Just when we thought this year couldn’t get any stranger, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos surprised us all. The founder of the online giant recently sent shockwaves around the world as he announced his plan to step down as CEO this summer. Bezos’ business ethics have not always been without question, but there is something to be learned from the story of Amazon. And that is, Jeff Bezos appreciated the value of a website.
Back when many people still hadn’t heard of the internet, he saw the potential of being online and launched a website selling books. The rest is history. You may or may not have Bezos’ billions, but the reality is either way you can still grow your small business or charity through a good website.
To get the response you want, the challenge of today is not simply to be online, but to ensure you have a truly responsive, SEO-friendly website. It matters, trust us.
Globally, more than half of the people who access the internet now do so using a smartphone or tablet and the number is rising. Search engines like to please, so Google gives preference to sites optimized for mobile devices – responsive websites.
But why exactly is it important to search engines that your website is fully responsive? The answer is user experience. Responsive UX design allows a user to automatically get the most out of your website whatever device they may be viewing it on. It lets your site respond to the screen size and operating system of a device while keeping your brand sharp and message clear.
Search engines also value smooth navigation. They recognise the time a user spends on your website and will send you down the rankings if that user doesn’t hang about. Trying to view a website designed for a desktop on a smartphone can be a frustrating experience. Users don’t have the patience to pinch, zoom and move the screen around like a scientist viewing a slide under a microscope. They will just head to your competition.
Responsive website design allows everything to always be right where it’s needed. This means longer, repeated visits and better reviews - SEO heaven.
Loading is another sensitive issue. Rankings consider the time it takes for your website to load on a mobile device. If it’s over Google’s three second rule, expect to be penalised. A fully responsive website will make all the necessary changes so your pages load fast regardless – no waiting, half pictures or pixelating.
Indexing will inevitably help your website as well, but search engines can be confused by duplicate content. The old answer to smart devices was to have both a desktop and a mobile site. Identical content, but separate URLs. Search engines didn’t know which site to prioritise and often went with the desktop. Goodbye rankings. Conversely, a responsive website allows all your SEO efforts to be concentrated in one place with one URL.
Finally, responsive websites make sharing simple. Shares alone won’t help, but smooth sharing on mobile-friendly social media platforms can generate more searches for your site and drive more traffic to it. SEO win.