Aquent/AMA Webcast: How Does Responsive Design Impact SEO?

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Responsive design presents a lot of benefits for designers and for users, but how does it impact visibility and rankings within search engines? …

Responsive design presents a lot of benefits for designers and for users, but how does it impact visibility and rankings within search engines?

In this Webcast Tom Demers discusses which specific SEO problems responsive design can help solve, why those problems are significant, and how to implement responsive design to ensure you’re avoiding potential SEO issues.

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  • 1. Responsive design presents a lot of benefits for designers andfor users, but how does it impact visibility and rankings withinsearch engines?How does ResponsiveDesign impact SEO?
  • 2. How Does Responsive Design Impact SEO?Tom Demers, Managing Partner, Measured SEM
  • 3. What is Responsive Design?Establishing a Common Definition for Responsive Design:http://coding.smashingmagazine.com/2011/01/12/guidelines-for-responsive-web-design/
  • 4. Responsive Design from an SEO PerspectiveThis presentation focuses on responsive design from an SEOperspective and looks at how it can impact traffic from searchengines – this of course is not the only consideration in deciding onwhether to use responsive design – you should also considerimportant business factors such as development costs, usability &conversion, and the overall impact of responsive design on yourbusiness.Image Credit: http://blog.hiledesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/seo1.jpg
  • 5. What Does Google Say?Via: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/details
  • 6. What Specific SEO Issues Can Responsive Design Impact?Responsive design can have an impact (be it positive or negative)on several key aspects of SEO:1. Duplicate Content2. The Concentration of Link Equity within Your Site3. The “Sharability” of a Specific URL and Piece of Content4. Page Load Time & Mobile User Experience5. Specific Keyword Targeting for Mobile vs. Desktop Usage
  • 7. Duplicate Content & Link ConsolidationWhat are duplicate content issues?Creating multiple versions of the same content that lives on separate URLsWhy is this Bad for SEO?1. You’re dividing the link equity you could dedicate to one page amongst multiplepages and reducing the likelihood you rank for that term2. When others share the URL, the link equity could be divided again3. Large amounts of duplicate content can be a signal of a low-quality sitehttp://www.examplesite.com http://m.examplesite.com
  • 8. Page Load TimesGoogle uses site speed and page load times as a ranking factor, soif one design & development style makes your site significantlyfaster, that can be an important ranking factor.Via: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/04/using-site-speed-in-web-search-ranking.html
  • 9. Mobile Site ExperienceGoogle announced this month that sites improperly configured formobile will be negatively impacted in rankings.Via: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2013/06/changes-in-rankings-of-smartphone_11.html
  • 10. Specific Keyword Targeting for MobilePeople sometimes search differently on Mobile versus desktops – byhaving a single URL for both experiences it can be difficult to targetdifferent keyword sets:Image courtesy of: http://searchengineland.com/when-responsive-web-design-is-bad-for-seo-149109 by Bryson Meunier
  • 11. Do Other Alternatives Always Cause Duplicate Content Issues?In a word: NoEven sites that use separate mobile and desktop URLs can indicate to Googlethat they’re different content with the use of annotations or “switchboard tags”Via: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/details
  • 12. Are Load Times Always Better for Device-Specific Content?Not AlwaysPage load times will depend on what you’re trying to do and the way yoursite’s developed – faster loading pages are good for search results and userexperience, so consider which development option will have betterperformance and use tools to measure load times:• http://www.webpagetest.org/• http://developer.yahoo.com/yslow/• https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/
  • 13. When is Mobile-Specific Keyword Research Valuable?Mobile specific keyword research applies to search terms that may bedifferent on different devices (mainly location-specific searches):• This may not impact your business at all• Mobile search results may not be markedly different from standardsearch results (are “restaurants” and “restaurants nearby” showingdifferent results?)
  • 14. Do You Even Need a Unique Mobile Experience?Understand your site’s mobile traffic:• Do you get traffic from mobile & mobile search?• What devices do people use to reach your site?• Is your site optimized for devices that drive traffic (test using:http://www.browserstack.com/)
  • 15. How to Implement Mobile Variations in an SEO Friendly WayResponsive Design• Consider all devices (particularly those that send you traffic)• Optimize page speed & load times on mobile devices• Be cognizant of legacy mobile set ups (is your old mobile site already indexed?)Dynamic Serving• Indicate that content is dynamic using the Vary HTTP header(https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/details)• Not recommended by Google and frequently not the best solutionSeparate Mobile & Desktop Sites• Be sure to implement switchboard tags properly!• Optimize page speed and load time for mobile• Be sure any redirects are implemented properly• Be sure the development costs are worth the impact on your business (ie you have enoughmobile traffic and a sufficient reason for separate experiences)
  • 16. Key Considerations Around Responsive Design1. Traffic Levels from Mobile - Do you have sufficient mobiletraffic to create a custom solution?2. Development Costs & Convenience - What are thedevelopment costs behind creating a responsive experienceversus mobile-specific landing pages?3. Unique Mobile Use-Cases - Are there specific usability /business reasons for creating separate mobile landingexperiences?4. Page Speed & Usability – What Solution (or combination ofsolutions) will create the fastest loading, best overall userexperience for your visitors?
  • 17. Resourceshttp://developer.yahoo.com/yslow/http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/04/using-site-speed-in-web-search-ranking.htmlhttp://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2013/06/changes-in-rankings-of-smartphone_11.htmlhttp://moz.com/blog/seo-of-responsive-web-designhttp://searchengineland.com/3-mobile-seo-resolutions-for-2013-144026http://searchengineland.com/7-real-mobile-duplicate-content-seo-issues-119338http://searchengineland.com/when-responsive-web-design-is-bad-for-seo-149109http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2175366/Mobile-Sites-Choosing-an-Implementation-Process-Strategieshttp://searchenginewatch.com/article/2184616/Responsive-Web-Design-Introduction-Impacthttp://searchenginewatch.com/article/2250247/Mobile-Tablet-Optimization-The-Next-Enterprise-Search-Frontierhttp://searchenginewatch.com/article/2253965/3-Reasons-Why-Responsive-Web-Design-is-the-Best-Option-For-Your-Mobile-SEO-Strategyhttp://searchenginewatch.com/article/2256738/Responsive-Site-Redesign-4-SEO-Considerationshttp://www.browserstack.com/http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/08/yslow-yahoos-problems-are-not-your-problems.htmlhttp://www.copyblogger.com/mobile-responsive-seo/http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4556696.htmhttp://www.webpagetest.org/https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/detailsUseful Responsive Design Related Resources:
  • 18. About Tom DemersCo-Founder & Managing Partner at Measured SEMEmail: Tom@MeasuredSEM.comTwitter: https://twitter.com/TomDemersWebsite: http://www.measuredsem.com/