Google Changes Signal the Imperative for Responsive Web Design

According to Wikipedia, Responsive Web Design (aka RWD) “is an approach to site design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices.” In simple terms – your Website or blog adapts to the device of the end-user.

With the consistent and rapid rise of mobile browsing the importance of having a responsive web design has long been clear. However, if Google to start penalizing non-mobile blogs on April 21  is true, it is now imperative that your site be device neutral. With this upcoming change, Google is signalling its intention to provide searchers with the best results possible and serving up results to sites that are not device neutral means a poor end-user experience that Google wants to avoid.

Mobile usage continues to climb and not getting a high-ranking in Google search results due to Google favoring responsive design sites in its rankings is just one, albeit crucial, imperative to use RWD for your blog and Website. Beyond the Google mandate, there are a myriad of other reasons for using it.

Better user experience is key to getting return visitors to your site.  With responsive design, your visitors will have a similar and consistent experience no matter what device they use when they land on your blog or Website, which translates to happy and likely repeat visitors! Also, using responsive design lifts the burden of having different website designs for various devices.

If you’re still not convinced, consider that according to a study from ComScore, 55% of social media consumption happens on mobile devices, and a 2010 Google User Behavior Study found that 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble with and 40% said they’d visit a competitor’s mobile site instead.

Don’t risk losing visitors to your blog or Website – use Responsive Web Design!

About Cheryl Niemeier

Cheryl Niemeier is Director of Knowledge & Research Services at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP. Ms. Niemeier received her Master of Science in Library Science from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1986 and her Bachelor of Science in Education from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana in 1981. Ms. Niemeier has held multiple professional leadership positions in local, regional and national library associations. She frequently speaks at professional association conferences and continuing legal education seminars. Ms. Niemeier has authored multiple articles and seminar publications.
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