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Why Responsive Web Design Is Actually an SEO Tool

30 January 2015 Den Savelyev
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We always say that search engine optimisation is a very inert sphere, mainly because of a powerful lobby of prominent SEO agencies. Link buying, internal links, meta tags… - speaking frankly, it bores people to death to read about it again and again. Let’s discuss the tools driving search engine traffic as part of responsive web design.

Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

[Wikipedia.org]

According to Cisco’s predictions, mobile traffic during the period 2011 to 2016 will increase by 18 times. It already prevails over desktop traffic in such countries as India and China. Of course, this trend can’t be ignored by search engines themselves.

For example, here you can find recommendations from Google: “Google recommends webmasters follow the industries best practices of using responsive web design”.

It’s obvious that responsive web design is a factor that has an impact on “user happiness”, which impacts on natural SERP ranking.

Let’s examine this trend in detail according to our own experience. We launched a responsive web design on 30 August 2013. Within 25 days we were already able to draw some very surprising conclusions.

Bounce Rate Decrease

Our average bounce rate decreased almost by 4 (!) times (!!!) – by 3.9 exactly – from 70.8% (average rate for June, July and August) to 18.1% (September). This data was taken from Yandex.Metrica – a very popular Russian web statistics service.

Bounce rate in Yandex.Metrica
Bounce rate in Yandex.Metrica

Of course, it was not just using a responsive web design that had such a positive impact, but also changes which were made in sites’ structure and in our page’s design as well. However these other changes can’t be referred to as being extremely important. While the fact, that mobile users had stopped leaving the site within very first few seconds had a great impact on overall bounce rate.

Session Duration Increase

The next graph shows session duration:

Average session duration in Yandex.Metrica
Average session duration in Yandex.Metrica

Here’s the monthly average session duration from January to October 2013:

January – 00:01:58

February – 00:02:01

March – 00:01:49

April – 00:02:13

May – 00:02:30

June – 00:02:15

July – 00:02:29

August – 00:02:06

September – 00:03:59

Now you can see the positive impact of responsive web design by yourself. “Well, great, you have improved both the bounce rate and the average session duration, so what? How does it influence a website?” – you may ask.

The arithmetic is simple: our search traffic has also increased by 27.5%. Do you still have any doubts about responsive web design? We don’t.

© “Texterra”, At full or partial copying of materials reference to the source is obligatory.

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Автор: Den Savelyev
The CEO of Texterra. He has been engaged in online marketing since 2003. Search engine marketer and growth hacker. The main hobby – online marketing. The main interest besides – online marketing. Religion – online marketing.
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© «TexTerra», At full or partial copying of materials reference to the source is obligatory.
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