Responsive Web Design and Search Engine Optimisation

Responsive Web Design was coined by Ethan Marcotte, in his article “A List Apart”, in 2010. Marcotte claimed that mobile users of his article would surpass desktop usage within three to five years (Mellone and Williams 2010:121).

What is Responsive Web Design (RWD)

RWD ensures your user enjoys the best, and an optimal, experience whenever they visit your website (Sharkie et al :ix). It is, therefore, user-focused because the user is at the forefront of your design: Your website adjusts to a users’ desktop/laptop, graphics tablet and/or smartphone.

RWD and search engine optimisation

  • With RWD you only need one SEO campaign because you do not require a separate one for a .m (mobile) version of your website.
  • RWD also adds to the user experience because a users’ device is adapted to have the best possible experience.
  • RWD and SEO, additionally, allows your website to be used by mobile searchers. In other words, mobile momentors can search for a term and view your website on their mobile. This is important because mobile search is going to be the future of search.

83% of tablet owners use their device whilst watching TV

Moth (2013) identified that 83% of 6500 people used their graphic tablet while watching TV. This suggests that RWD will remain very important to give mobile users (i.e. smartphone, and graphic tablets) a comfortable experience as they visit your wesbite.

What do people do on their graphic tablet?

Work / Business*
73% browse the web. 69% access their e-mails. 67% remotely work from their graphic tablet.
Home / Personal*
78% browse the web. 74% access their e-mails. 74% play games on their graphic tablet.

*Statistics from ( 2013: online)

What is the connection of RWD to SEO?

So if more and more people are using graphic tablets, and other mobile devices, it is clear that RWD enables a website to be found, accessed correctly and protrayed in the most positive light: A comfortable user experience could help with sales, or page views, because the website has a good user-focused design. SEO is becomming local, RWD goes hand-in-hand with SEO because the latter allows your website to be displayed correctly whilst the former allows this formatted website to be found by mobile users.


  1. Moth, D. (2013) 10 interesting digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week. [Online] [Accessed on 29th March 2013]
  2. Mellone, J. T. and Williams, D. J. (2010) ‘Applying best practices in web site redesign: the Queens College Libraries experience.’ OCLC Systems & Services. 26(3) pp. 177 — 197
  3. Sharkie, C. and Isher, A. (2013) Jump Start Responsive Web Design. VIC Australia: SitePoint Ltd.
  4. (2013) 2013 Mobile Business Predictions. [Online] [Accessed on 29th March 2013]

2 responses to “Responsive Web Design and Search Engine Optimisation

  1. This is important because mobile search is going to be the future of search.

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