Why a Responsive Layout Can Help SEO

Published May 05, 2014 by Mitchell Wright in SEO
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When it comes time to build a website, businesses and companies are often faced with the decision of whether they want to build a responsive or a mobile version. Mobile versions can be good, as they are easy to navigate and they look really sharp on small tablets or smart phones. However, mobile websites also have their shortcomings when it comes to SEO searches and trying to have a cohesive brand for your website. Instead, responsive websites are incredibly helpful to your SEO searches, often making them a better choice for those looking to really boost their rankings on search engines. If you are trying to determine whether or not you should go with a mobile or responsive website, here are some ways that the latter can help your SEO, making it a great choice to consider.

One Cohesive URL

The first thing to keep in mind with how a responsive website is utilized with SEO is to look at how search engines like Google use their algorithms. The idea here is to get a cohesive websites and have URLs that work well together. When it comes to mobile sites, having this setup means that your SEO results are separated into two different URLS, which doesn’t allow your SEO rankings to capitalize on being noticed for all of the traffic you get. Instead, a responsive website allows for all of your search results, whether it’s from a mobile or computer device, to be funneled into one total SEO result. This is incredibly important for small businesses that don’t get the typical traffic that larger sites get. Therefore, if smaller companies offer a mobile version, they’ll need to get twice as much traffic, just to get ranked in SEO. Furthermore, their mobile ranking could potentially be higher in either mobile or regular search engines. However, with responsive websites, all of the results are tallied and culminate to make one overall presence. This is incredibly helpful and one of the top reasons that responsive websites are typically a better option for SEO.

Search Engines Prefer Responsive

Not only does SEO help combine the search results that people make for your site, but it also helps because most search engines prefer responsive websites over their mobile counterparts. Consider the fact that websites want to do whatever they can to please search engines like Google, it’s important to consider what will look best through these search engines when building the perfect website. After all, it’s highly unlikely that any website is going to be able to develop a large following with hundreds-of-thousands of viewers, or more, if they don’t utilize the help of Google or another large search engine. These search engines typically offer developer kits, forums and communities that help programmers write code for websites that make them better when it comes to responsive website design. That’s not to say that having a mobile site will stop you from ranking in SEO, but the results will certainly be completely different than if you go with what these search engines want to see and keep everything working in your favor.

More Engaging And Better Bounce Rates

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Another factor into the SEO algorithm is bounce rate and the type of activity that people make while searching the web. If a website decides to go with a mobile website design but it isn’t engaging or active enough so people quickly leave it, then that will have a major impact on the bounce rate and how rankings are made in SEO searches. However, considering responsive websites utilize the bounce rate of both mobile and computer devices, there is a much higher likelihood that bounce rates will work well together and help the overall presence online. And because you do not need to change the way your site looks or how it operates with responsive web design, which you surely would if you go with mobile, then you can decide what is working well for your website and what isn’t. you can then formulate a plan to change your website to make a better bounce rate, without having to change the entire format of the website as a whole, which you would when using mobile.

Easier To Manage

Mobile websites can be easy to use by users when it is created correctly with a good foundation and easy to use functionality. However, that doesn’t mean that it is easy to manage on the backend. Instead, having to manage both a regular website and a mobile website can be incredibly difficult, especially for businesses that do not have the capitol to hire multiple different people to work on varying browser types. Instead, a responsive website is managed just like a normal website, which can be done by any web developer or programmer. It is also easier to manage the information that you have from users, such as bill pay options or subscriptions, which can be much more difficult with a mobile platform. Furthermore, when customers get frustrated with these types of interactions, it may lead them to get off the website, which again will hurt your bounce rate. If you are a company that cannot manage your own online presence, then you’ll likely have to pay to have someone to do it for you. And with responsive websites, this will often be cheaper and have better results.

Higher User Experience

Responsive websites offer users the exact same experience they would have on their computer, except they can do it from their mobile phone. This means that a lot of the neat little touches and features that you put into the site will be displayed in the same way, no matter what site they are on with a responsive site. Furthermore, when people are more interested in the experience and pleased with the way the site runs, they’ll be more likely to stay on the site longer and do more things while online. This will help your SEO algorithm and keep your search engine results high, while also making your site more popular and entertaining. It’s not to say that users don’t get a good experience from mobile websites, but it certainly will not be the same as it would through responsive website design.

Longevity

Lastly, it’s important to remember that your website shouldn’t be something that you build for today, but rather with the hopes of it lasting for years to come. If a company goes with a mobile website design and that technology is no longer relevant, you are losing all of the time and effort you put into boost your SEO results. However, responsive websites use the same URL information as your existing site, and that technology doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon. Chances are the longevity of responsive sites are going to be much more than that of mobile, so your time and effort is better spent making sure SEO works very well with that platform.

Both mobile and responsive websites are reliable options, depending on your company. However, while mobile may sometimes take a hit on your SEO results, responsive websites will only continue to add to the overall cohesiveness of your site, which is better for being found through search engines.

Written by Mitchell Wright

Mitchell Wright

Mitchell loves all aspects of Internet marketing and have been involved with everything from ORM to SEO to video and affiliate marketing. He currently works with bloggers to increase their ad revenue.

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