The web owner today must make a choice on how he is going to cater to the mobile section of his market. The options currently available are either to invest in responsive web design or to create a separate mobile website. Responsive web design (RWD), in simple terms, is the ability of the website to respond automatically to the size of the screen on the device on which it is viewed. While it may seem that option is open ended, this could not be further from the truth. Web designers have made it clear that responsive web design is the pillar of the future.Responsive web design is not a complete and done process but is rather a product that is still being developed and fine tuned to deliver the best results. The methodology is still being developed and evolving as the mobile device market continues to shape up. Currently, responsive web design is able to cater to specific screen sizes. In the future, it will be able to respond to any device in a more adaptable and flexible manner. This will cater to the increase in device types with different screen sizes and configurations more effectively.

Selection of responsive web design grants you access to many significant benefits, some of which are related to SEO. The SEO benefits of RWD are:-

1. Geo-location awareness and higher location specific rankings

RWD allows you to target geo-location in the choice of keywords on your web content. This is extremely beneficial to businesses, in an age where searches are increasingly becoming location specific. The consumer market is doing most of its business related searches from mobile devices while on the go. This has been reflected in the statistics reported by business listing directories such as Yelp. They report that 40% of the searches done on their listings originate from their mobile app.

Similarly, BGR has released statistics to show that a tenth of all web searches originate from mobile devices. As mobile devices on the market increase their penetration due to lower prices and better networks, this is likely to increase.

RWD creates a website that can easily incorporate Geo-specific markers in its overall structure. Since the site architecture will be more responsive to mobile devices, consumers are likelier to see it higher in their result rankings. The overall response of consumers to your website is now monitored by search engines in order to help with ranking placement. A superior consumer experience on your website from a mobile device means a higher location ranking.

2. Elimination of SEO and Content Duplication

SEO is a resource intensive project; it consumes time, energy, and money to do it right. Where you have opted for a separate mobile site, you will be forced to duplicate the SEO effort. This is wastage of valuable business resources. Furthermore, as far as the search engines are concerned, the mobile and desktop sites are two different entities. This means that the success of SEO on mobile will not factor into the rankings of the desktop site and vice versa. The splitting of SEO effort means that you end up spending more and getting less results.

Where you use RWD, your SEO effort is maintained across both mobile and desktop viewings. This means that the anchor texts, title tags, Meta descriptions, linking structures, content, and keywords are maintained on both desktop and mobile viewing. Furthermore, since RWD is relatively new in the market, it has yet to become a market standard. Therefore, websites that use it are likely to get noticed in the fray.

Duplication of content is another challenge where RWD is not used. Most webmasters will use the same content for both versions of their website. This reduces the credibility of the website that the content gets uploaded to later. In most cases, this is the mobile website. It makes it difficult for the mobile website to get higher rankings. Furthermore, all of the methods that are currently available for tagging or linking are not fully recognized by web crawlers. Additionally, when you are forced to duplicate content, you also have to duplicate efforts to maintain both versions of the website. This is a waste of resources and time that could be used for other activity.

3. ‘RWD is the future. We’ve tested it.’ – Google

Any webmaster that does not understand the importance of Google to the success of a business online deserves to have his position taken away. As the largest search engine on the planet, Google is the most prominent player in the online sector. They have recommended that webmasters adopt RWD in order to serve up the same HTML content to consumers while using CSS media queries to manage to render on their devices. The Google search algorithm places a lot of weight on consumer experience. This is because it also reflects on their ability to provide the search engine user with the right answers.

They, therefore, check the viewer experience on the website, social interaction and sharing, and the average time that the viewer spends on the site. All of these are factored into the overall search engine results pages ranking that your website gets. It is essential that you follow the lead of Google as they are the current trend setters in search engine technology.

4.Bring linking benefits to the mobile website

Link building is one of the most time consuming but essential activities that any webmaster will ever undertake. The benefits that are derived from this practice need not be lost when the website moves into a mobile platform. Rather than creating a new mobile site and starting the process all over again, you can use RWD to transplant your past work onto mobile platforms. This is not only beneficial for link building on directories and listings but also for social sharing.

The experience of the website viewer goes a long way in influencing whether he/she will share the link to the website out to fellow mobile users. A responsive webpage is likelier to be shared which will aid the overall integration of the online efforts a business has made.

5. RWD is cheaper and more cost effective

Redesigning a website to incorporate RWD elements is much easier than building a new website from scratch. The remodel using RWD saves the company that is doing it a lot of expenses in the construction of a separate mobile website. Furthermore, since a mobile website will also need a marketing and communications strategy implemented on it, this will also increase the costs associated with this option.

The use of RWD also means that the website will be managed and administrated as a unit. This eliminates the need for more staff to handle the mobile version of the website. RWD is also projected to be the future of web design as mobile devices become even more powerful. A business can either implement it now or later. Later means that they will have wasted money on standalone mobile websites.

In conclusion, the endorsement RWD has received from Google is reasoning enough for you to adopt it. The mobile market is growing, and the opportunity it is giving is not to be missed.

About the author: This post is shared by Mayank Kaushik, Business Manager from RiaEnjolie offers high-impact small business Websites as well as eCommerce Website development to help grow your businesses. You may follow them on twitter @RiaEnjolie 
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