What is responsive web design (RWD)? This term gets thrown left and right in the digital marketing world, but all-too-often individuals don’t fully comprehend what it means or how it equates to SEO value.

A responsive web design is one which provides optimal viewing across platforms (mobile, PC, tablet, etc.) In other words, the format adjusts itself to accommodate the device the user is using.

Why is this important? As mobile internet usage continues to go up, responsive web design is central to the overall mobile experience. It also has a tremendous effect on your webpage’s search engine results, SEO efforts and bottom line.

Google Favors RWD

As the godfather of search engines, Google’s algorithm is highly commended. So if Google recommends a responsive web design, guess what you should have? Google recognizes the value that mobile-friendly sites have for users, and as a result favors them over those that are not optimized. If you’re wondering whether it’s better to have a separate mobile site altogether for the purpose of rankings, you’ll likely notice a division. However, in regards to a responsive site that has the same HTML and URL cross platform, we can say that it’s a step in the right direction because it makes it easier for the Googlebots to crawl and index the site.

A Disservice to Your Bounce Rate

61% of users say that if they don’t find what they’re looking for on your mobile site right away, they will quickly move onto another.

Bounce rate is a significant factor to consider when opting to switch to a responsive site. If after landing on your webpage users find that it is too cumbersome or inconvenient to navigate, guess what’s going to happen to your bounce rate? It’s going to increase. Then, search engines like Google may interpret that increase as the page not offering value or being relevant for the search query and subsequently lower your ranking.

Benefit to Your Bottom Line

Think a mobile-friendly site is purely for aesthetic appeal? Guess again. Nearly 67% of consumers said they were more likely to purchase a product or service from a site that was mobile-friendly. It all boils down to ease-of-use and convenience. A site that is mobile-friendly will generate considerably more traffic purely on the basis of its usability.

Simplify Your SEO Efforts

Maintaining a separate mobile site from your PC version is not only time consuming but an inefficient use of resources since each one requires its own management. Having a responsive site allows you to combine those efforts and more efficiently utilize your manpower. Of course you should still allocate time to create mobile-centric strategies but in the grander scheme of things, you’ll save quite a bit of effort.

The Takeaway

Mobile technology is quickly changing the way humans navigate the web and yield their purchasing power. A responsive web design does more than enhance the user experience, it supports greater engagement with your brand as well as Google’s ranking system, it simplifies your overall SEO efforts and reduces the likelihood of visitors bouncing due to poor navigation.