Designing and developing a website is a balancing act between appealing to two different but closely linked audiences. On the one hand, you want to both impress customers and make it simple for them to navigate the site. On the other hand, Google has a fairly significant say in how easy it is for customers to find you in the first place.
SEO is the practice of optimising your website and online content to signal to the search engine that your company is trustworthy and provides products and services that people actually want. It’s a complex and constantly evolving field. At least once a year, Google announces what is known as a ‘broad core algorithm update’, designed to refine algorithms and improve the relevancy of search engine results. A few years ago, the announcement of their ‘mobile-first indexing algorithm’ turned SEO on its head and highlighted the importance of responsive web design.
As a leading web design company, Newpath Web prides itself on building websites that are both appealing and work with Google’s algorithms, not against them. It’s a fine line but with countless satisfied customers over the last decade, we think we’ve pretty well perfected it.
What is responsive web design?
Responsive web design is a design approach that makes websites accessible on any size screen. For us living in 2022, the idea of a website not properly loading or being functional on your smartphone or tablet seems pretty foreign. But for a long time, people browsing online had to put up with menus they couldn’t really navigate or content they had to zoom in and out to properly read. A nightmare!
Responsive web design changed all of that. To understand how responsive web design works from a technical standpoint, you first have to know a little bit about web design and development.
HTML is the programming language that controls the content on your website. It tells the web browser about particular content elements, helping to distinguish between a heading, body text, and bullet point list. Without HTML, your website would just be one giant paragraph of nonsense.
CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is another type of programming language that controls exactly how each element looks on the page. It can change the colour and style of font, create layout, and control animations. Responsive web design harnesses the power of CSS to automatically hide, shrink, or enlarge site elements, depending on the size of the screen at hand.
Of course, it’s a lot more technical than this, but let your web design company take care of that for you!
The link between responsive web design and SEO
Responsive web design arose as more and more people made the switch from a desktop computer to either a smartphone or a tablet. Once upon a time, websites were designed with only one screen size in mind — the traditional desktop. This made web design and development relatively simple as you could fix objects like menus and photos without worrying how they would look on a different sized screen.
As smartphones became more popular and started to dominate the device market share, Google knew that something had to be done. Why Google? Well, they are clearly the most popular search engine out there and pride themselves on providing users with a positive experience. If users were complaining that they couldn’t navigate a desktop website on a mobile phone, it was always going to be Google who decided to do something about it.
In March 2021,Google rolled out its latest iteration of its mobile-first indexing algorithm. This completed the journey which started in 2016, when the search engine announced that moving forward, all ‘suitable’ websites would be evaluated using the mobile version of their site. In 2019, this changed to all new websites, meaning existing websites would still be indexed based on their desktop form. Now, no-one can escape the necessity of having a mobile version of your website.
This version doesn’t need to be a completely new site. Rather, by implementing responsive web design, you can be sure that your website is accessible on every possible screen size. Your customers will be able to browse with ease and Google will duly reward you.
Newpath Web — every expert you could need
Working with a full services digital agency like Newpath Web means you benefit from having access to a range of online experts. Our team includes everyone from web developers to copywriters, all of whom play an active role in helping your website be the best that it can be.
As an experienced web design company, we understand the importance of satisfying both the user experience and Google’s SEO demands. Our portfolio of satisfied clients speaks to our ability to deliver on our promises in creating unique, engaging, and functional digital experiences.
Contact the team at Newpath Web today to find out more.