In Today’s World of Mobile Media Consumption, Responsive Rules.

Every so often, there’s a shakeup in the world of SEO. Outdated practices are replaced with fresh strategies, set forth by the powers that be in an effort to keep web users engaged, entertained, and informed.

Recently, Google announced a change to their algorithms which gives SEO weight to responsive websites, which are sites that “respond” to the device that they are being viewed upon by changing up the design and functionality so that the viewer can easily navigate the site on any size screen.

The sheer increase in mobile media consumption demanded the change. We’re a fickle group of consumers. We catch on quick and have high demands. If we have to wait more than five seconds for a website to load, forget it. We’ve already hit the “back” button and are shuffling through search results to find the next relevant post.

And if we have to pinch and zoom our way into your content, accidentally clicking on the wrong links in a cumbersome effort to find what we’re looking for, you can rest assured that we’re going to bounce off of that site as quickly as we bounced on. We’re impatient…and we want our information now.

Enter the age of the responsive website. Aside from being preferred by the Google Gods, responsive websites make navigation a breeze rather than a bumpy, turbulent trek through storm clouds.

If you’re still on the fence as to whether or not your website should be responsive, here are a few stats to help you decide:

  1. Gold Stars from Google: If Google were in high school, they’d be the most popular kid at the cool table. And if you want to get invited to Google’s party, then you’re going to have to play by Google’s rules…and Google prefers responsive websites. If you want to be competitive, then it would be foolish to go against the recommendations of the most powerful and popular search engine of all time.
  2. Better Bounce Rate: Your bounce rate refers to the percentage of users who “bounce” off of your home page without exploring any additional interior pages. In short, they just don’t hang around very long. And you know who doesn’t like high bounce rates? You guessed it: Google. According to a study released by Comscore, mobile has now surpassed desktop in terms of devices used to surf the web (51% vs. 42%, respectively.) With more users hopping online from their mobile devices, you want to make sure that your site is easy to navigate on a smaller screen. If it’s not, then the user will get frustrated and “bounce” back to search engine results to find a site with a better mobile flow…hence the heightened bounce rate.
  3. One Website To Rule Them All: If you’ve been driving the SEO train for some time now, then you’ve probably had both a desktop and mobile version of your website. Before responsive development was introduced, this was the best way to capture the mobile market. Unfortunately that practice is now antiquated, and for good cause.

You’ll only have one SEO campaign to focus on, which saves you time and money. Gone are the days when you had to make the same content updates on two different sites. And when end-users navigate to your site on their desktop computer, they’ll have the same enriching and engaging experience on their mobile device when they pull up your site on their phone or tablet.

So before you write off responsive websites as a passing fad, know that the preference for this development aligns heavily with end-user engagement versus something really cool that we’ll grow tired of as time passes. Design trends, even in the web world, come and go.

Once upon a time, everyone loved Flash. Now we’re planning its funeral.

Responsive websites are the little black dresses of web development. An instant classic, always on point, and perfectly paired with design trends du jour, it also boosts your SEO while giving your customers the best web experience possible. And refusing to convert is akin to holding on to those mom jeans in hopes that they’re going to make a comeback. Newsflash: they’re not.

Ready to make the switch to responsive? Partner with NGD on your web project and start paving your road to SEO excellence.