Responsive Web Design is Now Necessary to Succeed

If Your Links Aren’t Mobile-Friendly, They’ll Soon Drop Off of the Radar!

In an era where a large portion of web traffic comes from mobile devices, it’s no longer recommend to optimize your links for mobile traffic, it’s essential your website is designed to support traffic from a variety of devices with a multitude of screen sizes.

Previously, mobile-friendly web pages were encouraged and could help your ranking. However, now, if you choose not to make your website responsive, it could actually hurt your ranking.

Mobile-Friendless As a Ranking Signal – Time is Ticking

Google announced they’ll be updating their algorithms to expand the use of mobile-friendless as a ranking signal starting April 21, 2015. See their full blog post, ‘Finding more mobile-friendly search resultshere. Essentially, mobile-friendly websites will be ranked higher in search engine results than websites that aren’t mobile-friendly.

This change simply reflects the needs in today’s evolving web browsing environment. People are conducting searches and accessing websites on a multitude of devices including: desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, smart TVs, and even wearables, such as watches.

As an article writer and content marketer, it seems like a no-brainer to want your reader to be able to view your content regardless of what device they’re using. Furthermore, it’s important to ensure their user experience is as high-quality as possible. A page that displays poorly and is difficult to read or navigate means the viewer will spend less time on your site. Essentially, if you don’t optimize your websites, you’re risking a drop in traffic for two reasons: a poor user experience AND a lower ranking signal in search engines.

Make Your Links Responsive, Today!

For the past year, EzineArticles.com has been 100% responsive. We’ve ensured our website has been able to display your articles regardless of what technology readers are using. For that reason, we’re excited about the new algorithm updates as we’re already serving mobile traffic.

We did our part to make your articles responsive, now it’s your turn to ensure the links in your articles are mobile-friendly as well.

If you haven’t already, NOW is the time to make your links responsive. It will help ensure visitors don’t leave due to a poorly designed website while lending a helping hand to your search engine visibility.

For further information and tips to make your website mobile-friendly, we recommend you check out our blog post titled, ‘Responsive Web Design is KEY in a Quality Browsing Experience.’

In addition, we recommend using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check if your links are sufficient for mobile browsing.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post when we cover examples of good vs. bad responsive design.

24 Comments »


1
Raven Cohan writes:

I am, sorry to say, lame… with many technical things on the computer. I went to the company that allows me to, piece by piece, put my own website together. They are called http://www.Homestead.com . They tried to help me with a link they made to offer a mobile editing that just wasn’t working for me with my minimum skills. I myself don’t carry a cell phone except for in the car for emergencies and hooking up with friends while in traffic. Rarely am I even driving. Isn’t there any tech help here for others who are in my same shoes? My site is so complicated as I did create it that way and doesn’t translate easily to mobile sizes. HELP!!! Thanks, Raven

Comment provided April 16, 2015 at 11:20 AM

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Hi Raven,

We understand aspects of technology can be frustrating. We’re simply passing on the information as we want all of our users to be aware of these trends.

First, we suggest seeking the help from your website provider, as they’re the most qualified to help you upgrade your website. If they recommend seeking third-party help to build a responsive website, we suggest checking out this blog post where we give tips on finding the right person to outsource your work: http://blog.EzineArticles.com/2014/10/responsive-web-design-is-key-in-a-quality-browsing-experience.html

We hope this helps!

-Courtney

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Kamran Iftikhar writes:

Hi Raven,

Just want to help you in your endeavor. Please follow the link, I hope It will provide something that you may need.

Regards,
Kamran

http://ezinearticles.com/?Website-Designs-Do-Matter&id=6551964

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2
David Croucher writes:

Responsive design isn’t, in reality, the ideal solution on its own.

For those who haven’t seen it, you can generally tell if a site design is responsive by opening the page on, say, a laptop in a large, but not maximized window. Drag in the right-hand side of the window towards the left and watch what happens. In a responsive design, the text blocks will resize to match the window width. If the design is mobile-friendly, as the window narrows enough there will be a sudden jump to a single, large-text, full-width colum and navigation and buttons will usually change to some finger-friendly design. That jump is the proof of mobile-friendliness that Google is looking for; the Googlebot will recognize this from your page source code. EzineArticles does it in a more sophisticated way by detecting a mobile device, then using a responsive design matched to the user’s window width (eg, landscape or portrait on phones); for other devices, the page size is fixed.

