new standard recommended By Google
    Google states that responsive web design is its recommended mobile configuration, and even goes so far as to refer to responsive web design as the industry best practice.
  • Easier to manage SEO
    Responsive web design makes managing your SEO strategy much easier because there is only one site to establish visibility, not a site for large screens and a site for small. Organisations demand effective SEO, but also want to pay a fair price. In part, the direction of the SEO market has subsequently been dictated to by organisations wanting to streamline their online development costs and resulting SEO costs.

By John Anderson, SEO Results

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