The importance of responsive web design for SEO

by Klaus on August 26, 2018

in Articles

Those who are not much involved in the digital marketing industry or have very little knowledge of it might think that design and SEO are two completely separate things which have nothing to do with each other. However, people like me who are constantly engaged in this industry know the importance of design for the success of SEO campaigns.

While building an SEO strategy, one has to consider a lot of things, such as website layout, value, content, backlinks, social influence, etc. Well, I prefer to put the design at the top of my list of the things to be considered for an SEO campaign.

As for the need for a responsive web design, it is important because we are living in a mobile age where technology has been confiscated in the hands of the users in the form of a smartphone or tablet device. Consumers are addicted to their mobile devices and prefer to use them for accessing the internet, shopping online, chatting, browsing and practically everything else. If your business website is not responsive, you might be missing a lot of these consumers.

What is Responsive Web Design?

As you may already know, responsive web design refers to a design approach that makes a website/page work well on all devices, screen sizes and browsers. In simple terms, a webpage which can adapt itself to any screen size or device where it is accessed is responsive.

Now, the responsive design must not be confused with mobile-friendly design. A mobile-friendly page simply appears the same on every device and screen size, while a responsive page adapts its content and layout according to the size of the device/platform.

Why Responsive Web Design?

Responsive web design is important for two major reasons – search engines love it and users prefer it. From the SEO perspective, a mobile responsive design is no longer just an option but has become a necessity in the past some years. The ratio of search engine queries originating from mobile devices is as high as 60%, which is only going to increase as the number of mobile users increases with time.

So, if you are planning an SEO strategy for a new campaign or client, it would be probably beneficial not to forget the responsive design element. Here are some facts to further emphasize my point:

  • A research conducted by software company LogMeIn revealed that only about 52% of consumers were satisfied with what they experienced while accessing the mobile website of a business. An even more disturbing fact is that around 91% of these users agreed that they might not purchase from the same brand again. And many of them wrote or shared a negative review about it.
  • A Google study shows that about 61% mobile users leave a site right away if it doesn’t render properly on their devices.
  • Poor mobile experience is leading as much as 50% of consumers to quit using even their favourite brands.
  • 36% of users feel that visiting a site that isn’t mobile optimized is simply a waste of their time.
  • Around 48% of mobile users feel that if a brand isn’t optimizing its website for mobile devices, it means that it doesn’t care about its business or consumers.

Failing to make your web design responsive will lead to increased negative user reviews and bounce rates, decreased online traffic and loss of sales and repeat customers.

If that hasn’t convinced you yet, here are some other reasons to consider including responsive design in your SEO strategy.

1. Google’s Mobile-first index

If I am not wrong, almost everything we digital marketers do with a campaign is with the aim to please Google, which is arguably the biggest search engine out there. Now, if I tell you that Google prefers, in fact, loves responsive web design, do I still need to say more?

Google has recently implemented a mobile-first index concept, according to which the mobile version of a website would now be prioritized for indexing purpose, against the earlier method of indexing the desktop version first. Even though Google says that mobile-first indexing will not determine the ranking of a site, it is clear that it will have some impacts on how and where a website ranks in Google. This is why it is important for digital marketers to start focusing on the mobile element of their campaigns.

2. No need to build two separate sites

A practice many companies still follow is creating a separate mobile version of their desktop site while keeping the content and structure the same. In addition to unnecessarily increasing the development cost and time, it also promotes duplicate content, which is certainly not what search engines recommend. Two separate websites also require two search engine optimization campaigns, meaning more effort and cost. By making your website responsive, you can eliminate the duplicate content issue and increase positive mobile user response at the same time.

3. A better site

Both search engines and visitors love a website that renders well, irrespective of the device or platform. If your website is not responsive to mobile users, they’re not likely to continue browsing it. A responsive web design improves the usability of your site, makes it friendly to visitors and reduces bounce rate. It also makes it easier to optimize the site for the search engines, as Google considers bounce rate as a factor to rank a website in search results.

A website that is easy to navigate and responsive to all devices is liked by everyone. Good site usability means better visibility in search engines which leads to more visitors and conversions.

4. Faster Page Loading

Creating a mobile version of the same desktop site doesn’t do much help with the website loading speed. In fact, it only increases the loading time on mobile devices. However, responsive design will definitely make your website load faster on mobile devices as it has been particularly customized to load on that operating system (device). Even Google favors fast-loading sites, therefore recommends responsive design.

5. Better Connectivity

Even though social shares do not have a direct impact on site rankings, they can certainly help you get more traffic to your website. Mobile responsive designs are known to make it easier for mobile users to share on social networks.

Moreover, the mobile connectivity features like GPS, Camera, etc., work better when a website is responsive enough.

Mobile responsive web design is no longer a luxury, but an important factor to implement while building a website. Do not be surprised if Google completely stops indexing websites that are not mobile optimized in search engines in the coming days. It’s high time that our SEO strategy become more mobile-focused, as the future is of mobile search.

Need a new responsive website for your business or to make your existing website mobile-responsive? Contact SAGIPL responsive web design firm for a free consultation or quote

Comments & Leave a Comment

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tarique Amir August 27, 2018 at 10:49

Hi Klaus,

Responsive website are no more options. They have become a must for every website. With the surge in mobile phone users around the globe, most search queries are from mobile phone. So it becomes paramount to have responsive website to attract mobile phone users.

Thanks for sharing this post. have a good day. 🙂

Reply

Praveen Verma August 28, 2018 at 08:21

Hi
Klaus,
The number of mobile users is growing tremendously and today mobile usage has surpassed desktop usage. As a website owner we need to make an effort to design a mobile responsive site. There are lots of benefits of designing a mobile, responsive website like as we know that today people use mobile device more for accessing the internet, shopping online, web browsing. So, every website owner needs to design a mobile, responsive site to attract more customers.

Your website speed matters a lot for your business. No one will visit a site that takes extra time to load and also it increase the bounce rate. Every website must have a fast loading page. Here, happy to know about the importance of responsive web design for SEO.

Thanks for sharing this post with us.

Have a great day.
Praveen Verma
Praveen Verma recently posted… Top 10 Tips to Optimize your Google Play Store App

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