The problem is that Google is assuming that users of mobile devices on the street, in a car or walking a shop floor want to see the same content as those sitting at a desk or in their own lounge or bedroom. That’s not necessarily the case; in fact, quite the opposite according to all the research on consumer behaviour on sales sites. EzineArticles is typical of sites where this doesn’t matter – everyone will want to see the same content. But most people on the go don’t want a lot of detail or choice, say the researchers; they want rapid access to the basic information to accomplish their task. Savvy designers have responded by offering the mobile user a cut-down version of their main site, focussing on quick response, simplicity and only the key pages, with just the key information on them to keep users’ atttention and provide what they need.

As article writers, we ought to do the same. As responsive design solutions are quite expensive unless you can use WordPress, the smaller company can follow Google’s ‘less preferred’ solution of constructing a mobile site designed as a subsystem of the main site and code-linked to it so that mobiles are directed to this rather than the main site. Google’s suggestion is that the ‘m-prefix’ method is best so that all mobile pages are in the form ‘www.m.mysite.com/mypage.htm’. Your mobile pages can then include only what you think people on the move will want to see.

Comment provided April 16, 2015 at 12:30 PM

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David,

You’re correct, mobile-friendly design is the key here. Also, we agree, the mobile version of the site is completely dependent on the user’s wants and needs and varies between different types of websites. We certainly wouldn’t want to display only a small portion of an article! However, as mobile traffic does continue to increase and replace desktop traffic, it’s important for article writers to think of ways to make their content easy to read and digest. For example, bulleted lists with key facts or headers in bold text are both great ways to break up large paragraphs and provide added structure, especially for readers with a smaller screen.

Thanks again for your great insight. It’s always appreciated!

-Courtney

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David Croucher writes:

Thank you, Courney. Do I hear a new item on compacting articles coming up? Even maybe on recasting and shortening old articles to appeal more to mobile users!

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3
SA Oefinger writes:

Thank you for this information. I am sending your article to clients that came to me with a website already in place. This allows them to see for themselves that their websites aren’t considered mobile-friendly by the leading search engine. Though it may not matter to those that aren’t using SEO as a strategy, it will tell them that clients may not be as eager to scroll around and enlarge everything just to navigate.

Comment provided April 16, 2015 at 3:10 PM

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4
David Croucher writes:

I’ve just been looking more closely at your site and I do like the way EzineArticles has gone mobile-friendly. Like my own, your site is fixed width for larger screens. But on a phone, it switches to a different layout, which is a separate width for landscape and portrait modes. Does it also detect the screen width and adapt responsively to the exact screen size – 3 inch, 4 inch, my 5 inch and so on? Whichever, the mobile layout works well and is already affecting my own design work. Thanks!

For people who like fully-responsive (and it’s not best for all sites) a good one I found today is the London (UK) transport system’s site, http://www.tfl.gov.uk/. Just the home page gives the flavour of it: three column, whose columns adapt line length in each pane as they reduce in width until it snaps into two columns then finally to the mobile design in one column. The mobile layout is multi-width with a pretty narrow minimum, the required finger-friendly buttons and flyouts and all the functionality of the full size but with detail hidden in each pane until needed. Great design!

Comment provided April 16, 2015 at 3:24 PM

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5
Mark writes:

We are struggling with this now. Our Word Press theme was tweaked and needs to be “fixed” in order to be responsive/mobile friendly.

Comment provided April 17, 2015 at 5:28 PM

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6
Sachin Jadon writes:

this is very nice update from Google for gaining visitors from mobiles and tablets. but many websites in the world are not updated with this Google algorithm so any negative effect on ranking or visitors for those websites.

Comment provided May 2, 2015 at 7:46 AM

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7
Aamir amy writes:

THanks for sharing nice article. Yes i heard that google updated a new algorithm for those whose website is not mobile responsive.

Comment provided May 2, 2015 at 9:21 AM

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8
Asad writes:

even Google is also gives the warning to those websites who are not responsive, my website http://www.seoasad.com was not response and i got warning message in my webmaster account, responsive sites are now playing very important role in Search rankings these days.

