3 Undeniable SEO Benefits of Responsive Web Design

Everyone is talking about search engine optimization (SEO) and a heck of a lot of people are talking about the benefits of responsive web design (RWD)—both for good reason. Know why?

Because RWD comes with loads of SEO perks. It’s true! First off…SEO benefits of responsive design

RWD explained: Put simply, when you create your website using responsive web design (RWD), your webpages automatically reformat to display on screens of all sizes, from small mobile phones to oversized desktop monitors. Responsive web design benefits your users because they experience essentially the same experience every time they visit your website—from ANY device. With a well-designed RWD website, your pages and posts will load fast and work fabulously on any sized screen.

Responsive website design first made the news in 2012, so if you haven’t invested in a new website in quite some time, it’s HIGHLY likely your SEO is falling by the wayside. Here are 3 reasons you should consider updating…ASAP.

1. Google Likes RWD

We all want to be BFFs with Google. After all, while there are plenty of other search engines in the sea, Google is unquestionably King of Search. The Google Gods have made their preference for RWD unquestionably clear, and their reasoning is sound.

While there’s no direct evidence that Google uses RWD as a ranking signal and assigns a higher rank as a result, Google engineers have noted (on several occasions) that web rank is affected by indirect factors that can be avoided with RWD in place. For example:

  • Redirect Errors: When you create a separate mobile-friendly website, both of your websites may be prone to faulty redirects, mainly because there’s a lot to keep track of between versions of your website, so some redirects might be overlooked between updates. If your redirect is broken and Google can’t find your mobile site? Too bad. Your site won’t appear in search results. Responsive design employs the same URL for all devices, eliminating this potential issue.
  • Duplicate Content: When you’re designing multiple sites for multiple device sizes, you’re essentially creating multiple copies of your original site. If each webpage doesn’t have proper canonical links, for example, or if you release a ton of duplicate content at the same time by updating all your sites at once, this could be misconstrued by Google as an attempt to skew search engine results and gain more traffic. Do not want.
  • Bounce Rate: While responsive design adapts to every device (whether desktop, laptop, phone or tablet), other types of design (including adaptive and separate mobile site design) don’t always fit any device properly. When elements don’t make sense, visitors get frustrated and they leave your website in a hurry. Bounce rate is an SEO ranking factor!

2. Better User Experience (UX)

As we’ve said, responsive design offers a better experience across all devices. Site visitors (read: your potential and current customers!) using any type of device—or even switching from one device to another—can easily navigate a responsive design on any screen. They can access the same content, plus your branding looks consistent as well. Who wants to lose a potential customer because they’re forced to view a stripped down version of your website with confusing navigation?

Better user experience means a lower bounce rate and, ultimately, more website visitors. Bonus points: those visitors are more likely to share and recommend a user-friendly site.

3. Oh-So-Easy Single URL

When your website is crafted with one URL that displays nicely on any device, you’re also increasing your social media share count. No matter what device your readers use to favorite, tweet, or share your content for their friends to view, your share value goes up on just one URL. Number of social shares is another clear ranking signal.

Any web team must consider SEO when planning a website design or redesign, and responsive website design (RWD) delivers some powerhouse SEO benefits. If you agree that your customers deserve the best possible experience when they visit your website, responsive web design is the best choice for a great website that displays optimally on any device.

Mobile-friendly responsive design is the KEY to great SEO. Not sure if your site is mobile friendly? Use the free and easy Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool to find out. Now’s the time to go mobile, but how? Check out this handy and comprehensive FREE guide to making your website mobile friendly.

Download: The Smart Marketer's Guide To Making Your Website Mobile Friendly

 

Responsive Website Design: A Smart Long-Term Investment

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Your website isn’t just an online brochure. Done well, it’s an efficient lead generation machine and the centerpiece of your marketing strategy—as long as it works on all the devices your customers are likely to use. If not, you’re missing opportunities.

When businesses grow, expansion is necessary: over time, you may need bigger space requirements, more stock, or you may even open new locations. You get bigger; you get more business. Mobile-friendly responsive website design (RWD) is another booster to business growth. Similar to opening a new location, launching a mobile-friendly website helps you reach a new audience and draw in new customers.

