Before we jump into the necessity of building a mobile responsive website in 2012 lets first answer the question, what is a mobile responsive website? A mobile responsive website is essentially a website that will format itself to be most cohesive with any browser and on any device be it an iphone, ipad, Android, tablet, mini-tablet, ultra-tablet, awesome-tablet, or any soon to be internet friendly device. Think of responsive website design as the ability of the website to respond to any viewing device along with any viewing browser for the ultimate viewing experience.
Better Experience, Better Ranking
Responsive website design will provide all of your website visitors the best possible experience viewing your webpages. No longer will your business require independent mobile website design. No longer will business owners and marketing departments have to budget for an additional monthly premium to have an SEO-friendly mobile website. Instead it will be the responsibility of marketing directors and business owners to understand that they must require responsive website design on all forthcoming projects as the foundation of their mobile SEO efforts.
Why Does Google Prefer Responsive Design?
In the end the goal of Google’s search algorithm is to return the most valuable results to the end user. Value to the end user implies webpages that contain useful and accurate information, relevant information, are easy to navigate, are easy to read, webpages that are fast loading, and that are reputable. If the end user has a good browsing experience then Google has done their job. But how does a positive browsing experience relate to a better organic ranking?
In the past year Google updated their search algorithm to factor in positive user experience as ranking criteria. Websites with analytics that suggest a positive browsing experience are rewarded with higher SERP. Positive browsing experience analytics include numerous social shares, above average visitor time on a website, a low bounce rate, and a high return visit per user on average.
Bring It Home – Why Is Responsive Website Design Preferred?
Google wants their end users to be happy. End users are happy when they have a positive browsing experience. A positive browsing experience implies a website functions properly no matter what medium or device is used to visit the website. Responsive website design implies a website will look and function perfectly no matter what combination of pad, phone, tablet, computer, or web browser you use. So….when a website looks awesome even while using a mobile device- that site will most likely provide a positive browsing experience for which Google will reward with a higher ranking.
On the official Webmaster Central Blog, Google made this statement in regards to their favoritism of responsive website design,
“Using responsive web design has multiple advantages, including:
- It keeps your desktop and mobile content on a single URL, which is easier for your users to interact with, share, and link to and for Google’s algorithms to assign the indexing properties to your content.
- Google can discover your content more efficiently as we wouldn’t need to crawl a page with the different Googlebot user agents to retrieve and index all the content.”
We would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this post. Have you made the jump to mobile responsive website design? Do you have plans to in the near future?