Mobile Internet usage has overtaken desktop internet usage in 2014 and in near future, the mobile search will overtake desktop search as well. So, in the world of internet where mobile is increasingly dominant, having a mobile friendliness website is becoming essential. SEO – a core component of your digital marketing strategy also need to change.
There are many discussions about whether to choose a responsive website or a separate mobile website. But the truth is that both ways have their pros and cons. So, in this article, we are talking about the impact of responsive design on SEO. If we consider SEO as a factor of a business website, such as ecommerce website, I can list three reasons why responsive web design is perfect for your mobile SEO strategy.
1/ Recommended By Google
Google is the biggest search engine in the world, so when Google speaks, SEOers listen. Google states that responsive web design is its recommended mobile configuration. No coincidence that google appreciated responsive web design. The responsive websites have one URL and the same HTML; it can work on any devices which help Google to crawl, index, and organize content easier and more efficient. On opposite side, the separate mobile sites have different URL and different HTML to desktop version, so Google needs to crawl and index multiple versions of the same site.
One more reason why Google prefers responsive web design is the content that lives on one website and one URL is much easier for users to share, interact with, and link to than content that lives on a separate mobile site. For example, when you share contents from a mobile site with your friend on Facebook who browsing on desktop, these contents will be stripped down mobile site on their desktop. This will bring a bad experience for desktop users. User experience now is an important factor in ranking of Google, that’s why responsive design is good for SEO.
2/ One Website for All Devices
One of the most important advantages of responsive web design is the great adaptation for many devices. With responsive feature, your site will bring the great and same user experience, no matter they use desktop, tablet or smartphone. This is an important characteristic while it is impossible to anticipate all the devices and screen sizes searchers will use to access your site. So, the responsive website will bring a greater user experience for variable devices than a separate mobile site that is designed for a specific device and screen size.
We can take a simple example about that. You are searching for a product on your smartphone when you’re in a café. You find the products and decide to save it and continue to research about these products at home. But, when you come back home, you use your desktop instead of your phone.
So, what will happen if it’s a responsive website, will you have a positive user experience when transitioning from mobile to desktop? Yes, of course. Because you will view the same site on your desktop as you did on your smartphone. If it’s a dedicated mobile site, you will get a bit confused when using mobile layout on desktop screen, will be better if you find desktop version and try to search these products again.
3/ Easier to Manage
If you have 2 separate versions of your website: desktop and mobile, it will require you to have the separate SEO campaigns also. A key reason why using responsive web design has more advantage than using mobile site separately is that you just need to manage only one SEO campaign for your site. And of course, managing 1 campaign will be easier than managing 2 different campaigns.
However, we cannot deny the benefits of having a mobile-specific SEO strategy, we can optimize for keywords that are more likely to be searched when someone go out with their smartphone. For example, when you are on the street and you want to search a local restaurant through your smartphone, you will tend to search for the keyword which includes the word “nearby” in your search query.
But, fortunately that a mobile SEO strategy does not require a separate mobile site, absolutely that you can incorporate mobile-specific keywords into your responsive website as well.