Responsive website design (RWD) isn’t a temporary or quick fix. It’s a long-term investment that allows you to build a dynamic website that can automatically adapt to new technologies. This means you won’t need to manually respond to each new device or screen size as it hits the market. Instead of playing catch up, you’ll be prepared and poised for growth.

The ROI on RWD: Get More Out of Your Site Design

Redesigning your website might seem like an unnecessary expense, but with responsive design, it’ll pay for itself in customer satisfaction and sales. Here are 5 ways you’ll see return on your investment.
 

1. Enhanced User Experience

Responsive web design maximizes your investment through user experience. Customers will get the same quality of content on any device, so they can find your website no matter what device they choose. And if they recommend your content to friends who are using different devices, responsive website design (RWD) adapts to show the same content in a readable and accessible format.
 

2. Reduced Update Time

In the long run, you’ll save time and money. Anticipating the needs of mobile and tablet users used to involve creating all sorts of different websites and each site had to be updated with new content, which meant at least triple the man-hours spent doing the same updates over and over with every change. Responsive website design (RWD) means one site and one update—which also reduces the number of possible mistakes—and the time it takes to correct them.
 

3. Increased Reach

More than 60% of all web searches are performed on smartphones nowadays. Responsive web design ensures user searches will be successful, your website will load quickly, and buyers will find the information they need to make an informed decision.
 

4. Increased Conversion Rates

While it’s difficult to predict how your customers will respond to your new mobile site, other businesses have been reporting significant boosts in conversion rates for years.
 

5. You’re Prepared for the Future

Updating your website now will prepare you for the foreseeable future. While it may not be 3D-hologram-compatible, as long as we’re still using screens, responsive website design (RWD) will dynamically respond to any size device that might hit the market. You won’t be scrambling to adapt to whatever the next big thing might be.

 

Investing in a responsive website design (RWD) now will create an enhanced user experience, boost your SEO, and cost you less on maintenance in the long run. If you’re ready to expand your business and reap the benefits of your investment, RWD is the way to go.

To learn more about mobile web design, download our free mobile-friendly guide below!

 
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Not sure if your site is mobile friendly? Use the free and easy Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool to find out. Now’s the time to go mobile, but how? Check out this handy and comprehensive FREE guide to making your website mobile friendly.

Download: The Smart Marketer's Guide To Making Your Website Mobile Friendly
 

7 Pro-Tips: Get the Blueprints Right Before Your Website Contractor Starts Working

House and town plans on lawn (digital composite)
 
Building a website is much like building a house; every little detail matters. Long before you watch contractors pour the foundation concrete, you go over the blueprints with your builder to ensure you get what you want and stay within your budget.

Imagine this: “I want a 2-bedroom 1300 sq. ft. house with 1 bathroom and an open floor plan. I’m on a tight budget, so I want simple, functional, and efficient use of space.” Cool. The builder drafts up your house plans. They’re exactly what you asked for, they fit the lot, and the build falls within your budget. The builder goes to work. He lays a precise foundation and puts up the walls. Plumbers and electricians come and go.

And that’s when you decide you need an extra bathroom. Two bedrooms should have two bathrooms, right? What if you have guests?

You wouldn’t really do that to a builder (we hope)…or if you did, you’d understand that changing something that significant is going to cost a lot more. Walls will have to come down and be rebuilt, the plumbers and electricians will have to come back, and the whole project will take more time.

A Beautiful Buildout is in the Blueprints

Much like building a house, when it comes to building your website, you’re going to want to avoid all the headaches and hassle.

The answer lies in the planning stages. It’s all about crafting blueprints that take both your short-term and long-term marketing strategy and website goals into account. Ok, ok, adding a webpage isn’t like adding a bathroom, but what if you suddenly realize…

So how do you know what to include? How do you even start crafting website blueprints that include everything you need for a site that fits within your budget?

Follow These 7 Tips for Website Blueprint Success…

 

#1: Pick the Right Web Development Team

Trust is everything. An experienced web design/development team has the real-life experience to go over all the pros and cons of your website design, structure, and feature options…before you begin your build. Find a team focused on marketing strategy, rather than website design alone.
 

#2: Be Prepared

When you have that first conversation with your website development team, have your ideas, questions, and budget organized and ready to go. Start with the basic framework, which includes all the must-have items on your list, then go from there. If you’re entirely revamping your website and/or your brand, showing examples of what you’d like to see can be helpful. Note what you like about each example: the colors, layout, speed, features, clean lines, striking images, etc.
 

