Responsive design is now de rigueur in the world of web design, but how many of us have actually considered how it affects our search engine rankings? We know all about making things sweet for our users and the importance of getting things right across an ever-growing multitude of devices, but can we really get a bump in the SERPs by upping our responsive game?
Let’s take a look at some of the factors that could lead to considerable leaps up the ranking ladder:
As we touched upon above, the first thing that springs to mind when we consider responsive design is the end user. Visit a non-responsive site on a smartphone these days and things look pretty tired. Zooming in to read text, accidently clicking and opening pages we didn’t want, and generally getting annoyed are just some of the problems that these out-dated sites cause us.
Developers are running up hill to keep abreast of the latest devices on the market and creating smooth and sleek responsive themes is no mean feat, but user experience is key to getting into Google’s good books, so we thank them explicitly for their efforts. Hats off guys!
Google Loves Responsive
As of April 21 2015, Google introduced mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in its already huge, and frankly scary, algorithm. This new ranking signal will be the death knell for many old and tired sites that are clinging on to 1995, shunning change like a dog avoiding bath time.
If you are unsure of how your site stacks up in this latest edition to the algorithm, we suggest that you take a look at Google’s guide to mobile-friendly sites in order to get yours up to scratch. Failing to do so will not serve you well.
Alongside the whole mobile-friendliness issue is the problem that non-responsive sites have with load times when served to mobile devices. Your site could have the very best DDoS protected VPS hosting known to man, but if it isn’t responsive it’s going to suffer.
Without responsive design in place, old sites tend to load the whole page in on hit. For data heavy sites this is a disaster. It’s far better to have a sleek responsive design that loads as you scroll, as page speed is also another known Google ranking signal.
One site fits all
Thanks to responsive design, the days of ‘m.’ are over. Sites prefixed with ‘m.’ never really worked that well even though they were specifically designed for mobile usage.
Responsive design is far more user friendly and it also give the site owner the added advantage of only having to create one site. The old way was thought to cause issues with regard to duplicate content, as you effectively had two sites running the same content – one for desktops, the other for mobile devices.
Now we not only have sites that work better, they’re also just one site, so the problem of battling against your own content in the SERPs is no longer an issue.
All links lead to the same site
Similar to the duplicate content issue was the problem of lost links thanks to having separate sites for mobiles and desktops. Now, with responsive design, there is no confusion about where those hard earned backlinks are going to point.
Other SEO factors too are helped by the one site workaround. The days of doing two lots of SEO work for one site are over. Rejoice optimizers!