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SEO Web Design: The Importance of a Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web DesignLet's face it - we're all addicted to our smartphones and mobile devices. Maybe you're reading this on your device right now.

More users now access the internet from mobile devices than desktop computers. That trend isn't likely to change anytime soon. That's why it's more important than ever to make sure you're using a responsive design for your website.

What exactly is a responsive website? Why does SEO web design matter? And how can you make your site more responsive?

Read on to learn more about the importance of a responsive SEO web design.

Responsive vs. Other Designs

Before we discuss why a responsive site is important, let's define what it is.

There are three types of mobile website designs (or configurations):

Responsive Design

Often called RWD, these sites shrink or expand according to the device screen. The designs feature fluid grids and flexible images to ensure excellent user experience on any device.

Adaptive Design

Also called dynamic serving, this design generates different versions of the site's HTML based on the device. In adaptive design, the website has multiple versions served through common URLs.

Separate Mobile Site

Also known as mDot, this design delivers different HTML on separate URLs for mobile devices. The mobile-friendly pages are usually located on the "m." subdomain.

Of these three options, Google favors responsive SEO web design. If you're hanging onto an adaptive or separate mobile site, it's time to consider making the switch to responsive design.

Why Does Responsive Design Matter?

If you think SEO web design isn't that important, think again.

94% of users trust a website based solely on its design, rather than specific content. You can create the world's best content, but no one will read it if your site doesn't perform well.

The whole goal of SEO is to optimize your site for search engines, right? Google places high importance on responsive design, so the rest of your SEO efforts are in vain if your site isn't responsive.

Think about it. If your website is slow to load, why should Google recommend it? If it looks terrible or is difficult to navigate on a mobile device, why would Google reward you with higher rankings?

5 Reasons to Use Responsive Web Design

Still not convinced? Here are five specific reasons to choose responsive SEO web design.

1. Eliminates Duplicate Content

Having both a desktop version and a mobile version of your site sounds like a good idea. The problem is it can create an SEO nightmare.

If you use a separate mobile site, you'll likely encounter issues with duplicate content. The mobile site creates its own URL, which is different than the desktop site's URL.

Even though the URLs are different, the content is the same. This can seriously harm your rankings because Google doesn't know which content to view as most important.

The result? Google will "punish" your website with a lower search result ranking. A responsive website with one URL eliminates this potential problem.

2. Speeds Up Page Load Time

Page loading times are another crucial factor in improving SEO. The faster your home page loads, the higher Google will rank it.

Responsive SEO web design ensures your site gets favored in the search results.

Mobile responsive designs almost always load faster than non-responsive ones. This is especially true for smartphones and tablets. Not only does this offer better user experience, but it will also boost your ranking.

3. Lower Bounce Rate

Science has proved that the average person now has a shorter attention span than a goldfish. This means you have only a few seconds to capture a visitor's interest.

Google pays close attention to how long visitors linger on your site - and how quickly they leave it. If users consistently "bounce" out of your site after the first few seconds, Google may decide that your site isn't relevant.

Responsive SEO web design ensures visitors will spend more time on your site. It provides a clean, crisp website that's easy to navigate.

The longer users spend perusing your site, the higher Google will rank it.

4. Improved Usability

Along with a reduced bounce rate, responsive design offers improved usability. If your site is easy to use and navigate, your customers will have a positive experience.

The result? Better reviews, increased traffic, and more branded searches - all of which help your rankings, too.

Customer journey and experience are what make online businesses succeed. Their satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) has a direct impact on your conversion rates.

Boost your chances of making a sale by choosing a responsive design with improved usability.

5. More Social Sharing

Another benefit of responsive web design is that it's designed with the mobile user in mind. This makes sharing content on social media channels easier for the largest percentage of users.

True, the number of shares doesn't directly impact SEO. However, it will help you to grow your audience.

The larger your audience, the more traffic and engagement your site will receive. As more people search for your brand, Google will sit up and take notice.

If your website design is solely for desktop users, you may miss out on this valuable opportunity to increase brand awareness. A responsive site makes finding and using those "share" buttons easy.

How to Make Your Site Responsive

Now that you know why responsive SEO web design is so important, let's briefly look how to do it.

  • Use a mobile responsive website design or theme.
  • Use fluid layout for enhanced user experience.
  • Use mobile-friendly technology that works across all platforms.

If you need assistance with any of these, you can always enlist the help of a professional web design agency.

Final Thoughts on SEO Web Design

SEO is a tricky world to navigate. The rules are always changing, too, which makes it even more confusing.

One thing is for certain, though: Responsive SEO web design is here to stay.

Are you designing a new website from scratch or making changes to your current one? Please contact us at WebHornet to discuss your needs and our website services.

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