Comment provided May 4, 2015 at 6:38 AM

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9
David Croucher writes:

Update after a week of the new Google mobile search algorithm:

Google is still ranking non-responsive sites very well, PROVIDED that they are mobile friendly some other way. Google’s recommendation is a subsite rather than a linked site, which recognises mobiles and switches them to the linked subsite.

Comment provided May 5, 2015 at 8:49 AM

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Interesting.

Thanks for sharing, David!

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10
Aaron James writes:

Good read. Whether rankings are being affected right now or not, I do really believe that eventually they will be if sites have not designed with mobile in mind. Whether responsive or adaptive to mobile, with so many internet users now so frequently using smartphones to browse the internet, mobile compatibility is surely essential.

Comment provided May 6, 2015 at 2:12 PM

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11
Rosalinda Flores - Martinez writes:

THanks for this info. A blessed day Ezine and everyone!

Comment provided May 6, 2015 at 11:42 PM

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12

Thanks for such a detailed but useful piece on how to make a site mobile-friendly. Let’s adapt and move with the changing times.

Comment provided May 11, 2015 at 10:31 AM

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13
Mike writes:

Very actual and useful info! Thanks

Comment provided May 25, 2015 at 12:25 PM

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14
Enzo Testa writes:

Nowadays it is crucial that your site is responsive and mobile friendly. Most new designs are coded for just that.
Surprisingly we had a call from our host asking if our site was mobile friendly.

Comment provided June 6, 2015 at 2:01 AM

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15
Anchal Gupta writes:

With a rise in the number of mobile users, the use of internet through mobile phones has also increased, creating a necessity of upgrading your websites to cater to the needs of mobile users. While mobile sites are an expensive way to solve this problem, a better and more refined way to deal with it is creating a responsive website – designed to have the capability to adjust the layout as per the screen size and resolution. Responsive web designing offers great benefits to everybody, from web developers to end users.

Comment provided June 25, 2015 at 12:58 AM

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16
Muhammad Ali writes:

if your website is not responsive then you could suffer from poorer ranking performance. Google have been making great progress for mobile search results by making SERPs (search engine result pages) a better place for smartphone and tablet users. A particular recent change has added a display that reads “mobile-friendly” by the site link on the search pages, this shows the user that the website displays how it should on mobile devices. Thanks for your informative post.

Comment provided September 18, 2015 at 6:36 AM

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17
Vijay Jangidd writes:

Website design is a field that is continually advancing with time. What’s more, as a website specialist it may appear to be scaring. Since new benchmarks are brought into play at regular intervals, of significantly sooner. So it’s a field that in which reexamining your self is impossible. So now this is the period of utilizing responsive website design!

Comment provided December 13, 2016 at 3:19 AM

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18
David Croucher writes:

In the 20 months since this post appeared, Google in particular has both got more stringent in its requirements for ‘mobile ready’; and made fulfilling these requirements more and more necessary to being ranked well.

Nevertheless, sites which don’t fulfil these criteria still can rank well IF THERE ARE NO MOBILE-FRIENDLY RIVALS in the search.

The effect is that there has been little change for old-fashioned websites where there’s no mobile-ready contention; but where there is, these older sites can almost vanish from view in the results. And the problem for smaller owners is this: proper mobile-responsive sites are expensive to build, or rented from larger providers like the blog-hosting sites, ISPs (who then have you tied into using them exclusively) and skilled web designers.

I have struggled on trying to design my own, but still with insufficient success. Meanwhile, sites have had to become modular to cope: deciding how to spit a page’s contents so that they flow into one, two or three columns depending on format is an advanced designing skill, not a programing one. And even the designer is likely not to understand the priorities of the site owner and marketing. Which brings us back to the need for a team!

EzineArticles members are, above all, content producers. Getting that content into your own web pages satisfactorily is becoming more and more a job for a team in which the site owners is having less and less input at more and more cost.

Comment provided December 13, 2016 at 9:17 AM

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19
shay smith writes:

Very nice blog. Responsive sites are now playing a very important role in search rankings these days. Thanks for this.

Comment provided September 6, 2017 at 1:19 AM

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