“Mobile is leading the way in how we think about delivering a great Facebook experience.” Michael Reckhow, Facebook Product Manager, on responsive web design
A mobile responsive website is a no-brainer in this world where we are almost surgically attached to our smart phones. It’s almost impossible to keep up with the galloping upward trend of mobile device ownership and usage, but it’s safe to say that most people will incorporate the use of a mobile device when making purchasing decisions. While adopting a mobile responsive approach to web design makes sense given today’s massive mobile usage, it has other benefits too, not least for your SEO. If Facebook is focusing on mobile, shouldn’t you?
Key Benefit One:
Mobile responsive design – because we don’t just use our smartphones
Although mobile devices are very much the preferred device for accessing social media and for messaging, the conversion rates when you look at the retail sector, for example, are much lower on mobile. This is because of the ‘multiplatform’ approach many consumers take to their purchasing decisions, researching on our phones in a quick couple of minutes during a break, and then spending longer on a laptop or tablet.
That doesn’t mean you should ignore mobile responsiveness – if a potential purchaser sees something about your product or service on social media and clicks through to an unresponsive website, they are unlikely to be impressed. Fast forward to the moment when they are actually making the purchase – potentially using a desk top or laptop – and they may well discard your website on the basis of the poor mobile experience they had earlier.
Key Benefit Two:
Mobile responsive means you don’t need a duplicate ‘mobile’ site
Rather than switching to a mobile responsive website, some businesses and organisations have taken the approach of building a separate mobile website, optimised for viewing on a mobile device. The problem with this is that the mobile site will usually have the same content as the desktop site – and Google hates duplicate content.
The fact that the mobile site and the desktop site will have different URLs is irrelevant. In any event, the desktop site will often be signposted as the more vital, meaning the mobile site will rank poorly. By adopting a mobile responsive design, you can concentrate your SEO efforts on one URL and the key content that’s important to your business.
Key Benefit Three:
Mobile responsive design improves user experience
As more and more people use mobile devices to access the internet, the experience they have on those devices is crucial. A mobile responsive site will be easier for visitors to use, encouraging them to stay on the site for longer – and triggering one of Google’s key measures of user experience.
It’s also fair to say that a positive user experience will have all sorts of other benefits. Someone who has had a great experience purchasing your goods or services is more likely to leave you positive reviews, to share that experience on their social media. Overall you can see a rise in traffic and increase in branded search – all good things from a search engine perspective.
Key Benefit Four:
Mobile responsive design reduces bounce rate
Tied up with other aspects of SEO mentioned in this post, but no less important, bounce rates – how quickly visitors leave your website – are another factor that Google uses to rank your website. A visitor might leave your website because the content is poor and doesn’t grab their attention. On the other hand, the content may be great but because your website is poorly designed, it can’t be accessed or read.
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to search through a website on your mobile that hasn’t been designed to be responsive to the device you are using. Tiny text, poor navigation – it’s like you don’t want visitors to stay. Google sees this and acts accordingly, by penalising your site the more quickly people leave.
Key Benefit Five:
Mobile responsive websites are easier to share on social media
Social shares, of themselves, don’t directly contribute to your search engine rankings – but using social media marketing to increase your audience and traffic to your website will bring search engine rewards. By raising your profile, you will increase the number of direct searches for your brand (rather than searches for generic products or services), and this too will have positive SEO results.
Bearing this in mind, having a mobile responsive website makes huge sense. The indirect power of social sharing, the extent to which consumers across the spectrum use social media cannot be underestimated. If your website doesn’t work on a mobile device – where most people access social networks, and then click through – this can have a negative impact on your digital presence and your business as a whole.
The benefits of a mobile responsive website are wide ranging – from contributing to your search engine ranking to increasing your visibility on social media. If you haven’t made the move to mobile responsive, we can help – call us today on 01437 720033! If you’d like to pop in for a chat, you’ll find us in St Davids, Pembrokeshire, Hereford and London too.