As smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly more popular, it is important to remember that people typically are not replacing laptops with phones or phones with tablets. What they are doing, in many cases, is adding. They may work on a laptop; browse for product info on their iPhone; and make purchases from their tablet – while watching TV from their PC. This is why 2013 has been called the “Year of Responsive Website Design.” The goal is to ensure that users have a smooth and aesthetically-pleasing experience no matter what type of device they are on, and that it is consistent when they switch to another of their devices!
A fixed website is, in most cases, not going to fly any longer. There are exceptions, but in general switching to a responsive design will benefit you and your SEO and CRO efforts in a number of ways:
- If the content you are offering remains the same across platforms, responsive web design allows you to create one site that will accommodate mobile and computer users. This negates the possibility of penalisation for duplicate content, and you will be better positioned to accommodate visitors.
- I’ve landed on a site that is not responsive and doesn’t work with my smartphone. What should I do? Bounce, of course. Not only will you lose that visitor, Google will say, “Hey, this site is not giving people what they need. Let’s lower their rank.” A high mobile bounce rate can impact your overall bounce rate, lowering all of your rankings.
- Existing inbound links hold a lot of sway here, so if you leverage them, you can perform more favorably in mobile search results.
- Google recommends it. If they’re recommending it, they’re obviously going to be ranking these sites higher. Listen to Google if you want to rank in Google!
- Responsive web design allows for consistent user experience, a factor that Google also considers when ranking websites.
As searchers, we are finding information in a variety of ways, from a variety of places, on a variety of screens. One responsive site can accommodate for all of these users.