Responsive Web Design is Here to Stay
Last week at Rosemont Media we launched our newly responsive website design. We have been writing about responsive websites for a few months now, but we wanted to take the time to provide a more thorough explanation of what a responsive site actually entails. Below is a brief history of responsive design as well as a run down of the benefits it can provide your readers and your website SEO.
The Origin of Responsive Web Design
When the iPhone first launched and people started using smartphones to browse the web, developers had to create websites to support the smaller devices and screen sizes. This required developers to maintain two sets of code: one for desktops and one for smartphones. Unfortunately, mobile sites were often simplified versions of the desktop site, so the user experience wasn’t consistent across both designs.
As technology advanced, smartphone screen sizes began to increase, and people also started accessing the Internet from tablets and other mobile devices. Due to the variety of screen sizes and devices, coding a specific site to fit each size screen was becoming inefficient. It became clear screen sizes were only going to keep multiplying and website design had to adapt.
Responsive design was created around 2011 by Ethan Marcotte so developers could maintain one code across all screen sizes. Google promoted responsive design as the standard of web design in 2012. Big players on the Internet quickly responded – Mashable named 2013 the “Year of Responsive Web Design,” and Facebook just announced it will be making its site responsive as well.
Why a Google Endorsement Matters
In a blog post on June 6, 2012, Google officially endorsed responsive design as best practice for mobile SEO. Once the multinational search behemoth threw its weight behind responsive, we knew our clients’ sites would benefit greatly in SEO and user experience from responsive design. Google runs the show when it comes to search marketing, and we closely follow all policy announcements to make sure our clients get the best results.
The Benefits of Responsive Design
When it comes to search rankings, Google explains that responsive websites have some advantages. By having one URL, your site will be easier to index on Google’s search algorithms. In the past, Google had to search through two sets of URL’s for mobile and desktop sites; however, with responsive design your site will have a single URL for Google to search.
Also, having one set of code makes your site easier to crawl for search engines like Google. With a mobile and desktop site, Google has to take longer to search through content on two sites and decide what to serve. Having one set of content that can be crawled only once makes the search process easier, ultimately saving Google’s resources.
Improved User Experience
We have previously written about the benefits responsive design provides user experience. Namely, your site will automatically resize and change layout depending on the screen size of the device from which it is accessed. There will be no more pinching and zooming or slow, pixelated loading screens on smartphones or tablets. The site will be made to fit each screen size so no content is left off the screen. As mentioned before, users prefer reading sites that load quickly and can be adapted to their device. Otherwise, they often leave and visit competitors’ sites. Also, by having one URL, your content will be easier for readers to share.
Time for a Redesign
You can gain an edge on your competition with a responsive website since responsive design still hasn’t been adapted by most sites. By having a responsive site and keeping your content fresh, your site will rank higher than regular desktop sites. Your readers will be able to benefit from a smoother experience and hopefully convert at a higher level. We invite you to access Rosemont’s site from your phone, tablet, or desktop computer and compare the experience to accessing your current site on those devices. Giving your site a responsive redesign will be the best way to benefit your practice’s search marketing and stand out from the competition.