Responsive web design is one of those buzzwords you may have heard before but had never given much thought to. But if you’re interested in SEO (and who isn’t?) the use of responsive web design services should definitely be considered.
By using them, you can give your website that vital competitive edge. It’s certainly a hot topic at present and many forward-thinking companies are getting on the bandwagon.
The internet is accessed via a range of devices from desktop to tablet to phone. And users expect consistency and speed. Did you know that you’ll lose 9 out of every 10 mobile website viewers if they can’t immediately find what they are looking for?
Technology is moving ahead at never before realized speeds. The modern technology user demands quality and instant gratification when surfing the web. And responsive web design can go some way towards helping you achieve this.
So what exactly is responsive web design and how can it help you and your business?
Responsive Web Design – General Facts
Responsive web design simply means that you don’t have alternative versions of your site for desktop, phone, and mobile viewing. The website is designed to adapt to the size of the site upon which it is being viewed.
All content will be fully displayed regardless of screen size and all versions will be identical. The content will be readable and nothing will be lost in translation.
Responsive web design is targeted to a superior consumer experience. Up until relatively recently, it was considered vital to adapt your website for viewing on different devices and screens.
And for good reason.
A fully functional website may have been perfectly readable on a PC screen but when viewed via mobile the readability was often lost. In order not to lose potential customers, website designers ensured that the site could be viewed on a desktop, phone, and tablet screen. And they made the necessary adjustments to the design of each site to accommodate this.
An Innovative Approach
However, in 2010 web designer Ethan Marcotte first wrote the phrase “responsive web design” in his article on A List Apart. Ethan accurately pointed out that continuing to build different websites to meet the rapidly changing needs of new devices would not be sustainable in the long term.
Ethan Marcotte’s suggestion was to utilize responsive web design by creating fluid layouts which adapt to the specifications of each screen.
Ethan’s proposal was greeted with a lot of support within the technological world. It made sense, it meant less work, and it would certainly cost a lot less.
The Key Principles
The core development principles of responsive website design are:
- Fluid Grids
- Media Queries
- Flexible Media and Images
Each of these principles must be used in order for the concept to work properly.
Fluid Grids allows the content to fit the screen via relative sizing. CSS coding is used to place the content in such a way as to correctly center it regardless of screen size.
Media Queries, or breakpoints, ensures that the website detects the type of device being used or the size of the web browser and adjusts the website accordingly.
Flexible Media allows images and media to load correctly dependent on the size of the device. This development technique uses scaling or CSS overflow.
How Can Responsive Web Design Help Me?
Using responsive web design services in the creation of your website is a great idea. We can already see that the concept will reduce web maintenance and the need for differing web content.
But what else can you achieve through using responsive web design services?
Give Your Site An Edge
Google is the most popular search engine in the world. The world’s most recognized search engine receives an estimated 1.6 billion unique visitors per month.
One of the reasons that Google has gotten so popular, and retained that No. 1 ranking, is because it sends users to sites that are helpful.
If a user navigates to your site and finds it difficult and frustrating to use, they will leave. This action is called a “bounce”. When visitors reach your site and immediately leave your site will register bounces.
The clever bots at Google will not send their users to a site with a high bounce rate.
By using responsive web design services to optimize your site you are significantly reducing the chances that visitors will bounce soon after landing on your website.
By optimizing your site through the smart use of responsive web design services you are placing the same content on all devices. Your information is all in the same place.
This reduces the chances of visitors arriving at a site that has been trimmed of content in order to fit mobile devices. Your content will be the same regardless of how it is accessed.
Recommended by the No. 1
Google has stated that mobile optimization is a factor for mobile search. If you have a site that conforms to mobile usage your site will rank higher in Google searches.
Google recommends that you make your site mobile-friendly. They support responsive web design. If you are interested in gaining or retaining a good rank in searches it makes sense to use responsive web design services when building your site.
One Link to Rule Them All
For a traditional website design package (PC, mobile, and tablet) you need a link to take the user directly to each site.
If you are using responsive web design one link fits all. Your site can be backlinked from both mobile and desktop sites. This gives your site a stronger backlink profile as the one link is able to be used over and over again.
Responsive web design is the way the industry is headed. As discussed before, it’s a key buzzword at present.
New technologies are being introduced to the marketplace every day. If your website has been optimized through the use of responsive web design services you’re already ahead of the game. You can rest easy knowing that your site is readable regardless of the device used to view it.
