Today, PC or laptop is not the main tools that internet users use to access websites. They are now moving to mobile browsing by using smartphone or tablet, which are more convenient because they don’t have to carry heavy things like PC or laptop. Now the problem is, not many website is mobile browsing friendly. But they can make their website still look good in desktop version and mobile version by using responsive web design. But, this is only for viewing matter. What about SEO? Is responsive web design good for it?
Turns out, responsive web design is important for SEO. The first reason is because its usability. Google has a habit to always show websites that relevant and useful to the keywords that their users search. When users visit a website but they went back to Google search result then Google will take a note that the website is could be not relevant to the keyword term that they looking for.
There are 2 researches about utilizing responsive web design. First, 46% of visitors are unlikely to go back using mobile site if it didn’t work like they want to when they last visited. And if a site is not mobile friendly then 61% of visitor will likely to return to Google to visit another site that can be view or read with easily. So, neglecting responsive web design will affect to bounce rate and ranking drop in mobile search.
The second reason is about duplicate content. With responsive web design for desktop and mobile will avoid a website from getting penalty by Panda algorithm, because content in desktop, tablet or mobile version are basically in the same URL. The next reason is for mobile search ranking. With the new mobile ranking strategy that created by Google, this will gives special advantage for website that are compatible for all devices, desktop, tablet and mobile.
Link building is the reason number 4. If someone put a link of homepage of a website, it also links to the mobile version of the website too. Visitors can switch from mobile version to desktop version with just clicking a link that the website provides for the change. For SEO, this feature helps to flow all the link juice with just one URL and providing a better user experience to all visitors.
New study that Google did shows that local searches are leading 50% of mobile users visiting shopping websites. Many experts are also believed that local search is going to be essential factor of mobile searching. It’s true that not all local searches using their device for online shopping but some of them do.
Bounce rate. A not-mobile-friendly-website might going to suffer from high bounce rate issues for mobile searches. The more bounce rate that a website gets, the more chances of negative ranking effect that it will have. So, if correlation between desktop and mobile version of a website is good, that it can easily get a good rank of web page.
URL structure is the last reason why responsive web design is important for SEO. Having a great responsive web design is basically competent of providing the frequent viewing needs of the website visitors without changing the main URL. Matt Cutts from Google said that responsive design means is the website page will works as good as accessing it from desktop browser of different mobile browser.
There’s nothing to worry about SEO in responsive web design because basically the URL for desktop and mobile version is the same. If someone building a separate mobile version of a page and not using responsive mobile version then the desktop and mobile version of a page will have different page rank. But if he using responsive web design then the page of desktop and mobile version has the same URL and page rank.