Responsive Web Design: An Influencing Factor in SEO

Responsive web design isn’t just a hot topic for designers and user-experience experts. It can also have a direct effect on your SEO efforts.  By using responsive web design principles you can give your website a far better chance of gaining increased search engine rankings.

The following guest post come courtesy of our friends over at Expert SEO Bournemouth – one of the leading SEO agencies serving Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset, and the surrounding areas.  The following information is based on their own testing of client websites when measured against Google rankings over a three month period as well as discussion with some of the leading SEO workers in the industry.

Responsive Web Design Helps with SEO

How people read web content has been changing dramatically over the last five years, with more and more user now using tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices to access their favourite websites.  Due to these changing habits, responsive web design has had to be adopted which is essentially the code that means a website will render correctly across all devices.  With responsive web design, the goal is to offer a unique experience with common URLs on each device, whether that content is being displayed on a computer or on a mobile device.

Impact on SEO

But how does this impact on search engine optimisation?  Many SEO agencies are not really considering these factors, but in my experience it needs to be done. The reason I say that is quite simple: Google says so.  Recent statements from Google, including their lead search engineer Matt Cutts have stated that websites using responsive web design are adhering to best practice.  So, for those companies who have created both a standard and a mobile version of their website, they could be at a ranking disadvantage.  Website owners need to roll their code and design all into one page so that tablets and PCs serve up the same files, just in a different format – this is responsive web design where the browser will load the appropriate content depending on the device.

This will overcome the age-old SEO “no-no” of having duplicate content.  By using responsive web design you will eradicate any duplicate content issues that arise from having a standard web and mobile version of your website.  A responsively designed website will always use the same URL, same content, use no re-direction scripts, and can be managed a whole lot better – which is absolutely gold-dust for an SEO – as this set of benefits should make obvious:

  • Simplified content management with just one domain where content needs to be published.
  • A complete vision of your traffic analytics as one domain means just one single overview of all site statistics.
  • Easy sharing of links from a single domain with a single URL to access what you want. This will simplify Facebook shares, likes, and tweets.
  • Preservation of Link Juice and Page Authority as there is just one page for content.

One of the biggest factors that Google has been advocating for years now is usability.  The more usable, informative, and easy to use a website is, then (in theory) it should rank better.  If your website visitors stay on your pages longer, and link out to them more, then search engines are going to look at it with a more favourable stance.  By eliminating mobile frustrations and some of the issues I referred to in this blog post by using responsive web design, you should be able to give your website an SEO advantage.

You can read more about Expert SEO Bournemouth’s services on their website.

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