As a general rule, responsive web design means that a website has been developed so that it can be viewed on a number of devices and platforms. Websites that have been built only to be viewed from a computer may not be seen properly on say, a mobile phone because for one thing, the screen is much smaller and the resolution may not be so good. This is why it is important that if your site is to be accessed from a range of devices, it should have RWD, if you do not, you could be missing out on a considerable amount of traffic to your site. Using responsive web design does not mean that you have to lose out on your SEO, you do not, you can still optimize your site and develop your strategy so that you not only serve the PC based visitors but also the mobile device based visitors. Carefully planning your SEO strategy can in fact boost your traffic because you are more all-inclusive.
Whether you’ve already decided to go responsive or you’re still considering a responsive site redesign, there are some things you’ll need to look out for from an SEO standpoint.
Above the fold issues, content strategy, internal links, and mobile specifics can trip you up.
Before we begin, there’s an important distinction between cosmetic and full redesigns. This distinction primarily comes down to one thing: are URLs on your site changing? Changing URLs is a game changer and adds a number of steps that you need to take in order to have a successful transition from an old site to a shiny new one.
The following analysis focuses on common issues with cosmetic redesigns, moving from a non-responsive site to a responsive website design
1. Above the Fold Considerations
Homepage Above The Fold Area (Desktop)
This is where it starts to get awkward with the web designers. The thing to keep in mind as project owner broadly, and as a SEO specifically, is to make your wishes known to the designers early in the process, prior to and during the wireframe process.
Responsive design, kind of like the blow out, has it’s own style and look, which may at times conflict with some best practices for SEO. One area of conflict is use of above the fold real estate.
Responsive design is visually very much about whitespace and letting different elements breathe. However, elements that are critical to internal linking and user accessibility from the homepage tend to get pushed down under giant banners.
Large banners and sliders, which are so common on responsive sites that come back from web designers, often result in visitors having to scroll down to see links in menus that were easily crawlable before the redesign.
Make sure your main categories are somewhere above the fold on your homepage template. This is critical – especially for an ecommerce site going responsive.
One simple way to fix the issue: find savings to push linked content up. This can be done a number of ways, but some strategies include reducing the size of banners, reducing white space, and adjusting fonts. Click here to continue reading