How Else Can Responsive Web Design Services Improve My SEO?
We’ve talked about how you can use responsive web design services in the design of your website to boost your Google rankings. Google themselves state that their engine prefers sites that are optimized for every device.
But are there other ways that using responsive web design services can help to improve the SEO of your site?
Read on. We’ll discuss a few other ways that this technique can help with search engine optimization.
Faster Times Loading for your Web Pages
Google describes the optimal time for a web page to load as 1 second. The average speed for a mobile site to load is seven x this preferred time.
When there is more than one version of a website, a request by a mobile browser is sent to the server. A query is then run for the mobile page version.
A responsive web design does not require such queries to be sent to the server. This reduces the response time.
The Google search engine prefers faster loading websites to slower loading pages and will select these first.
Engage Your Viewer
We touched on this briefly but it’s worth reiterating this point. There is a whole internet of websites out there and the next website is only a click away.
By using responsive web design services you are improving the overall experience for your website viewer. You are eliminating the frustration of slow-loading pages and a mobile site which may have reduced content.
If a user enjoys the experience of using your website they are more likely to return and recommend the page to others.
Improved SEO with Other Search Engines
While Google is undoubtedly the king of the search engines, other search engines also recommend using responsive web design to optimize your website.
Bing, the second highest-ranking search engine, also prefers websites which use responsive web design. Yahoo (powered by Bing since 2011) of course follows this recommendation.
By choosing to use responsive web design services in the creation of your website you are giving your site a leg up in the race for search engine rankings, regardless of the search engine the user opts for.
We all like our websites to look good. It’s an important face of the business. It can be the first sight a potential customer has of your company.
A website which passes the attractiveness and appeal test will have a lower bounce rate. And we now know that a lower bounce rate helps with your site’s search engine ranking.
With responsive web design, your site can always look good, regardless of the angle (or device) from which your site is being viewed.
iPhone or Android?
Now there’s an often asked question! But regardless of your choice of mobile phone, responsive web design is designed to work effectively on both brands.
So here we have a web design that is consistent, user-friendly, and readable across desktops, phones, tablets, iPhones, and Androids. Oh, and Kindle.
What is there not to love?
Content Marketing Information
Content marketing can increase the amount of traffic which visits your website. Content marketing is simply defined as a method of creating, publishing, and sharing online content to increase your brand visibility and improve your brand’s reputation.
Responsive web design is here to stay, but does it affect content marketing? How will the changes to how a website is constructed change the way content is created?
The use of responsive web design will, in fact, make content marketing easier. Websites will become more standardized, eliminating the need to create differing content for mobile and PC devices.
A website can be created to look great on a PC, with the perfect amount of content marketing included, and you can rest assured that the website will appear the same on other devices.
It is expected that websites will transition to more of a Content Management System as the popularity of responsive web design increases. You will have more control over how your site appears along with the knowledge that your content is consistent in all formats.
When hiring responsive web design services professionals, chat with them over any concerns you may have about your content marketing. The key thing to keep in mind is that your site will be optimized, consistent, and regular in its appearance regardless of how it is viewed.
Show Me Some Statistics
Still not convinced that responsive web design is the right option for you?
We can look at a few statistics which may change your mind.
According to studies carried out by Cisco and InMobi, global mobile traffic increased by 74% in 2015 and 60% of all internet access is via mobile. And those figures continue to rise.
We looked at the statistic which shows 9 out of 10 users will exit a website if they can’t immediately find what they’re looking for. But did you know that nearly 40% of users will also leave the site if they find it unattractive in layout, format, or imagery?
And did you know that by 2018 it is predicted that over one-third of consumers across the globe will be smartphone users? That equates to around 2.6 billion people.
And here’s another interesting fact for you. According to a study by Basekit, up to 91% of small to mid-size businesses do not have a website optimized for mobile.
Yes, you read that right.
By choosing responsive web design, a method which consistently works well across all devices, you are already ahead of the field. While other companies are dithering about getting a mobile website you can have a design which covers all devices.
Plus there are the other benefits, of course. Your site will gain improved search engine rankings, better consumer engagement, and stronger backlinks.
To conclude, responsive web design cannot be overlooked when considering website creation or upgrades.
The team at TopSpot SEM, an innovative and progressive digital marketing company which offers responsive web design services, can help you with your web design choices. Contact the team today and make a positive move towards improved website SEO.