Mobile SEO Versus Desktop SEO

Chad Faith
Chad Faith

Director of Content

Mobile SEO Versus Desktop SEO

Considering the boom in the smartphone and tablet market, it is relatively strange that some businesses haven’t come to the realization that going mobile is something that can impact their online presence. In fact, most of them did not even include mobile Search Engine Optimization (mobile SEO) into their future internet marketing plans.

On top of that, there are those who state that there are no differences between mobile and desktop SEO. In reality, mobile friendly sites and mobile SEO best practices are crucial for business survival in this competitive market.

Tomato, Tomato, Potato, Potato…

The misunderstanding stems from the fact that SEO entails applying the principles of relevance, accessibility and marketing to both mobile and desktop searches. Optimizing for mobile sites presents some subtle differences that are not applicable to desktop websites. The differences are directly linked to user experience. If you fail to understand the fine nuances and stick to only desktop SEO best practices, you will not gain an advantage in pleasing your traffic that is coming from smartphones and tablets.

The Main Differences Between Desktop and Mobile SEO

To understand that mobile and desktop SEO are two dissimilar things, you only have to look at how the search results differ in the browsers. The way the search results are displayed on mobile and desktop browsers depends on:

  • User search behavior

Mobile users can show a different user intent while doing searches on the go. Unlike desktop users, whose intent is easy to convey, the type and frequency of user needs can change faster for mobile users. For instance, a keyword like ‘coupon’ can have different meaning for a mobile user because he might want to print it or scan it with his smartphone. Moreover, he can make a query for a coupon in various contexts and at various times.

  • Ranking algorithms

The fact that mobile user experience employs distinct ranking algorithms has been known since 2009. To verify this simple fact, you only have to search for your rankings on mobile and on desktop. Bryson Meunier, a well-known authority in SEO, has discovered disparities in ranking for 86% of his clients.

  • Good positions on mobile SERPs will increase the CTR

Most SEO professionals agree that mobile users are more engaged compared to the desktop users. This is why first positions in the search engine result page (SERP) matter more on the mobile platform. In fact, because the mobile device’s screen is small compared to a desktop, landing on the fourth or fifth position can mean a click-through rate (CTR) drop of almost 90%.

Start Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Today

According to the Walker Sands Communications’ Quarterly Mobile Traffic Report for Q1 2014, web traffic coming from mobile devices have shot up 133% from 2012 and mobile devices are now accounting for 31.2% of all web traffic. If you want more traffic on your site, and you are not optimizing your website for mobile yet, then you are missing out on almost a third of the web traffic today and sabotaging your own web presence.

All in all, user experience matters so make sure your website is optimized for mobile users and mobile search rankings will soar. Let SmartSites help you with your campaign today to ensure success for both desktop SEO and mobile SEO!