The challenges of responsive design and mobile friendly for SEO

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Responsive Design and Mobile Friendly at SEO


As the number of smartphone users continues to grow, adaptive design (also known as "responsive design") and mobile compatibility ("mobile-friendly") have become essential factors in ensuring the success of your website. user experience on websites.

In addition, the importance attached by Google to mobile versions of sites in its organic results rankings makes these two aspects all the more essential.

In this article, we'll look at 10 key points you need to know about Responsive Design and Mobile Friendly in SEO.

Responsive Design

1. Changes in user behaviour

As mentioned above, the use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is now commonplace. It is therefore essential to offer users sites that are adapted to their different screens, in order to offer them a pleasant browsing experience whatever their media.

2. Google's mobile compatibility test

To determine whether a site meets the "mobile-friendly" criteria, Google provides an online tool for testing mobile compatibility. Simply enter the address URL of the site and the tool will assess whether it complies with various recommendations in terms of adaptive design and ergonomics. This includes the size of clickable buttons or links, loading speed, text legibility, etc.

3. Google's acceptance of the Mobile-First Index

Since 2016, Google has announced that its main index will now be based on mobile versions of websites. This means that if a site has a dedicated or optimised mobile version for mobile devices, it is this version that will be evaluated and ranked by Google. It is therefore important to ensure that the site's content and functions are of the same quality on mobile as on desktop.

4. Responsive Design techniques

a. Fluid grids

One of the methods used to implement an adaptive design is the use of fluid grids. This is a flexible page layout system that allows each element of the site (text, images, videos, etc.) to adapt automatically to the size of the screen on which it is displayed.

b. Flexible media

In the same way that content is adjusted using fluid grids, media such as images or videos can also be resized according to screen size. It's important to note that several image formats should be offered to guarantee optimum quality whatever the display.

c. Media requests

The CSS Media Queries is another method of adapting the characteristics of a website depending on the device. They allow different CSS styles and properties to be applied depending on the screen size, resolution or other characteristics of the browser used.

5. The advantages of a mobile-friendly site

  1. Improving the user experience : Adaptive design ensures smooth browsing and legible content, whatever the medium used.
  2. Optimising conversion rate : the more pleasant a site is to use, the more likely it is to convert visitors into customers.
  3. Reduction of bounce rate : Internet users are generally less patient on mobile devices, so offering a site optimised for these devices reduces the risk of them leaving the site quickly.
  4. Encouraging sharing : Mobile users are more likely to share content if they can navigate easily and without constraints.

6. Dynamic serving and distinct URLs

In addition to responsive design, two other techniques can be used to make a site accessible on different media: "Dynamic Serving" and distinct URLs. Dynamic Serving consists of offering the same content but with a layout adapted to each type of device, while distinct URLs correspond to the creation of specific versions of the site for each type of device (generally prefixed with "m."). However, each of these methods has its drawbacks, and the use of responsive design is generally considered to be the most recommended solution in terms of SEO.

7. Performance and loading speed

La loading speed of a website is an essential criterion for search engines, especially on mobiles where connections are often slower. It is therefore important to optimise this feature by compressing images, minimising CSS files and JavaScript, or by setting up a server-side cache system.

8. The importance of meta viewport tags

The "meta viewport" tags are used to control how the browser displays the content of a page according to screen size. They support different properties such as "initial-scale", "maximum-scale" and "width".A well-configured tag is essential to ensure that the site looks good on different screens.

9. Microformats, structured data and other markup

To make it easier for search engines to understand your content, it is important to use appropriate tags to describe each element: titles, subtitles, paragraphs, links, etc. In addition, the implementation of structured data (Schema.org) or microformats can also help indexing robots to better interpret and classify your content.

10. Compliance with best practice in mobile SEO

Lastly, there are a number of specific recommendations for the referencing on mobile devices: avoid incompatible technologies (such as Flash), favour legible fonts, make navigation easier with clickable buttons that are spaced out... 

These elements will help to improve the user experience on mobile devices and reinforce the overall effectiveness of your SEO actions.

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