The SEO benefits of responsive web design.
Loading time affects your bounce rate
The greatest problem with Google’s deep learning algorithm is the fact that it draws conclusions from facts it may not have a proper way of interpreting. For instance, what happens if a person enters your website by accident and then leaves immediately? While this might not be your fault, there is always a risk present that the Google will assume you falsely advertised or lured them in with some sort of black hat technique and that they left as soon as they figured it out. Sure, every now and then someone will leave immediately for no reason but if this becomes a common occurrence, some flags will be raised.
This brings us to the issue of responsiveness. According to an infographic by Kissmetrics blog, after not responding for 4 seconds, your website will drive away 25 percent of all its visitors. You see, there is a general consensus online that a website should load somewhere within the first 2 seconds and fail to do so might result in a surprisingly high bounce rate. Therefore, high loading time might have an overwhelmingly negative effect on your SEO.
Better UX leads to greater ‘time on page’
In the previous section, we already discussed how abandoning your website immediately has a negative effect on your rank. However, the other way around goes, as well and the more time people spend on your website the better you will be ranked. Needless to say, having a highly responsive design will improve your website’s usability and therefore encourage people to stay in your domain.
Imagine a scenario where your website takes forever to load but the person browsing it is so interested in the content that they decide to stay, despite low responsiveness. Now imagine a scenario where they click on something on accident and the loading time begins. Just the prospect of another several loading periods might be enough to persuade them to finally leave. On the other hand, having an almost immediate response on every page will further encourage them to see all that you have in store.
Page speed as a ranking factor
A while back, Google has officially announced that a page speed is an official ranking factor, which means that the faster your page is, the greater its odds are at increasing its SEO rank. This means that the very design of your page, starting with a minimalistic approach, plugin optimization and reducing the number of potential HTTP requests needs to be dealt with. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect your content marketing and link building services while you’re at it. This is why experts behind SEO Reseller Hub claim that holistic approach to SEO and transparent reporting are the cornerstones of a successful digital marketing campaign.
Avoiding duplicate content
In 2018, the majority people online are browsing through their smartphones. However, there is still a large population of PC and tablet users out there, which could create a bit of a logistical issue. First of all, there are two ways to resolve this problem. You either A) make your website responsive for various devices or B) make separate versions for PC and mobile users. Needless to say, the second one creates a situation with duplicate content and although in this particular scenario, Google might not penalize you for it, they definitely don’t smile on this prospect either.
Increased chance of sharing
As we so clearly stated in the previous section, more and more people are browsing through mobile devices, which means that you need to make your content easily shareable in this way. Now, let’s get one thing abundantly clear, the popularity of your website isn’t an official Google metric, yet a great number of satisfied users is a reward on its own. Sure, some still argue that shares are but a vanity metric, yet these people often forget that it brings some transparent and straightforward perks.
At the end of the day, each of these five reasons would be enough to dedicate most of your time, effort and resources into improving the responsiveness of your website. Together, however, they can perhaps depict just how vital it is for the survival of your both short- and long-term success. To simplify it even further, Google values user experience above all else and there is nothing that gives your UX quite the boost as an improvement in your website’s responsiveness.
Chloe Smith is a business consultant for SEO Reseller Hub, a cycling enthusiast and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success. When she’s not working, she’s probably somewhere cuddled up with a good book, and a cup of lemongrass tea (or more honestly binge-watching the newest Netflix hit show).