- COVID-19 pandemic emphasizing the practicality of internet mobile devices for everyday all-round tasks.
- Mobile internet surfing is exploding due to consumer buying intent.
- Half of the world’s population is surfing the Internet with a mobile device, by 2021 61 million mobile Internet users in the UK.
- Google’s webmasters are announcing the launch of the Mobile First Index in March 2021, with an impact on desktop and M-Dot websites.
- Davies, an SEO expert at UENI, points out the top five ways to complement SEO efforts with responsive web design to improve website performance in Google SERP.
With the accessibility and ease of use of the mobile Internet growing year on year, there is no denying the need for websites to meet user expectations for a smooth and relevant experience. In addition, 2020 provided valuable insights into the relevance of mobile devices to people’s lives. Still questioning the importance of responsive web design to your website’s SEO? To ease the skepticism, Jos Davies, SEO expert at UENI, shows the five most important ways to complement SEO efforts with responsive web design to improve the performance of websites in Google SERP.
1. Ease of use of the website
Mobile visitors are usually impatient and long for on-site solutions to their needs – which doesn’t mean that desktop visitors like to waste their time! Google supports this with the fact that 53% of mobile users bounce off a page that does not load in less than three seconds.
In a highly competitive marketplace, fast loading websites can stay competitive while the rest of them experience volatile traffic and inconsistencies due to falling rankings.
Responsive web design helps optimize websites for mobile search, improve the functionality of your website and design by scaling the content to users’ devices, thus providing a consistent user experience across all devices.
Since the sole purpose of Google is to deliver the most relevant results to users, it prioritizes and promotes the websites that offer a good user experience on all devices: content, design and functionality on all devices.
It goes without saying that a decrease in traffic affects sales. Additionally, an unresponsive website on mobile is missing out on valuable opportunities to attract and convert customers.
2. Faster loading of the website
Since the Google Speed Update in 2018, Google has been using mobile website speed as a ranking factor for mobile search.
Google updates are based on user behavior: increasing use of mobile devices means a paradigm shift for crawling, indexing and displaying results by Google bots in SERP to meet user needs and expectations and to promote customer satisfaction .
In a mobile-centric world, mobile responsive design is an essential part of a successful SEO strategy. Responsive web design helps you rethink both the layout and the content of your website in order to provide a smooth user experience from desktop to laptop, tablet and smartphone without inconsistencies.
Otherwise, it would affect your SEO efforts and a drop in traffic is out of the question as only your desktop and the versions of the m-dot website will be removed from the Google index no later than March 2021.
3. Decrease the bounce rate
The bounce rate is the percentage of users who land on a page and decide to leave before continuing. Google takes this into account when weighting the relevance of a website for a specific search query.
A high bounce rate therefore results in a drop in ranking reflecting thin or irrelevant content or a poorly designed website if only looking at the user’s interaction.
It’s still safe to say that content is king, but if you keep up with the latest technological advances, content will only stay king if it’s properly optimized for all devices.
Good content can only do so much if it is not supported by an appealing design. Responsive web design does just that by customizing the layout of the page and showing the same content for each device.
4. Strengthening social sharing
Social media isn’t a ranking factor, but that doesn’t make it any less important when it comes to your overall marketing strategy. It sure plays an important role in an SEO campaign, complementing each other and helping you capitalize on website traffic.
Responsive web design makes sharing content accessible on all social platforms, thus expanding your audience.
As? By making it easier for website visitors to access the same content on desktop and mobile devices, share it with their colleagues and on their social media profiles. This opens up great opportunities to reach a wider audience.
More traffic means more chances for your visitors to convert. Responsive web design is now more than ever the foundation on which you can increase your sales. What if a desktop user shares a link to a mobile user and the website is unresponsive? Or imagine if your visitors have trouble finding the share button and just give up. This robs you of the opportunity to expand your potential consumer market and get more traffic.
5. No duplicate content
With the increasing use of mobile devices, most of the websites have created a separate mobile version. However, this approach often poses duplicate content problems. Why? If very similar content is displayed on more than one URL, there is a risk of duplicate content problems.
Due to the dual nature of the content, Google bots cannot tell which version to index, or whether one version should absorb all link metrics, or whether to keep them separate. Which version should be at the top for a particular query? While the chances of receiving a Google penalty are small, it doesn’t mean it won’t affect your rankings.
By installing a responsive web design, you can solve duplicate content issues by using a URL across devices and adapting the layout and content to each screen size while providing a consistent and enjoyable user experience.
What is the takeaway?
Google Says Webmasters Do! If Google announces a change in the algorithm, we’ll follow. And Google recommends a responsive web design for a smooth transition to the mobile-first index. A number of benefits are reflected in the SEO performance of your entire website.
Josh Davies is an SEO expert on the elections.