Even though we never know how much responsive design can improve our Google ranking, it is still essential for every web owners to make their site mobile friendly and compatible with all different ranges of devices. Here are some reasons why it could mean disaster for your SEO ranking if your site is not ready for the latest trends.
What is responsive design
Simply put, responsive website design is the act of making a website reformats itself depending on the screen size of the device that they are showed on. A responsive website can be viewed on either a phone, a tablet, a laptop or a desktop computer while remaining user-friendly. Comparing to the older solution of creating a separate mobile site, responsive design is much more efficient and better for any SEO work.
Better mobile user experience
According to a report of KPCB in 2015, people now spend more time on mobile than desktop or other platforms. On average, users spend 51% of their time on mobile. This means that if your website is not responsive yet, you are missing out a huge amount of potential customers just because they don’t have a smooth experience browsing it.
By making your website mobile-friendly, it will reduce your bounce rate and can further enhance your ranking as Google will find that your site is not only relevant but is also made to conform for mobile users. Getting penalised by Google for not having a responsive site is just no fun for website owners.
Just imagine if a user sees your content on desktop and save it to read it on his phone on his way to lunch, he is very likely to drop it if the content is unreadable or the site is hard to navigate. Modern users now expect their mobile experience is as smooth as on their desktop, if not more. Implementing responsive design is not the only way but the best way to target your mobile and tablet traffic, as recommended by Google.
Retain your backlink
Creating an additional mobile-friendly website can be beneficial especially if your site has a huge amount of content that lead to the never-ending scrolling of users on their phones. However, from an SEO perspective, making a separate website means that you can not utilise the authority of your main page and vice-versa.
This means you need to double your SEO effort to rank your mobile and desktop sites which equal more working hours. You need to optimise for both page and build link separately for both pages. Still, your mobile site is going to rank lower since it is always canonicalized to the desktop page.
On the other hand, having a responsive website allow you to keep the backlink that you created and prevent any problem that can arise from having duplicate content. Furthermore, you can also keep the social media likes and shares from both desktop and mobile users. Just go responsive and you won’t have to worry about any extra mobile SEO work.
Not only that Google recommends responsive website design as the go-to way for making mobile friendly sites, they have also announced their mobile-first-index. Having a responsive website is the best way to ensure that your page will get noticed by Google on mobile and still deliver the best user experience.