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Have you implemented Responsive Web Design (RWD) for your website? As consumers become increasingly mobile and switch back and forth between devices throughout the day, RWD is one of the most important factors that influence user experience. Google considers RWD an “industry best practice” for developing mobile sites in the modern, device-driven web market.  All marketing professionals should understand it and, if possible, implement it on their sites. In addition to providing an engaging user-experience across several devices and displays, RWD provides several SEO benefits and consolidates the effort of developers. The following is a list of need-to-know information pertaining to how responsive design influences search marketing:

What is Responsive Web Design?

RWD is a form of web architecture that delivers a customized user experience across an array of devices. The key to this methodology is a flexible layout with elements that adapt to the size and features of different screens, devices and browsers.

Why Implement Responsive Web Design?

Providing accessibility and a high-quality user experience to a growing market of mobile users is critically important. In 2012, Google published a study about smartphone users. The results demonstrated:

  • 75% of people prefer a mobile-friendly site
  • 61% will turn to another site if they don’t find what they’re looking for quickly
  • 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service
  • 48% said that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business

These results demonstrate the necessity of providing users with a high-quality user experience across mobile devices and justify the implementation of RWD.

SEO Benefits of Responsive Web Design

Google recommends RWD over dedicated, mobile sites because RWD “preserves a canonical URL, avoiding any complicated redirects, and simplifies the sharing of web address. “

  • Having a single, dynamic site is a preferred best practice for SEO
  • RWD ensures all backlinks will lead to a properly rendered site, which improves user experience and site engagement
  • Provides a consistently optimal user experience  that renders correctly for mobile and desktop users
  • RWD eliminates the need to maintain and monitor several versions of the site and consolidates all traffic and link value

For more information about how RWD benefits SEO initiatives and efforts, check out our white paper. It contains more information about RWD and provides the fundamentals that can get you started on your RWD layout today!

  • Mark Fillmore

    While it’s a bit more complicated to code, RWD is definitely the way to build websites in 2013.

    April 2, 2013 at 10:41 am Reply
  • Waleed

    Seamless interaction between devices is no longer a feature, it’s what multi-device consumers expect. Nothing makes me happier than visiting a website and having a consistent (BUT OPTIMIZED) interface between devices. That doesn’t have to mean THE SAME but consistency is critical.

    April 2, 2013 at 12:17 pm Reply
  • Justin

    I’m totally on-board with RWD techniques, but I think using it as a complete solution to deliver a desktop site to mobile is a little misguided.

    You’re either going to end up with desktop site collapsed to mobile (heavy and slow-loading), or a mobile site expanded to desktop (dumbed-down)

    RWD creates feature parity, which is great, but on anything more than a simple site the one-size-fits-all approach is going to create UX issues.

    Using server side components (RESS) is a really cool way to solve these issues. But, like RWD, RESS requires a complete front-end rebuild.

    I’m doing a whole series on RWD (and solving the issues that comes along with it) over on my blog if you want to check it out. –

    April 7, 2013 at 11:09 am Reply
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