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First there were your basic company websites. Then more and more users began to access these sites on their mobile devices and the usability was horrible. The logical solution was to serve up two different sites (your main site and a new mobile friendly site). However, things have rapidly continued to get more complex for serving up a website by the type of device and as website managers we are forced to compete with not only different devices, but also different screen sizes, different resolutions, and different capabilities- which all have a huge impact on websites today.
Then, just as we were going crazier than the tweens at a Taylor Swift concert, the heavens shined down upon us with the concept of Responsive Web Design. Now we can create one master style sheet that allows for website content to be fluidly displayed so that it can contract, expand, rearrange, etc. based upon the screen size of our users. We no longer need to manage two different sites and dilute page rank by dividing our traffic among a our traditional and mobile site. Not only do we have our sanity back by only managing one site, but we are also enhancing our SEO tactics as well with a responsive web design.
SEO Benefits of a Responsive Web Design:
1) Improves overall Bounce Rate: If a site looks good on all screen dimensions and devices, then bounce rates will decrease from frustrated users that can’t access the content they want from their mobile device.
2) Reduces overall Load Time: If we don’t have to implement redirects since we only have one site, we will increase our site speed, and reduce the maintenance issues with trying to direct users the right version of the site for them.
3) Because Daddy Said So: Google is our leader and we are always trying to tempt fate and crack their algorithms. If they say that responsive web design is its recommended mobile configuration, then you better get on board! Only having 1 URL per page makes it easier for Google to serve up the best content for searching users. It also makes it easier to interact, link to, and share this content, too.
4) SEO Efforts aren’t Stretched too Thin: Trying to optimize one site is hard enough, let along trying to optimize two separate websites. You will also not have to evenly divide your inbound links between your two websites anymore.
5) Avoid Duplicate Content: With one site, you won’t have to stress about creating duplicate content when adding to new content.
6) Easier for Us: While it may take a bit longer to make one complex style sheet with different image versions and stuff, in the long run it is much easier to maintain a single, master site.