The year 2013 was the year of responsive web design and that trend is expected to continue through 2014 as more and more site owners make the switch. This transition is primarily attributed to the significant growth of mobile search. It is estimated that about 50 percent of people that operate a smartphone (or any other mobile device) perform a mobile search on a daily basis. More than 15 percent actually make a purchase.
This is why so many people are upgrading their sites to a responsive web design. What is responsive web design? It means your site automatically reformats based on the device that it’s being displayed on. In other words, it increases functionality across all devices.
The benefits of a responsive web design are obvious: user-friendly, functional, clean, etc. However what about the SEO benefits of having a responsive web design?
There are several SEO benefits of implementing a responsive web design for your site and some of the best ones are:
One Site, One URL – Site owners wishing to have a mobile website generally have two options: create a separate, mobile version or transition to responsive web design. With the latter a site owner is able to maintain the same URL and with it it’s backlinks/authority. If you decide to create a separate mobile version of your site you’ll have to build links/authority from scratch.
Low Bounce Rate – You might have a site that looks great in rankings, but it’s completely ineffective for smartphone and tablet users. As a result visitors from mobile devices find your site and immediately leave it because it isn’t functional for their display. A responsive web design resolves this issue and therefore decreases your overall bounce rate.
Google Encourages Responsive – We all know in the SEO world that satisfying Google is a top priority and if we can make Google happy then we’re doing a good job. Well Google doesn’t just recommend responsive web design as a great way to attract mobile users; they favor mobile-optimized sites when displaying search results.
If you choose to create a mobile version of your site with a separate URL, Matt Cutts, Google’s head of web spam, says to include a rel=”canonical” tag on the mobile version that points to the desktop version. This action notifies Google that although the mobile site has a separate URL, the content is the same and therefore it should be evaluated with the desktop version. Otherwise you may be penalized for duplicate content.
Web Solutions of America can help you transition to a responsive web design whenever you’re ready.