how responsive design and mobile friendly layout affect ranking

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Building responsive website ( Mobile Friendly )benefits on SEO and a website’s SERP rankings.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term “responsive design,” it is the reformatting of images and copy on a website. Which make it easily accessible and viewable on different devices regardless of screen size. This gives you the best user experience possible whether you are using a laptop, mobile phone or tablet.

Mobile friendly websites have really taken off in the past four years and will only continue to do so. In fact, last year was deemed by some to be “The Year of Responsive Design,” and that prediction may have been right. Today, more than 36 percent of websites are designed to be used for mobile devices, with 15 percent being “fully responsive,” according to Restive Labs. Although that may not sound like a high percentage, with the user growth of smartphone and tablets, responsive design will only increase in the coming years.

Why such a huge push to responsive you ask? Well there are quite a few reasons, one of them being SEO.

Google Favors Responsive Website Design

That’s right Google favors websites that use responsive design – and who are we to argue with Google?

With the release of the Hummingbird algorithm , Google has designed a new mobile ranking system favoring mobile-friendly websites, making it almost necessary to invest in building responsive design.

Google has favoritism towards responsive design for a few reasons. One is its ability to use a single URL for a website, making it easier to link and share content with other sites.  This favors mobile users who may not have the best connection.

Their last reason is responsive design makes it easier for Google to crawl and index sites as opposed to crawling mobile-optimized websites, which use individual URLs for their desktop, tablet and mobile phone versions. This causes URL redirection.

Which brings us to our next reason why responsive benefits SEO.

Note: A third approach that can also be used is adaptive content delivery, which is based on dynamic device detection. This brings similar results using the same URL, just like responsive websites. The downside is implementation is quite complex. Also comes with the risk to serve different content, which is not always good, hence not always recommended.

Responsive Designs  Avoids Duplicate Content

As mentioned before, unlike mobile-optimized websites which use a separate URL for desktop and mobile versions. Responsive websites have the advantage of avoiding duplicate content. This will not let Google spiders penalize you for duplicate content.

Visitors Want an Easy to Use Mobile friendly Experience

As mobile traffic is set to eclipse PC traffic this year. Consumers are expecting a better mobile experience from the websites they visit. According to Google data, 61 percent of visitors will return to Google search if a website is not mobile friendly. On top of that, 71 percent of mobile users will leave after waiting five seconds for a page to load.

Mobile Friendly website VS Desktops

If traffic going to your competitors doesn’t encourage you enough to consider a responsive website. These statistics could also hurt your SERP rankings. For every visitor who immediately leaves a website, the bounce rate for that site will increase. It has been observed that rankings on mobile search are correlated to your bounce rate. In other words, if your site does not work well on mobile, you may be penalized and your ranking might drop on mobile searches. Note: This topic is still up for debate if and how Google knows your bounce rate.

Responsive design solves both issues by enabling both a fast and easy to use, user experience that visitors will enjoy.


If you want your website to be relevant, you need to make mobile a priority. Responsive is the most popular and best fit for website owners who takes business seriously.

If you are willing and ready to create a responsive website to boost your SEO ranking, let us hear from you. We will build and design the best website that match your business needs. Contact Us for more questions.

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