Well, this is the year. With more people now using tablets and smartphones on a regular basis, it’s becoming extremely important to create a website that works across multiple platforms. Last week, during the Search Marketing Expo (SMX), Head of Google Spam, Matt Cutts, mentioned that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if mobile search queries surpass desktop search this year. Two of the biggest web influences, Google and Microsoft, say that mobile sales have already surpassed desktop sales and it’s predicted that 2014 will be the year mobile Internet usage surpasses desktop Internet usage.

With so many users on mobile devices, it’s now affecting the way search engines work. And businesses who rely on search rankings and SEO to compete online will find that a mobile friendly website, specifically a responsive web design, can offer many benefits.

 

What is Responsive Web Design? 

Since it surfaced back in early 2012, responsive web design (RWD) is firmly established as the best way to create a website mobile visitors want to see. Responsive design makes a website’s pages automatically reformat the fit the screen, no matter the size of the screen. This is different from previous mobile solutions such as creating a separate mobile version. Instead of managing two versions of the same website, you’re essentially handling one fluid website that conforms to whatever size screen it loads on.

Other benefits of responsive web design:

Google Recommended

Like we mentioned earlier, Google wouldn’t be surprised if mobile search surpassed desktop search this year. Additionally, Google goes as far as to refer responsive web design as Google’s recommended configuration for mobile websites. That’s because responsive web design makes their job easier and more efficiently. Google bots only needs to only crawl one website with one URL to crawl, index, and organize content.

 

Enhanced User Experience

The most appealing features about a web responsive design is the user experience it provides across any size platform. This is really nice to have, especially because it’s impossible to predict the many different screen sizes users are using to access your website. Responsive web design creates a consistent look and feel across every type of device and provides a greater chance for a user to have a positive user experience. In contrast, a separate (dedicated) mobile site operates separately from the desktop version of the website, making it more challenging for the website to create a consistent look and feel for the user and provide the same content. Modern users expect to have the same experience, no matter what type of device they’re on and responsive web design effortlessly provides this.

 

One URL to Rule Them All

Having a separate desktop and mobile version of your website requires having two separate SEO campaigns. One of the biggest challenges for having two separate websites is building authority of each site from scratch. It’s more difficult for separate mobile sites to rank well since these are usually canonicalized to the desktop version of the website. On the other hand, responsive website design allows a website to keep backlinks and social shares are maintained in one place and allows a business to focus their SEO on one single site, not multiple sites. This allows the website to build authority and boost search engine rankings.

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