An indirect benefit of responsive web design is that it enhances SEO. This is considered to be an indirect benefit since the direct benefits of responsive design deal with a better browsing experience across all platforms.
If businesses are unsure why responsive design is good for SEO, they need to first understand how SEO works. Broadly speaking, Google’s goal is to provide users with search results that are useful and relevant. Based on data and analytics, Google will find out which sites have relevant content and which don’t. Then Google’s algorithm will kick in and reward the best websites with good page rankings.
So how exactly does responsive design enhance SEO? One of the factors Google looks at is how long a user stays on a site or if they quickly return to the search engine results page (SERP). We know that the number of smartphone and tablet users increases each year and that they often view websites on their mobile devices.
What do you think happens when a user clicks a link that doesn’t work well on mobile devices? The user will return back to the SERP and find new links that are mobile-friendly. Based on the broad definition of SEO mentioned before, which site do you think Google will reward with the better page ranking?
An on top of this, users aren’t likely to return to that first site that didn’t function well. Recent research by Gomez includes a relevant statistic to this:
46% of consumers are unlikely to return to a mobile site if it didn’t work properly during their last visit.
Companies can improve their mobile site experience with responsive design. This style of web design allows businesses to manage just one website that adjusts perfectly to different platforms. So when consumers view your site on their mobile devices, the site will function well and they’ll stick around for a while. Google will think your website has good content, which is good for SEO. And in turn, Google will reward your site with a better page ranking.
If you would like more information about responsive design, contact us.