SEOWeb Development

The Significance of Responsive Design in Google Ranking

March 07, 2019Alyssa Wychers

If you’ve been paying even a modest amount of attention to what’s happening in the world of search engine optimization, you’d have to be living under a rock to not know about the importance of mobile optimization. Still, information about whether or not mobile responsive design is one of Google’s true SEO ranking factors remains a little elusive.

The Significance of Mobile Responsive Design

You want to do everything you can to boost your visibility in search results and this means earning a favorable nod from Google in regard to your approach to search engine marketing. Today, achieving this relies heavily on your ability to attract and engage with mobile consumers. Let’s look a little deeper at mobile responsiveness and discuss whether or not it’s a real ranking factor in 2019.

Different electronic devices showing responsive design.

What Is Mobile Responsive Design?

There are a few different terms that get thrown around when discussing mobile optimization. Mobile responsiveness tends to get thrown into the crowd, but it’s actually a bit different. While other strategies are focused simply on being accessible and appealing to the mobile consumer, mobile responsiveness includes elements that enhance mobile user experience.

When we talk about mobile web design, we’re referring to a business that has one website that responds automatically to the site visitor, regardless what type of device they’re using. Mobile responsiveness meets the usability and functionality needs of a growing majority of your site visitors.

Where Google Comes In

Last year, Google made their mobile first index official and included mobile page load speed into their algorithm. Their intention was to reward businesses with mobile optimized sites and they claimed that few businesses would actually take a significant hit.

So, we know that load speed is a ranking factor and we know that having a mobile site means that you’re going to be crawled and indexed ahead of your competitors that don’t. This is all important for search engine marketing, but it doesn’t really answer the question of whether or not mobile responsiveness is factored into the Google algorithm.

While the answer might not be clear, there are a few things we can conclude from the information that we do have.

Google Likes Responsive Web Design

Google hasn’t come right out and said responsive design is a ranking factor on its own, but they have said that they prefer responsive design over websites that have a separate designated site for both desktop and mobile users. In many ways, responsive design makes Google’s life a lot easier.

For instance, responsive websites cut down on duplication and the overall number of sites that Google has to crawl and index. The bottom line is that if Google comes right out says they prefer a certain way of doing things, your best option is to follow along with their advice.

Mobile Users Like Responsive Design

Responsive websites are built with many of the comfort and usability features that provide an optimized user experience for the mobile consumer. Elements like load speed, navigation, and page layout matter, and responsive design has no problem meeting these expectations.

Plus, responsive design provides a seamless experience for consumers who are visiting your site through different types of devices. This increases the number of repeat visits they make and how much time they spend on your website – two elements that do matter for SEM.

Responsive Design Experts

If you want to learn more about mobile responsiveness and how it can enhance your search engine marketing, we’re here to help. At Double Up Digital, we offer professional SEO services, including web design that will boost your conversions. Connect with Double Up Digital today to learn more.

Alyssa Wychers

Alyssa graduated from John Brown University and joined our team in 2017. She moved from Michigan to Atlanta the following year to join the team in-office. When she’s not coming up with the next creative design idea, she loves being outside, reading all of the classics, and convincing anyone she meets that Michigan summers are actually the greatest.