Responsive Web Design is Best Practice for Mobile SEO Strategy

By David Osrow

 

ResponsiveWebDesign_Blog_IMGTry to remember the last time you were using your smartphone or tablet to browse the web. Do you recall loading the website and thinking, “what the heck is this? I can’t see a single thing!” You then have to navigate a website that forces you to pinch-and-zoom your frustrations through everything you wish you could see.

This, unfortunately, is a familiar story for many mobile users out there.

Users want an engaging, pleasant, and easy-to-use web browsing experience. Having a website that isn’t truly optimized for mobile will leave a strain on your eyes, a pain in your neck, and now a gaping hole in your SEO strategy. These websites are turning off those who use mobile devices as a primary means to browse the web, and in many cases, will close out of the site before they can absorb any important content.

This is a situation that no company wants to encounter.

To make this scenario even more compelling, take a look at the following trends. In the last 12 months, mobile browser usage has nearly doubled, and in the past 24 months, it has more than tripled!

At the same time, the once dominant desktop web browsing usage has been declining at an alarming rate.

A study performed by comScore shows that total Internet usage is 63% PC and 37% mobile. They predict that this trend will rapidly continue, and in the next few years, they believe that mobile web browsing will overtake PC.

To put this into perspective, months before the first iPad was announced just three years ago, desktop web owned just shy of 99% of the total usage!

To combat the mobile revolution, a popular tactic companies have been implementing into their digital marketing strategy is a simple redirect to a separate mobile homepage when accessing the site on a mobile device. This has been a successful strategy for quite some time, but Google thought quite the contrary.

The problem with mobile redirects is twofold. On the consumer side, users want the same content on mobile as on desktop. With a separate mobile website, companies are providing a subpar, incorrectly formatted, watered down mobile version that lacks the content and design of its desktop counterpart. And if your website does not render properly on mobile devices, your potential customers will run the other way.

On the business side, companies are hindering the exposure of their true mobile audience. This is because with increasing mobile fragmentation, it is becoming even more difficult to cater your mobile website to every shape and size mobile experience.

To further discredit mobile website redirects, Google has just recently updated their algorithm, which will benefit websites with a versatile, top-quality mobile infrastructure. This means that with websites using a separate mobile website with a homepage redirect, Google will rank your company lower regardless of the quality of your backlinks.

Google is entirely focused on incentivizing websites that give mobile users a seamless web-browsing experience without the hassles of incorrectly formatted mobile webpages.

So how can you create a website with a seamless web-browsing experience that can change its shape to any size device? With a little something called responsive web design.

Instead of giving you a long and convoluted explanation of what responsive web design is, you can just give it a try and see it for yourself. Go ahead and open this article on your desktop browser. Begin by slowly dragging your browser window inward. Notice our website automatically adjust the design and content to its snug, new width? Drag it out and see the formatting shift back.

The magic of responsive web design!

Making the shift to a responsive web design will not only make your viewers happy, but will also greatly benefit your mobile SEO strategy. It will take advantage of Google’s algorithm update and boost your rankings in search results.

Switching to responsive web design is really a no-brainer. Not only is Google making it a must while endorsing its value, it’s a great long-term investment for your overall organic strategy.

It’s also easy on the eyes with no more of those pinch-to-zoom disasters, and your viewers will love you for that!

If your website is not responsive today, can you really afford for it not to be tomorrow?

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Mobile Search Engine Optimization

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