Website design today must take into account the usability of the website across a number of different platforms. A website design that is responsive is one that is useable on items like cell phones, PCs, tablets and other devices. That usability means that the site itself will adjust itself to be easy to use on whichever of these devices it is being viewed on.
One of the biggest usability hurdles for responsive website design is to keep the website sized correctly for the device it is being viewed on. There is an enormous difference in the sizing of a desktop, laptop computer and a smartphone. Sites that are all sized the same and force the viewer to scroll back and forth to see everything on the site are not responsive and will create frustration and avoidance in the user. This need for websites to be responsive to the user has greatly affected the SEO value of creating this responsiveness.
Sizing issues also lead responsive websites to reorganize themselves for users who are viewing it on small devices. This may mean a small drop-down menu instead of a long bar of link options that mobile users may not be able to see. Responsiveness affects usability in many ways, leading to a better experience for everyone who uses the site.
Search Engine Algorithms
Google and other search engines have now made a responsiveness design one of the many factors they use to rank websites. A static website design that is sure to frustrate many users of the site will rank poorly. On Google’s end, this is done to ensure that the sites that come up in a query will be high-quality ones that users will enjoy using. This makes Google look better, and it makes searchers more likely to use that search engine because they know the sites that come up will be easy for them to use.
Getting More Links
Another aspect of SEO is the amount of links that your site gets from other sites. This backlinking isn’t as likely if your site isn’t going to be responsive to users. Fewer people will want to link to you because they don’t want their own readers to be frustrated with your site’s difficulty of use. Being responsive can get you more links and a better ranking through back linking. A better degree of usability also improves your bounce rate and other factors that can increase the popularity of your site.