5 Ways Responsive Web Design Can Benefit Your SEO Strategy
By Jamie Costello
In a mobile-first indexing world, it’s extremely important that websites cater to this need. This is because more and more users are reverting to their mobile devices to find information and consume content.
Considering this, responsive web design for your website has now become a necessity rather than an innovation. Your website needs to be able to respond to the device that your user is accessing your website. If not, you could fear higher bounce rates occurring as users find it difficult to navigate your website and it has a knock on effect on your SEO strategy.
Google is designed to cater to its users. If Google receives data that users are making searches via mobile devices, then they are acting accordingly. Therefore, they will prioritise websites that meet the needs of their Google users and ones which typically incorporate mobile responsive website design.
If you haven’t considered the SEO benefits that responsive website design can have for your website, here are 5 ways it can.
Improved usability for users
User experience is an important aspect that Google considers with their guidelines. This means, if users find it difficult to navigate your website they’re unlikely to stay on it for long. ‘Time on page’ is something that Google associates with user experience as it indicates that if it is low, the user is having a poor experience of the website.
Increased usability from users means more visitors to your site that are satisfied with their experience. As such, Google will be looking to reward sites that can provide this experience for users. The journey and experience of a customer is crucial for online business success, and responsive website design is imperative to this.
Quick page speeds
Another factor that Google considers towards their search rankings is site speed. In an extremely fast paced lifestyle, users are becoming increasingly impatient and need websites to suit their requirements.
Every website should consider their page speeds in mind when they’re optimising or making changes to their website. This is to ensure that the website can rank as highly as possible in the search rankings. This has been a consistent message by Google in reminding webmasters that quicker websites perform better.
A mobile responsive website will naturally load quicker, particularly for mobile and smart devices.
Reduce the bounce rates
We touched on this earlier. Bounce rates relate to the amount of time that a user spends on a page that they’ve clicked on. Do your users leave your website relatively quickly after landing on your website? This is something that Google monitors regularly.
If your website is showing low dwell times, this indicates to Google that your content isn’t relevant for them and doesn’t match their needs of what they’re looking for. As a result, your site will be impacted negatively as Google believes your website isn’t relative for the user.
In some cases, design can get in the way of brilliant content. If users are finding it difficult to access the comprehension, they’ll most likely leave the site. This is where a responsive website can help with tackling these issues. The content will be displayed in a way that’s friendly for the mobile device - providing a clean and crisp design.
Less risk of duplicate content occurring
Some website designers tend to struggle with managing desktop websites with mobile websites. Those who choose to design them separately will find that they struggle with dealing with duplicate content. If you choose to build a separate mobile site, you will require a new URL.
The issue you have with this is that the website content remains the same even though the URLs are different. If you have duplicate content, this can seriously harm your website rankings unless you indicate to Google which information on the website is more important.
Designing a responsive website design means your duplicate content issues go away, regardless of the device used to display the content.
Social sharing boosts
Creating a responsive website means social sharing becomes far easier for users on mobile. Social media doesn’t have a direct influence on rankings, but it can benefit your SEO strategy by growing your audience.
If your website gains a larger audience, this can lead to larger engagement and bringing in more traffic to your site. There will also be a higher search demand for your brand which Google will notice for their rankings.
If a website isn’t responsive to other devices, it will be difficult for users to share your content with others even if your content is worthy of a larger audience. The content becomes useless if the user’s unable to access it properly, which means shares will be minimal.
Prepping your website for responsive website design
Considering your mobile website design as early as possible can result in a more concise design for the overall structure of your website. In doing so, you can integrate your SEO strategy more effectively and lay out its purpose before it’s actually created.
This design can also be beneficial for developing your keyword research and content strategy, as you become more familiar with what your business is about. Who you’re looking to target and how you’re going to target them will be key to better SEO success.