#3: Be Honest About Your Budget

It’s human nature to lowball, but your contractor needs to know what they’re working with, so they can help you think forward and build out a plan for achieving your goals in affordable steps.
 

#4: Share Your Ideas…ALL of Them

What does your dream website look like? What are all those “it would be SO COOL if we had that” features you’d love to see? Spell everything out to your dev/design team up front. If you have big website dreams, there’s no reason you can’t unfurl them over time so they fit your budget. However, it’s important to respect the scope of each phase of the project. If phase one is building a 2-bedroom house on a budget, don’t be surprised when it lacks a grand entryway with Italian marble tiles.
 

#5: Avoid Committing to a Proprietary Site

Some creative teams will insist you commit to their homegrown web solution…but what you’re really getting is a huge pain in the you-know-what. If your website is built on proprietary software, you’ll have to hire that same development/design team ANY time you want even the smallest update. (That’s how they getcha.) Plus, down the road, when you want to move your website off their servers or software, it’s really going to cost ya. The answer? An open-source CMS platform you can update in-house, any time you want, without permission or help from your web dev team. In most cases, this means working with WordPress, Joomla!, or Drupal.
 

#6: Demand Responsive Design

First and foremost, your website should always be designed with the customer in mind. User experience for both desktop and mobile is your strongest asset. So you need a website that will render beautifully on any device, now and into the future. Mobile is a must these days, but you have options for how to build out your mobile-friendly site. We recommend responsive design. It’s easier to maintain than some other options and much more budget friendly as well. (*Psst: Google recommends responsive design, too!)
 

#7: Again: Plan, Plan, PLAN

Maybe you can’t afford a finished basement from the get-go. However, smart homebuilders lay in the basement electric and plumbing so you don’t have to tear the house apart when you’re ready for that fancy basement. Same goes for your website. Lay the foundation now and build out your website over time. Get the details right up front and you’ll be able to craft a strong website that grows with your business.
 
…and hey, please don’t be this guy.
 
Questions? Comments? Leave a response below!
 
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Not sure if your site is mobile friendly? Use the free and easy Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool to find out. Now’s the time to go mobile, but how? Check out this handy and comprehensive FREE guide to making your website mobile friendly.

Download: The Smart Marketer's Guide To Making Your Website Mobile Friendly
 

Hybrid Responsive Website Design: Right for Your SMB?

Responsive web design

We’ve heard a lot of marketing companies suggest hybrid responsive website design (HRWD) lately. After all, going mobile friendly is now a must, so many business owners are figuring out the best way to go mobile. A hybrid design takes the best of both responsive website design (RWD) and adaptive website design (AWD) components, resulting in a user-specific experience tailored to exact devices resulting in specific goal-oriented outcomes.

Sounds great, right? It is. But while HRWD might be the “optimum tech solution,” the complexity, costs, and maintenance time required make it less than ideal for most everyday businesses. If your marketing company suggests this option, be sure they’re strategic about the build process and the configuration of ALL your website design components—and not just looking to stick you with a huge bill.

Note: Google recommends responsive website design (RWD), and so do we.
 

The Basics

Hybrid responsive website design is created with a dual approach: it marries responsive web design’s ability to flexibly adjust to the user’s device with server-side adaptive web design techniques to adjust how the content is displayed, based on user needs.

 

The Pros:

  • Each user experience is tailored to a specific user outcome, so your website will automatically deliver content and layout tailored to each user.
  • Like responsive design, responsive hybrid design uses a single URL for every device. This is important to your search engine ranking and your site’s accessibility to mobile users. You won’t be penalized for duplicate content or pages, and your users will have a much better experience with your site from any device.
  • Your customers will have no trouble finding what they are looking for, even when they switch from a smartphone to a desktop, and they’ll be able to recommend something on your site to friends, who will be able to then easily find the same page or button.

