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Matt Cutts on Responsive Web Design

Why You Need to Worry About Your Website Having Responsive Web Design

I've said it before - there is literally a "Web Gold Rush" going on right now. If you know your history, you know about the Gold Rush and how people were dropping what they were doing to get out West and go digging for gold. That same thing is happening on the Web but very few people know about it.

What is it? Well, have you happened to see people out there staring down into their hands? They're looking at their smart phone. Many of them are on the web, browsing. The big news is that mobile use is very soon going to overtake desktop use. More people will be viewing websites (your website) on a mobile device than with a desktop computer (which you may be using right now). Get on a mobile phone and look at your website. Is it the best experience possible or could it be easier to use?

Why a "Web Gold Rush" Now?

The great thing about right now is that it's happening right now. We're at the point (or getting toward the end of the point) where not enough websites are optimized for mobile devices. If you're the first in your industry or even geographic location to have an optimized mobile experience, you'll get more traffic - pretty much guaranteed.

Let me say that again for the cheap seats in another way... if you get your website optimized for mobile use, you can domainate the search rankings and be one of the top results.

If you do this before your competition, you'll have a huge advantage!

This works because Google (and other search engines) know what kind of device is being used to perform a search and then they give results that will look good on that device. Yes, that's how scientific and exact searching is.

For example, someone searches for what your company's products or services are using a mobile phone. Maybe they're waiting for a bus or in a car or sitting somewhere with some time to kill. Google know which kind of device they are on. They see that the search originates from a smart phone. Google wants to give the best results possible to people who use Google, so they're naturally going to give results of websites that are optimized for smart phones and give people the best experience possible on that device.

Responsive website design is where your website is created so that the same design responds/adapts to whatever device (more specifically, screen size) is being used. The big advantage is that it's the same URL (website/web page address) for either the desktop version or the mobile/tablet version. This is the main thing to understand - the same URL. This means if you have one of those separate, mobile websites, your competition can go with responsive design and maybe easily outrank you.

SMX 2014 and Matt Cutts

smx-matt-cutts

A big event that just happened in the search and SEO world is this SMX 2014 event. It's where the latest new in search comes out - yes, there IS a whole industry about this now in case you've been living under a rock. 🙂

I transcribed part of what Matt Cutts said from the video. Matt is Google's mouthpiece about what's happening with Google algorithms and web spam. He's basically the rock star of this geeky industry. Here's the article with the video and then an excerpt I transcribed from it:

WATCH: Matt Cutts AMA Keynote At SMX Advanced 2014 (searchengineland.com)

Transcription from video:

Danny Sullivan: “Responsive? Adaptive? Mobile only? What should I do for mobile? What’s better?”

Matt Cutts: “I tend to like responsive. But if you’re very smart, you could do lots of things. Some people accidentally split their page rank between the mobile version and the desktop version. It doesn’t help them as much as it could.”

Danny Sullivan: “Does Google prefer one or the other?”

Matt Cutts: “You can do all those approaches and have them all work.”

Matt Cutts: “Stop for a second. Mobile is important. Mobile is coming faster than most people in this room realize. Soon, maybe a lot of your traffic, maybe most of your traffic will be mobile. For Google, I expect mobile traffic to exceed our desktop traffic in the relatively near future. If you’re not thinking about mobile, if you haven’t come up with a plan or strategy for how to handle mobile, you really need to make it a high priority.”

He then asks the room if they know if they have correctly marked up their forms with auto complete. It is a mobile thing, he says.

Matt Cutts: “People are more likely to buy your product if you make your site better. People are more likely to buy your product if you make your site easier to use.”

Responsive web design is all about making your website easier to use. Google see this and will naturally give out those kinds of websites as higher results. You're going to have to do this eventually anyway - if you do it now, you get the advantage of being an early adopter in your industry (maybe... we're nearing the end of this gold rush period, it looks like) and cash in on some great traffic.

Contact Webstix today about making your website responsive!

-Tony

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