Many websites still have a desktop version and a mobile version. While this is not a bad idea per se, it tends to become outdated. Moreover, there are more benefits of a responsive website for SEO and your brand image. In this article, we hope we give you sufficient reasons to consider a major website redesign in order and create a fully responsive site for your company.
What Is the Difference between Responsive and Mobile Version of Website?
First of all, let us explain what is a responsive website. The traditional coding method for creating a website would scale its layout either for a computer monitor (with the screen size of around 20’) or for a mobile phone screen (with the screen size of around 5’). This means that you actually have two websites.
Responsive web design is a whole new approach to the issue of giving each user an optimal browsing experience. Thus, a responsive website will automatically scale its layout to fit the user’s screen. If you want to visualise this concept, thing of a one-size-fits-all cap which you can comfortably adjust on your head.
What Are the Benefits of a Responsive Website for SEO?
Let us now understand the benefits of having a responsive website for your business from the point of view of your SEO efforts. Here are some of the most important reasons why it is worthwhile redesigning your company website:
1. Google Recommends Responsive Web Design
The first of the benefits of a responsive site for SEO is that it meets Google’s recommended guidelines. In its detailed article on this topic on Google Search Central, the Google team says clearly and simply “we recommend using responsive web design”.
The reasons for this recommendation, according to Google, range from reducing the risk of common mistakes that affect mobile websites to facilitating the Google algorithm’s crawling and indexing of your site.
2. Faster Page Loading
Comparative tests indicate that a responsive website loads faster on any type of device. At the same time, since Google is now relying on a mobile-first indexing, having a site that loads fast on various mobile devices (including tablets and older smartphones) is a very important aspect for the success of your SEO efforts.
3. Reduced Risk of Having Duplicate Content
You already know that Google does not like finding duplicate content. Thus, here is one of the most important benefits of a responsive website for SEO: you don’t run the risk of having pages with duplicate content.
This is a frequent issue with keeping two versions of the site: for desktop and for mobile. Here is the reason why: the URL for a mobile site is different from the one for the desktop site because it has an “m.” in front of it. For Google, this means that you have 2 different URLs. Yet, they have the same content. Hence, the duplicate content issue.
4. Users Prefer a Responsive Site to an App
The days of “there’s an app for that” are gone. Mobile phone users are no longer interested in bloating their device with dozens of applications. According to a survey, they are 50% more likely to browse a responsive website than install an app in order to make a purchase from a business.
Thus, the benefits of a responsive website for SEO also extend to a more practical aspect for you: getting more sales.
5. Responsive Websites Are Easier to Navigate
A mobile site tends to offer varying degrees of user experience depending on their device. If they have an older phone with a smaller screen (under 4’) they may not be able to see the entire layout and find it hard to push on small navigation buttons.
A responsive site will scale itself so that each user, on each device, can see the entire layout and navigate with great ease. You can note this benefit of a responsive website by comparing the average Time on page of your mobile site with the same average value for the responsive site. Companies that performed this test realised that users are interacting with their site longer, increasing the chances of taking action and converting into customers.
6. Responsive Sites Get More Social Shares
Users are more likely to share an article found on a responsive site on Facebook, Twitter or other social media profiles. Moreover, by adding social media buttons, they can easily do this without leaving your site and without having to copy/paste the URL in their social media apps.
This is one of the key benefits of a responsive website for SEO because social media is now one of the most powerful engines for getting backlinks and improving the EAT factor for your site.
7. You Get Lower Bounce Rates
The bounce rate indicates the number of visitors who leave your site after a few seconds. This means that they did not find what they were looking for. It may also mean that they could not navigate your website with ease.
A high bounce rate tells Google that your site does not deliver the quality and reliable content users want. Thus, it will lower your page rank, despite your best efforts of adding fresh content and using the right keywords. Once you implement responsive web design, you will note a significant decrease of the bounce rate for your site.
A responsive website is beneficial for your company from many points of view. If the benefits of a responsive website for SEO are not extremely persuasive, then consider how much time you save if you don’t have to keep two versions of your site. Whenever you make a change, or add a page, you don’t have to perform the operation twice. At the same time, you don’t have to check two different sets of analytical data.
Finally, responsive websites have a fresh, modern look that users appreciate. Both ready-made templates and custom designs implement durable trends that will help you express your brand image adequately.