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What is Responsive Web Design and Why Does My Website Need it?

Responsive web design involves changing the layout of your website to offer the best possible experience based on whatever device is being used.

As mobile browsing users continue to increase, the functionality of web design for browsing on all devices just becomes more and more important. Moving forward it is pretty easy to see that no matter how good your SEO and keywording is, if your site doesn’t convert well to mobile devices you won’t be able to rank well. 

Common (and important!) design elements of a responsive website include:

  • readable text that doesn’t require zooming, 
  • easily usable tap targets and 
  • no horizontal scrolling:

Basically, the most important part of responsive web design is that visitors to your site don’t have to put in any extra work to engage with your site, both viewing the content and using interactive features like your navigation links and CTA buttons. 

Your web design needs to include this scaleable content, automatically scaling images and text size to suits your audience's need based on their viewing habits.

Even devices as small as Apple watches are being used to browse the web. Google expects your site to be able to appear optimised on ALL of these devices, it will hurt your search rankings if your web design can't meet the demands.

Johny's Bar and Grill Devonport web design by The Tasmanian Web Company shown on tablet and phone, showing responsive web design.

Web design to get found online

There are two very simple ideas to think about if you want to improve the SEO and search rankings of your website:

  1. Don't do things that will impact your rating negatively
  2. Do do things that will impact your rating positively.

I know that sounds oversimplified, but you can really break it down to be that simple. Let me explain.

Mistakes impacting your SEO

Responsive design

Obviously, I just told you how non-responsive web design impacts your SEO and what features your site will need to have to fix it. If this isn't something you can do on your own it is standard practice for any good web developer so you shouldn't have any trouble finding someone to help.

The mobile usability of your site can be easily tracked for free using Google Search Console. Once your site is optimised for responsive design you can easily spend less than 2 minutes a week checking that your pages are valid and error free for mobile usability.

Thin content or copied content

The content on each page of your website is how Google understands what your website is about and knows who to show it to.

Having very little content or pages with the majority of content that exists on other pages - and this includes footer and header content - look questionable to the algorithm. If the Google algorithm isn't confident about the benefit your site will provide people, you just aren't going to be shown to them.

Build out your pages with engaging, valuable content. Generally 300-600 words is considered the best, but this can be hard on your core website pages. This is why so many people (including us) recommend making a blog for your site, it is a source of consistent, relevant content that strengthens search algorithms confidence in you and lets you connect with your audience.

Elite Fitness Institute Tasmania Web Design Mockup by The Tasmanian Web Company on Tablet showing responsive design.

Improve your SEO

Focused keywords

In that great content you will be writing (because you know now that thin content will hurt your site) you should be using focused keywords in the right places.

There are many guides for writing your own SEO website content online outlining everything from content length to meta descriptions to image alt tags. In these you can find everything you need about how to research good keywords and use them correctly.

Again, if this is something that you either don't have time for - or if it is just going straight over your head - you can hire a talented copywriter to produce the content for you. It just all depends on the time, money and skills you have available.

A million other things...

There are lots more complicated, difficult and time consuming ways to improve your SEO, such as backlinking which is a very popular way of building domain authority, though it can be very difficult to do well.

If you want to look further into improving your websites SEO then go for it! We even have some resources for you to check out here and here.

But, if there's one main thing to take away from this it's that making everything about your customers and clients experience with your business the best it can be will most likely build up your SEO over time anyway.

Care about your audience's experience on your site on all devices; provide content that will engage people and help them solve a problem... if your main priority is giving your customers the best there is, then you will inevitably beat out your competitors and improve your SEO anyway, with the benefit of a happy and loyal consumer base

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