By Jake Johnson, Internet Marketing Consultant
Everyone has access to your website at all times if they have a mobile device. Mobile users are bound to be frustrated if they access your practice website and find it stripped down or nonfunctional due to the lack of a responsive design, however, outside of the user experience (UX), you ask what affect a mobile responsive design has on the overall performance of your practice's website.
What Is a Mobile Responsive Design?
Google has recognized the importance of having a responsive website design since its announcement of the algorithm released in April 2015 lovingly named "Mobilegeddon”. The premise behind the update is to award websites that have a mobile-first design with higher rankings in the search results than their competitors without one.
Since the release of Mobilegeddon, Google has consistently made updates to enhance the performance of the algorithm. With these updates, Google has shown what it deems most important in regards to a responsive site and thus when switching to a responsive website design, the below SEO factors can have a positive impact.
No longer is there a need to pinch and pull a website to better fit your screen: Responsive design makes it possible for users on any mobile device to have a better user experience. According to Think with Google, 75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly website, while 48% of users visiting a site that isn’t responsive report feeling annoyed and frustrated.
Lower Bounce Rates
A nonresponsive website design can be frustrating for users. Unsurprisingly, we have seen a correlation between nonresponsive designs and higher bounce rates.
Google defines a Bounce rate as, “percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page)”
If pages on your website have a high bounce rate, Google may believe that the content is not relevant to your target search queries and then rank your site lower on the search engine results page (SERP).
A responsive website will often see lower bounce rates than websites without mobile functionality because the users are able to more easily navigate the site on all available devices.
Google is able to distinguish websites that are specifically designed for desktop from those specifically designed for a mobile device. Websites that are only designed for one and not the other tend to not perform nearly as well in the SERPs. For instance, a mobile website will not rank highly on the SERPs performed on a desktop, due to the fact that both sites need a unique separate URL.
With a mobile responsive website, you no longer have to try to rank 2 separate URLs. You will only need to focus your time and energy on one, and, because of this simplicity, websites with a single, consistent address tend to earn additional SEO value.
Having duplicate content on your site, even if you are the original writer, is considered high treason in a Google-based government. Prior to responsive designs, you would need to have the same content on your mobile website as you did on your desktop design. Now, with the advent of responsive functionality, Google penalizes mobile-only domains the way it does most websites with duplicate content: harshly. With a mobile responsive website design, you no longer need to worry about these severe penalties.
There are many benefits to making a responsive website design the center of your digital marketing strategy. If you would like to learn more about what a mobile-friendly design can do for your SEO and practice website as a whole, contact your Internet Marketing Consultant or call Page 1 Solutions at (800) 368-9910.