Is a Responsive Website Design Really that Important for SEO?

memeMashable dubbed 2013 as the year of responsive design.

We’d like to argue that 2015 is in fact the actual year of responsive design.

Why? Because Google.

Okay, for those of you not regularly interacting with Google on a tech level… Because, earlier this year, Google made a push for responsive designs by adding it as a factor in their ever-changing website ranking algorithm.

The Big Change by Google

It’s no secret that changes happen to Google’s algorithm on a regular basis.

See: Panda, Penguin, Pigeon, Hummingbird, etc.

So, it was no surprise that Google’s first major update this year, changed the way websites would rank in a big way; as the major updates usually do.

In March, Google announced (like they so very rarely do) they would be adding this new modification to the search algorithm beginning on April 21, 2015. They called this change the mobile-friendly update.

What Did the Update Include?

The update was created to filter sites that do not have a mobile-friendly version from Google’s mobile search results.

This means that Google gave a big old nod of approval to responsive designs. If you want further proof of this nod, just check out the developers section in Google’s webmaster tools. Google outlines tips for making your site mobile-friendly.

It also means that sites that are not responsive, or domains that do not have a mobile-specific site for phone searches will no longer be included within Google’s search rankings from iPhones, Androids, and tablets.

And, while missing out on mobile traffic might not seem like a big deal, mobile searches actually dominate the search market in the U.S.

Other Reasons for Responsive Design

If missing out on mobile search traffic isn’t enough of a reason to make the switch to a responsive design, we have a few more reasons why responsive design is important:

  • I-Love-How-Your-Website-Is-Impossible-To-Read-On-My-Smartphone-MemeResponsive designs are user friendly.
    Page elements such as menus, buttons, and even text are much easier for mobile users to interact with, and there’s no need for users to zoom into sections of the site in order to interacting.
  • Responsive designs have faster loading times.
    Because responsive designs are automatically optimized for all devices, they load faster for each individual device. Your website loading quickly doesn’t only benefit your users, but it also has positive benefits on your SEO, as load time is a factor Google takes into consideration when ranking websites.
  • Responsive designs save you money.
    Since responsive designs are optimized for all devices, there’s no need to create a separate mobile version of your website for Google’s mobile search. That math should be easy, as one website costs less than two! If that isn’t reason enough, development and ongoing maintenance costs for responsive designs are also lower, because responsive frameworks keep all content (for every device) within one easy-to-use dashboard!

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One Response to "Is a Responsive Website Design Really that Important for SEO?"

Written by Staff at Radiate
on August 11, 2015