How Does Responsive Web Design Affect SEO?
The hottest new phrase in both web design and SEO is responsive design. Responsive design, in simple terms, is a way to ensure that your website is easily viewable on a variety of devices of different sizes. This is achieved through stacking of elements. When you are considering the SEO of your website, there are some important reasons to consider responsive design.
Google Considers Responsive Web Design Best Industry Practice
Image via Flickr by Robert Scoble
When talking about Search Engine Optimization, it’s important to know and follow what Google says is in. It has the largest market share of the search engines, so basically, what it says goes. Recently, Google has stated that responsive web design is the industry best practice. This means that if you have both a regular website and a mobile version, you may end up being ranked lower than someone who has a responsive design.
Usable Sites Rank Better – And Recognizable Sites are More Usable
Image via Flickr by axbom
One of the biggest things in SEO is that a site needs to be usable. The more informative and usable a site is, the more likely it is to rank well. Unfortunately, many sites that are designed to be mobile sites are not as user-friendly as their normal counterpart. This can be confusing and frustrating to the users. With responsive design, however, the same elements are on the page; they are just in a slightly different spot. Because of this, users are more likely to stay on the page, showing the search engines that it is something useful.
Only Build Your Links Once
Have you ever tried to build links to multiple websites that are really the same site? It’s a pain in the butt. If you want both your mobile site and your main site to have good links, you need to go through this process. When you have a site with responsive design, you only have to go through this hassle once. All the link building that you do for your main site also translates to links for your mobile site, as it is the same thing. This helps your SEO significantly.
Make Your Keyword Marketing Easier
Image via Flickr by Jeff McNeill
Are you running keyword campaigns for both your main site and the mobile version? Not only are you paying twice for essentially the same content, you also have to manage each campaign. This can be frustrating for you, as well as time consuming. With a site that uses responsive design, you can include mobile-based keywords, which means you will have to deal with fewer keyword marketing campaigns.
Future Updating Becomes Much Quicker
When you have a mobile site that is completely separate from your main site, you will have to update each one separately. This is not only annoying, it can lead to mistakes that can seriously mess with your SEO. However, when you only have to update in one place, you are less likely to make significant mistakes.
There are a lot of reasons that responsive web design is the big buzz word today. Some sites tend to fit a responsive model better than others – and it’s not for everyone – but make sure you at least consider the pros and cons of a responsive site.
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By Jon Correll
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