 

The Cons:

  • Building a hybrid responsive code is time-consuming and requires uniquely skilled website developers, which means development comes with a hefty price tag.
  • Responsive web design (RWD) is configured mostly on the front-end (i.e. CSS), while mobile-specific, adaptive and hybrid responsive design options require server-side configurations. This means a lot of set up and a lot of maintenance over time.
  • Hybrid responsive design requires a complex device detection process to decide what version of your webpage is delivered to each device. Because tons of new devices with different screens sizes are introduced each year, it’s essential to update your detection algorithm regularly. Again, more maintenance to worry about.

 
Hybrid responsive website design (HRWD) is a major undertaking—the most complicated of mobile-friendly website options. You’ll need a trusted web developer very well-versed in the complexities of hybrid coding, plus the time and money to make it happen. In many cases, it’s overkill for a small- or medium-sized business.

The real question is: Is it worth the extra time, cost, and maintenance hassle?

The trend today—and moving forward—is all about user experience, and ensuring ALL parts of your website are visible, accessible, and fast. Your best bet is to ensure every screen experience is the best you can deliver…within your budget.

related-resources_01

Not sure if your site is mobile friendly? Use the free and easy Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool to find out. Now’s the time to go mobile, but how? Check out this handy and comprehensive FREE guide to making your website mobile friendly.

Download: The Smart Marketer's Guide To Making Your Website Mobile Friendly

Why Your Website Must Be Mobile Friendly Right Now

Transitioning to a mobile friendly website is no longer a maybe--it's a must. Learn why and how to go mobile friendly here...

Mobile users have taken over the Internet—so if your website isn’t mobile friendly, you might already be in trouble. The days of being chained to a desktop are long gone. Users have more options than ever before and what used to be downtime (commutes, a stop at Starbucks for an overpriced latte, or even a relaxing day at the pool) has turned into time spent browsing, checking emails, and making purchases.

Google responded to this mobile tsunami in a predictable way, by changing its search algorithm last April to prioritize websites optimized for mobile devices. What does that mean for non-optimized websites? Say goodbye to up to 60% of your traffic. No wonder marketers were quick to dub the change “Mobilegeddon.”

Don’t know if your website meets Google standards? It’s easy to check using the Google Mobile Friendly Test tool.

It All Comes Down to Enhanced Customer Experience

Repeat web traffic is all about great user experience. Customers who find themselves on a site that’s not mobile friendly bounce…and buy from your competitor.

You only have a few initial seconds to get a visitor’s attention, so if your website doesn’t fit on their screen or your links are difficult to click, your visitor will never get to the next page…or click your call to action (CTA). They certainly won’t sign up for your mailing list. Every visitor you lose to poor mobile display is a lost opportunity.

Load time is another argument for mobile optimization. Non-optimized sites load excruciatingly slowly on a mobile device. You have about 6 – 10 seconds (if you’re lucky) before visitor patience is strained to the breaking point.

“But I’m B2B…Why Bother?”

This is a surprisingly common argument—and the answer is just as simple. Corporate decision-makers act exactly like other human beings. The 2014 State Of B2B Procurement Study by the Acquity Group found that 94% of them research purchase online before making a decision. More to the point, 44% have used mobile devices to do their research.

Sounds like the move to mobile is essential for B2B and B2C businesses alike.

Advertising Benefits of Mobile-Friendly Websites: The Push

A “push” is a message sent directly to a user’s phone. With integrated social media and a team that’s on top of it, you can offer information, special pricing, or coupon codes while customers are doing product research.

Mobile advertising offers businesses the opportunity to tailor ads to personal browsing habits and social media cues. Research by Neustar shows that targeting an engaged audience can lead to a huge increase in conversion rates, ranging from 6 times more conversions in the health industry to 56 times more conversions in the retail sector.

Mobile-friendly websites are no longer an option for business owners who want to remain competitive. To improve your mobile ranking, attract a larger audience, and gain more sales, ensure your website is easy to browse from any device.

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Have questions about going mobile? No problem. Download this FREE GUIDE, The Smart Marketer’s Guide to Making Your Website Mobile Friendly.

Download: The Smart Marketer's Guide To Making Your Website Mobile Friendly
You’ll learn how to:

  • Identify if your website is mobile friendly, plus learn why the answer matters
  • Use your mobile-friendly website to gain big-time lead generation and superior SEO
  • Strategically choose the best mobile-friendly design options for your business
  • Create a mobile-friendly website designed to grow with your business
  • Go mobile-friendly without breaking the bank

DOWNLOAD NOW.