Responsive web design (RWD) is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience with easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling across a wide range of devices from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors.
Thanks to a combination of layouts, grids, images, and CSS media queries, the websites design responds and automatically makes accommodations for the changes in image size, text size, overall layout, and resolution as a user switches from laptop to smartphone to tablet. It might seem complicated, but it is definitely a worthwhile website adaptation, providing benefits for both the company and the customer.
There are many benefits for choosing responsive design including some SEO benefits. Here’s a brief summary of how responsive web design can boost SEO, which we’ll expand on below:
Usability is linked to SEO
The primary reason behind adopting a responsive website design is easy usability. For example, a person browsing a website on his/her smartphone will obviously want to have the same experience while browsing from a PC or laptop. If the experience isn’t positive, chances are high that the person will quickly jump to some other site which increases the bounce rate of the site, thus affecting SEO ranking. Thus, the idea is to provide the users with a seamless experience between various devices that helps to reduce bounce rate and add to the betterment of SEO ranking in search engine results.
Eliminates Duplicate Content
While there’s no risk of being penalized by the Google Panda algorithm for having the same content in two different places online, it does become a hassle to manage that content on two separate websites. One location. One CMS. Different devices. It just makes sense from a content perspective to have one set of content for all devices, with the user interface (UI) being the only part of the website that adjusts according to the device.
Single URL to Optimize
Prior to responsive designs, a business would have a desktop version and a mobile version of their website. These were essentially two separate websites, and this caused mobile websites to be difficult to rank. If a website had attracted several high-quality inbound links over the years they were starting from scratch when they launched their mobile versions.
A responsive design allows you to focus all of your link building and optimization efforts (and budget) on one URL. Now with social signals playing a large role in SEO and so many people sharing content, you don’t have to worry about attracting shares for your main site as well as your mobile version. It is much easier to manage just a single URL.
Creating a meaningful user experience
By eliminating different sites for different devices, the analytics will become more meaningful since all the users will be visiting a single site. Indeed, this is one that Matt Cutts agrees with. He said that a Responsive Web Design site will not lose its SEO benefits, as the URL is the same. He said “So in theory, if you do a mobile version of the site, if you don’t handle that well and you don’t do the rel=canonical and all those sorts of things, then you might, in theory, divide the PageRank between those two pages. But if you have Responsive Design then everything is handled from one URL, so the PageRank doesn’t get divided, everything works fine”.
Do you want to develop a responsive website? Please refer to Mobile Development Solution and send us an email!