Having a responsive website, one that works on mobiles, tablets and PC’s has fast become an essential rather than desirable requirement for any website.
We all understand how a responsive site looks and works on different platforms but the real question we should be asking is: ‘Is SEO better on a responsive website?’ After all, a site that isn’t visible really isn’t going to do your business any good at all.
As with all things digital there is lots of content on the internet to help you understand the SEO benefits of responsive websites. Here at Build14me we have collated some of the most relevant information. Happy reading.
So the good things about responsive websites that help with SEO include
- Site usability – usability is simply about having a ‘user centred design’ that is appropriate for your target audience. A well structured and designed site that understands its audience will undoubtedly keep their attention for longer. Google likes to see that users spend more than a cursory glance on pages so encouraging people to remain on your site is a good thing. A responsive site that works on all platforms will maximise your opportunity to engage with your users for longer than a site that is poorly presented and difficult to read.
- Download speeds – a properly optimised responsive site, will minimise the download time on each platform. The site will load quicker and the overall user experience will be improved. Optimising a site for mobile use includes reviewing the page loading speed, reviewing the design so that the site can be scrolled easily with key messages clearly communicated. You can find Googles recommendations for ‘smartphone-optimized sites’ https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2012/06/recommendations-for-building-smartphone.html
As an aside – it should be remembered that flash plugins, popups are a no-no when it comes to optimising a page for mobile. If you are struck on creating special effects then we would recommend using HTML5.
It is generally considered that Google prefers a responsive site to having separate mobile websites and the Search engine journal has written an excellent feature at https://www.searchenginejournal.com/4-seo-benefits-responsive-web-design/92807/ that identifies 4 key SEO benefits for having a responsive website
- Google loves a responsive website
- Having one responsive site rather than separate mobile site – means you will only have to focus on a single URL when it comes to SEO
- The content compromises you may make on a mobile only site may mean people spend less time on your site than they would on the desktop equivalent.
- A site designed for mobile use should allow you to view all the content as easily on a desktop – having a consistent site across all platforms helps build trust amongst users.
Does a responsive site get a rankings boost?
Well Google says ‘Responsive design is Google’s recommended design pattern’ and you can view the Google ‘Mobile SEO overview’ https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/mobile-seo/#choose_your_mobile_configuration
This article recommends that you must ensure that you signal to Google when a page is ‘formatted for mobile’ , that mobile sites are ‘crawlable’ and that mobile phones should have good ‘searcher experience’
In April 2015 – Google stated that they would penalise websites that are not mobile friendly. You can test your site (and we recommend you do) at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.
Build14me can help ensure that your website is responsive and optimised for all platforms, mobile, tablet and desktop.
If you would like to talk to one of our team about your website contact Ben@build14me.com or call us on 01273 670100