Different websites have different needs and will, therefore, need different features to be added to it. For example, the e-commerce websites that sell products may need a feature for inventory control to ensure that the items listed for sale are in stock. Though this is critical to the success of e-commerce websites, this feature is absolutely pointless on the website of an accounting firm who is no doubt promoting their services on offer but is not selling the products online.
Regardless of requirement, a feature critical to the success of all websites is mobile friendliness and responsive design support.
Responsive Web Design
How can a responsive web design help?
Responsive web design allows to change the layout of a website as the screen size changes. While a wide screen display can receive site design with several columns of content, a small screen size needs the content to be presented in a single column with links and text appropriately sized to be read.
So why should you make your website responsive? Here are the key reasons.
Supports Multi Device Users
Your websites are not just visited by different devices with variable screen sizes, but the same customers return to your website using different devices. This means that to offer the best support to their experience, your website must work perfectly regardless of the device made use of. The content that your users had access to while using a given device must be available if they return to your website making use of yet another device.
In case a user fails to find the details that they found while using a different device, you can rest assured of the fact that the user will never again return to your website and turn to your competitors. By ensuring consistency across multiple devices coupled with an experience and layout suitable for multiple devices, you can best support your customers leaving them little reason to abandon your website halfway through the experience.
Googlebot Takes Responsive Web Design Seriously
Responsive web design is valuable from the SEO point of view owing to the unified code base. Despite the arrival of this technology years before, a large number of websites, even today, come with two different versions. They are the mobile and the desktop. The concern here is that Googlebot and varying other search engine bots give relevance to neat and simple page hierarchy that they can only find in the responsive websites.
Google hates content repetition. But with different versions of the same website, you are just promoting content repetition. Google is quite likely to demote your website if there are different versions for the mobile and the desktop.
Time is yet another factor that plays a role in reducing the ranking factor of your page. Multiple versions of the same website need the search engine crawlers to spend more time in navigating the pages. Since the bots need more time to crawl a given website, Google is quite likely to bring down the rankings. Responsive web design relies on a single URL as well as code base for laptops, desktops, mobile phones and tablets. This ensures faster crawling as well as better options of page ranking.
One of the prime factors behind SEO success is original and non-repetitive content. In case it is not original and unique, your organic search rankings are bound to suffer. Having a mobile optimized website is not enough but you also need to implement the tested SEO strategies for improving overall page ranking.
Responsive web design casts an impact on the search engine crawlers in several ways. Mobile behavior is yet another aspect Google considers. Search engine optimization is chiefly about user experience and it won’t be wrong if we say that responsive designs are one of the most significant aspects of user experience design.
The search engines make every attempt to measure user experience on both the desktop as well as the mobile devices. Bounce rate is one of the prime aspects here. Google also measures the difference between mobile/ non-mobile bounce rates. This is done to check out whether a website is mobile friendly. According to Google, more than 60% of mobile users will visit the competitor site if they find your website nonresponsive.
The prime goal of search engines is improving the SERP by delivering relevant content. If a given web page offers high bounce rate, the search engines are quite likely to reduce the ranking of your website by thinking that the content is not relevant to the keywords.
One Size Rules All
It’s hard to keep websites updated and relevant. So you can guess the hard work involved in keeping multiple websites consistent and updated. This is the reason responsive websites are preferred to desktop and mobile displays.
A mobile optimized version of a given website creates trouble for a large number of reasons.
- You have two websites to update. Thus, you have just doubled your workload.
- Most mobile only websites come with a small subsection of features and content found on the normal version of the website.
As already said, the feature and content differences between different versions of the website will frustrate the users expecting access to information across multiple devices.
One of the best things about responsive web design is this approach offers you the best chance to support new devices and screens in the future. The responsive sites can be scaled up and down to best fit the screen size. Nowadays, several devices are making its presence felt in various screen sizes. With a responsive website, you need not take steps every time a new device is used to open your website. Responsive web designs have the capacity to suit the need of multiple devices available in different screen size.
Each website, regardless of its goals or the audience served can benefit of displays that work across multiple screen sizes on different devices. So it’s time to embrace responsive web design support and make your website accessible to users regardless of the device used.
Author’s Bio: Eric Haskell has over 15 years of experience in web development, programming, e-commerce, and business strategy experience. He focuses on solutions that merge current technologies, applications, and concepts together to help each client meet their goals with success. He also contributes articles for Palmetto Web Design, Columbia SC.