Internet surfing is no longer confined to desktops and laptops. Nowadays people use all sorts of devices to browse the net. It makes sense to design a website that is compatible across computers, smart phones and tablets. This is where Responsive Web Design comes to our aide. This technology had surfaced in the market way back in 2012. But in the last year it started creating waves and web designers started taking RWD seriously once they realized its benefits over traditional designing.
Earlier the norm was to have separate websites for mobile platforms and computers. After the user clicks on the URL they would be taken to a website based on the device of the user. Thus the websites had to incur separate development and maintenance cost for each platform dependent version.
RWD goes for an entirely new concept. It creates responsive or intelligent web pages that identify the device from which the request has come and present them in the compatible format. The cost is also reduced to a large extent once the RWD has been implemented.
Another very important point to check is whether RWD websites provide SEO benefits or not. You cannot afford to incorporate every new technology into your website unless it gives you SEO benefits. RWD scores high in this respect too. There are a number of SEO advantages that RWD websites provide:
- Google rewards RWD websites
In the Google dominated cyberspace we must keep in mind the way Google rewards or penalizes websites. Google favours RWD websites and in fact they encourage developers to use responsive web designing.
When there is segregation between mobile and desktop websites it means more work for Google search engine. On the other hand an RWD optimized website can be easily crawled on and indexed by the web spiders and results can be presented to the user within a very short time. Thus you can get in the good books of Google if you opt for RWD which is very important if you want your website to get a good rank in the search results.
- 1 to 1 mapping for Website to URL
Using RWD you can create 1 website for 1 URL. There is no need to customize a separate website for mobile devices. However in some cases a separate website might be useful. When the data volume is high a different layout is necessary to present all the information on the mobile screen. The same layout as that of the desktop version will become very strenuous to read for the mobile user. But then 2 different websites would mean you would need to bear double costs for the SEO features of both the sites. In case of RWD only one time SEO implementation will serve your purpose.
You will also get ease of sharing as a bonus. Whether the target traffic is a mobile user, or a tablet user or a laptop user is immaterial to you. 1 website will cater to the needs of all.
- Low Bounce Rate
A website featuring high in search results also often faces the issue of high bounce rate. To make a website suitable for viewing through mobile devices the designers often edit the content ruthlessly and the end product might turn out to be something totally different from that on the original website. This will result in a high bounce rate and Google will penalize the website ranking as a consequence.
A RWD website will take care of this problem. Since the website is presented across different platforms the issue of irrelevant content does not arise at all. This helps in keep a check on the bounce rate. The website is assured of getting a good rank from Google.
- Enhanced User Experience
The modern day internet users are as likely to view content through their mobile phones and tablets as through their laptops and desktops. So it is imperative that the content remains exactly same for both views. RWD websites can be easily used for information sharing. A person can send an interesting link from his laptop to his friend who could be viewing the same in his mobile phone. The sender would not need to worry about whether the intended information got lost in transit if the website has implemented RWD.