Google Mobile: The Lowdown on Responsive Web Design

Search engine optimization (SEO) concepts have evolved over the years along with Google’s search algorithm. With each algorithm change, the search giant is striving to provide more relevant, meaningful search results for web searchers everywhere. While some site owners may cringe each time the Google team rolls out a new algorithm change, the fundamental goal is a positive one: to improve the online search experience for all web users and drive more relevant organic traffic to websites.

Recently, Google has placed a stronger emphasis on optimizing mobile search. Mobile usage has exploded recently, so the focus on a mobile-friendly search experience makes sense. Here’s how the most recent changes are tied into responsive web design and here’s why this concept is so important for your online success.

Over half of all searches are conducted on mobile devices, making them a critical traffic source that businesses can’t afford to overlook.

The Basics of Responsive Web Design

Much like Google is focused on creating an optimal search experience, responsive web design is about creating an optimal viewing experience for your site visitors. Webpages that are designed to be responsive load quickly and render well on larger as well as smaller screens. They are easy to navigate, and mobile users do not need to pinch and scroll to find the information they need. Responsive web design allows for seamless web viewing across devices, which can help minimize user frustration and result in a more positive overall impression of your business.

From a content management standpoint, responsive web design makes sense because business teams don’t have to take the extra time to update multiple versions of their website. You can simply update one version of your business site and your content is fluidly displayed across devices.

Why Is Responsive Web Design Important?

Responsive web design should be a fundamental component of your digital strategy for two reasons. The most obvious is that a site designed in this way provides a better experience for all viewers. A better viewing experience across devices means less frustration and confusion for website viewers and potential customers.

Google’s recent focus on improving mobile search also provides site owners with a compelling reason to consider employing responsive web design. According to a recent report by ComScore, online searches conducted via PCs have declined. Consumers are using their smartphones and tablets to find what they need online. Given this data, it was only a matter of time before mobile friendliness and responsive site design became a factor in the Google algorithm. In late April, Google’s latest algorithm change began to go into effect.

Now, in order to rank well in search across devices, business websites need to render well across devices. Websites that do not display optimally on the smaller screen will not rank as highly in search results for mobile users. Your site’s mobile friendliness is now directly linked to how easily your business can be found by a smartphone user conducting a Google search. In summary, responsive web design is no longer a nice-to-have for your customers, it’s a must-have for your business.

Google’s recent algorithmic changes favor sites that employ the principles of responsive web design. Websites that render well on the smaller screen can now be found more easily by mobile users conducting an organic search than websites that aren’t as mobile friendly. If you are interested in learning more about optimizing your business website for mobile, download LeapGo’s free white paper on mobile design today.