Are you responding to the need for responsive design?

If you work in online marketing, then you´ve probably heard that mobile is the new big thing. With smartphone penetration rates rising globally and users accessing the internet through their mobile devices more often, brands are trying to figure out the best route to go down in terms of mobile websites.

According to Google´s head of spam team, Matt Cutts, the best way to go about the task is by using responsive design, instead of launching a specialised mobile website. Responsive design means that a website can be accessed and viewed properly both from desktop and mobile. The page automatically rescales depending on the device being used.

Speaking in a new webmasters help video, Google´s engineer explained that as traffic from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets is getting heavier, webmasters must make sure sites load quickly and offer a quality user experience. When webmasters use responsive design, there is no need for them to divide their attention and manage two separate sites with specific requirements and optimisation strategies. Instead, a single website can be created, which makes things easier to manage, he said.

Cutts pointed out that responsive design does not affect search engine rankings but noted that sometimes, with separate desktop and mobile websites, it could mean the page rank is divided between both versions if they´re not properly handled. That´s why responsive design – which just uses one URL – is the smart thing to do, he concluded.

Do you have a mobile-optimised site? For the sake of SEO, it seems like a wise option to go down the responsive design route. After all, Matt Cutts would know.

By Ben Hollom