Search Engine Optimized
When it comes to the web searches that allow potential customers to discover your site, the major search engines consider mobile browsing to be the future of search engine optimization (SEO). Google bots and search algorithms give preference to fast-loading, responsive, well-structured sites. This design leads to faster crawling and a better chance of high page rankings. From Google's perspective, SEO is all about user experience, and responsive web design is one aspect of it which cannot be ignored.
Responsive design leads to better SEO in the following ways:
1. Google loves responsiveness
In light of the rising popularity of mobile devices and the dramatic increase in mobile web traffic, Google has issued guidelines that recommend responsive web design for the benefit of mobile users. A website's failure to adhere to these guidelines will result in its exclusion from the search results or, at best, a low ranking.
2. Increased viewer engagement
Users can enjoy a seamless user experience when websites look consistent on all devices. By moving to responsive design, you make it easier for the viewer to navigate within your site. It accommodates the working professional during the day as well as the traveler who is viewing on a tablet or smartphone. With responsive design no scrolling or resizing is needed for any visitor to access a website from their device.
3. Better link building
Separate mobile and desktop versions of a website not only escalate development costs, they also require two separate links (URLs). The link to your desktop site will not relate to the mobile site, thus making the achievement of good search engine ranking twice as difficult. In the case of a responsive website the URL is one and the same for desktop and mobile, enabling you to build a strong backlink profile.
4. Reduced bounce rate
When a non-responsive website is accessed on the mobile browser it either breaks or does not show up on the entire screen as one frame. The user has to scroll in all directions and/or zoom in to see the page contents or to find their desired link. This often leads to users abandoning the browsing session midway through, increasing your bounce rate. Bounce rate is considered a signal of users’ dissatisfaction with the website, thus lowering its rank on the search engine results page.
A responsive website, on the other hand, engages users by offering smooth and optimized navigation. This enhances the credibility of the website and its search engine ranking gets a boost.
5. Improved ranking in mobile search
In 2015 Google updated its search algorithms to make mobile optimization the primary criteria for ranking websites. Mobile search works in much the same way as web search, but is optimized for mobile devices. In the update announcement Google pointed out that a website's responsiveness will impact its ranking on mobile search.
6. Avoiding content duplicity
If you have a mobile as well as a desktop version of your website, then you have duplicate content on the web. Google’s Panda algorithm targets duplicate content for penalties, so responsive design helps to defeat this problem. Having two different versions of your site can de-index your site and actually penalize you for having duplicate content.
7. Faster loading web pages
The average speed of mobile website loading is several seconds as of now while Google, for instance, prescribes a 1-second load time. When there are two versions of a website, a request by a mobile browser is sent to the server, then a query is run that serves the mobile version of the page. No such queries are required in the case of a responsive website, thus considerably reducing page load time. Websites with faster page loads are preferred by Google over slower ones.
In a nutshell, responsive design yields many benefits, but overall, it expands the reach of your business by making your online presence discoverable and accessible to all users, helping to lift your brand... out of the white noise and into the vista.