As smartphones get ever smarter, consumers are demanding more and more from their phones. This is how many people now search for stores, view maps, access social media and more. But we continue to see many websites tanking in the mobile market. What is the best way to make them successful?
Some at Google think the answer is responsive web design. At a recent conference in Seattle, Webmaster Trends Analyst Pierre Far discussed responsive web design as a way to deal with mobile phone Internet use that is great from an SEO angle and also from usability too.
The problem with today’s Internet market is that developers and designers have to create an Internet experience that is made to work on many different platforms and for many different devices. Responsive design would let fluid site design to be created and that would adjust automatically based upon the screen size of the end user. So many different designs of one site would not have to be done. There would be just one site, and one set of HTML pages that would adjust layout to display the best on phones, laptops, tablets and desktops.
SEO would benefit with responsive Web design because you would have the ability to build your ‘search equity’ on one set of HTML pages, and not several sets. This would make your organic search methods more agnostic as far as devices go. So you would not need a separate budget to optimize your site on mobile products. Cool, huh?
Now if your mobile site and your regular site really do have different needs and requirements, no worries, because responsive web design can handle it. But, the same URL structure could be maintained.
Google seems to be moving forward on this front. Last year, the search giant launched Googlebot-Mobile, a new mobile user agent. Websites that serve content dynamically for mobile experience on the identical URL will need to tell Google by Vary HTTP header so that Googlebot-Mobile will crawl and index the mobile content so that it is included in their mobile index.
So, if you’re using the same content on your mobile and desktop sites, you would want to use responsive Web design to keep the same URL structure and to display the best lay outs based on the screen size.