Responsive Design Vs Mobile-Friendly Design: Which Is Better For SEO?

Responsive design, and mobile-friendly design, both represent different strategies in web development, that each address the challenge of delivering an optimised user experience across different devices.

In this blog, we will take a look at both of these designs in more detail, and compare definitions, features, and differences, to see which one is better to use for SEO.

Here at Embryo, we are passionate about these design methods. If you’re looking to build your brand, increase traffic, and drive conversions, then you should check out our mobile SEO guide.

The world is becoming increasingly mobile, and with more searching happening on mobile devices than ever before, businesses must keep up.

With that being said, let’s take a look at responsible and mobile-friendly designs for SEO and see how they differ from each other.

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What Is Responsive Web Design?

visual of responsive web design

Responsive web design (or RWD) refers to designing websites to adapt to a user’s device. It is an approach to web design that aims to make web pages render well on a variety of devices and screen sizes to ensure usability and satisfaction.

Some key things to know about responsive designs are: They utilise a flexible layout adapting to different screen sizes, one URL is maintained across devices, meaning reduced maintenance and universal updates.

Overall, responsive web design is considered more SEO friendly, as one URL and consistent content, has the user experience of faster loading times in mind.

Optimising one page for various screen sizes may require a longer development process, however the smaller maintenance time and cost is usually worth it in the end.

What Are The Benefits Of Responsive Design?

Responsive web design benefits businesses, and mostly importantly users, in the following ways:

  • It generates more mobile traffic
  • Allows faster mobile development at lower costs
  • There are lower maintenance needs
  • It allows for faster pages
  • There are lower bounce rates
  • But, higher conversion rates
  • It makes for easier analytics reporting
  • There is improved SEO
  • It improves online browsing experience

One of the biggest benefits of having responsive web design is that SEO is greatly improved. Google takes into consideration how responsive your website is. If your website is not user-friendly, it will be marked down in search engine results.

What Is Mobile-Friendly Web Design?

many people use mobile for search

Having a mobile-friendly website means that your website displays different versions depending on what devices your visitors are using.

Mobile devices obviously have smaller screens than desktops, so a mobile-friendly design adjusts to give users a better viewing experience.

Mobile friendly website designs often have a separate URL or subdomain for mobile and desktop.

Having a separate URL for the mobile version, also means that there are higher maintenance requirements, as everything has to be optimised on both pages, including updates. This can also harm SEO, so requires careful management.

Tailored content may offer faster loading times for mobile users, however, they may also be compromising on quality of content and lack of consistency across devices.

What Are The Benefits Of Mobile-Friendly Design?

A website that is optimised for mobile viewing is one that delivers information fast and effectively.

There are many benefits of using mobile-friendly design, and those include:

  • It improves user experience 
  • It increases engagement with customers who are using mobile devices
  • Gives you an edge over competitors who don’t have mobile-friendly websites
  • Helps you rank higher in search engine results
  • Reduces costs associated with developing multiple versions of your website for different platforms
  • Improves customer retention
  • Increases conversions from browsers to buyers by making it easier to sign  up on their devices

If you haven’t already done so, investing in a responsive website design is a wise decision for any business looking to stay ahead of the curve and cater to their customer’s needs.

Responsive or Mobile-Friendly Design?

While both mobile-friendly and responsive designs in SEO aim to enhance user experiences on various devices, they differ in their approach and impact on maintenance efforts.

Mobile-friendly design involves creating a separate mobile version, whereas responsive design utilises a flexible layout for an integrated user experience across all devices.

Therefore, it’s up to you! Depending on your strategy and website, this can influence the choice of a responsive or mobile-friendly design.

If you’re interested in SEO, or simply want to get in touch with us here at Embryo, don’t be shy and contact a member of our team today!

Don’t forget to check out more of our other blogs for a better understanding of all things SEO and PPC.

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