Responsive web design, which was little more than a “cool idea” just a few years ago, has turned into the industry standard for business web design. This is a trend that’s been driven by demand on both ends – Internet users are embracing smartphones and tablets, and businesses don’t want to maintain multiple web presences to keep up with different platforms.
But, even though responsive web design has definitely arrived, the Internet marketing implications of switching to a responsive website aren’t necessarily clear. Specifically, new potential clients often want to know how making the switch to a responsive website will affect their search engine optimization campaigns. If you have similar concerns, here’s what you need to know:
Google generally seems to prefer responsive websites. Google engineer and unofficial spokesperson Matt Cutts recently admitted as much. It’s not hard to understand why – with more and more web users turning to mobile devices, Google wants to give them results that can handle any device or platform.
This is especially true when searchers look for local results, or are using a mobile device to connect to Google’s app. In those situations, having a responsive website could move you even higher in the search listings.
Having a single web presence eliminates some pressing SEO challenges. Often, what makes it hard to increase your search engine ranking is dealing with mistakes like duplicate content or broken links. By having one single web presence to look after, instead of multiple websites, you could make it easier to avoid these kinds of problems.
There are other factors to consider, however. Although responsive websites are becoming the rule of thumb, it’s worth noting that you have to be careful making the switch. A site that loads more slowly, for example, or is redesigned and suddenly has missing pages or broken incoming links, is going to suffer in the search listings as a result. The bottom line? Have an experienced business web design team guide you through the transition.
All in all, a concern about search engine optimization shouldn’t stop you from making the switch to a responsive web design. If anything, going responsive is probably going to help you earn a higher Google ranking in the long term.
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