What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive Web Design first appeared quickly in early 2012. Responsive Web Design (RWD) is now clearly established as the best way to create a website mobile visitors love. Having a responsively designed site means that when a user views your site, all the content will appear the same no matter what device they are using to view your site.
Responsive Web Design wasn’t an issue in the early days of the internet because everyone was accessing the web through a desktop computer. But as the use of mobile devices increased, how users viewed websites became an issue.
An example of this is when a user accesses the desktop version of your site; they are getting the full view of the site. But when the user goes to visit your site from their smartphone or tablet, the site will display in another way on a smaller screen. The customer could lose valuable content or contact information!
Making sure your site looks the same across all platforms isn’t the only reason you should make the switch to RWD for your website. Mobile usage is increasing, and it is important to Google that you have a responsive site. In fact, it is one of the key factors in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Google and Responsive Web Design
RWD can improve your user experience, and it can also improve your SEO. Google likes the internet full of fresh and new content. When you have both a mobile and desktop version of your site, you are encouraging content repetition. If you have repetitive content, Google is more likely to demote your site.
Having many repetitive pages also requires more time from Google’s search engine crawlers to navigate each of the pages. If the bots have to spend more time crawling many pages, Google is likely to reduce your rankings.
On the other hand, with RWD, you only have one single URL and code base for desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones, this means faster crawling and a better chance of higher page rankings.
Help Keep Users on Your Site
No matter how compelling the content on your website is if it isn’t optimized for a user’s device you are going to lose users. The problem known as bounce rate can be a big issue even for websites sitting high in search results. The bounce rate is users leaving the site after looking at one page as opposed to browsing to other pages on your website. Businesses with desktop websites aren’t the only ones who suffer. Mobile sites can suffer from a high bounce rate if the content they offer is too basic, or too different from the content provided on the desktop site.
Google views a high bounce rate as a sign that a website isn’t offering relevant content to users, this will lead to a drop-in ranking. You can help combat this with a responsively designed site. A responsively designed site presents all the same content found on the desktop site but in a practical way. Responsive Web Design means that you don’t have to make a choice between what content you want to display. Don’t let your SEO suffer! Make Google and your customers happy, and your business will see excellent results.