What is Responsive web design? It's a fancy way of saying that your website is coded in such as way so you do NOT need a separate website for mobile, tablet, desktop, game consoles, TVs, and even the "wearables" version of your firm's website. A responsive web design will adapt and re-form itself to whatever size screen it's being viewed on. This means tat every single visitor to your site will see all of the content the same way, and will alleviate the need to maintain separate websites for every type of device your visitors could possibly be using.
Your website's mobile version is considered the primary version of your website by Google
Have you ever heard of "mobile-first indexing"? Probably not, but it's very important to the searchability of your website. Google , in its continuing effort to improve its search results and reflect current user behavior trends, means that Google considers the mobile version of your website as the starting point for their index, and how your site's rankings are determined. This new emphasis means that the lack of a mobile-friendly website (like a responsive website) could negatively impact the rankings of your website. Up until recently, the desktop version of your website was considered the primary version, and any mobile version, whether responsive or s aeparate mobile site, was considered secondarily in the desktop version. This is why many websites used a separate URL for their mobile site, something like mob.business-edge.com for instance. Part of the reason many webmasters did this was that Google actually encouraged this! But those days are behind us.
Some of the advantages of having a Responsive website are:
- Search engine ranking: your website's rank for BOTH mobile and non-mobile searches will be much better. Google rewards mobile-ready websites with better placement
- Eliminates duplicative text: You won't have any duplicate content picked up by the search engines, and duplicate content can seriously harm your website's ranking
- Better customer experience: Responsive web design makes your website much easier for visitors to read and navigate.
- Google recommends responsive websites for the best page loading times: Your responsive site will load much quicker for mobile users, which in 2018 represent the highest % of users to your website
- Lower "bounce rate" for your pages. Bounce rate is the rate and speed with which visitors to your site leave your site and go elsewhere. Google keeps track of this, and rewards higher retention with better rankings. Responsive websites have been shown to drastically improve bounce rates.