Mobile and desktop SEO: Is there really a difference?
The amount of mobile search traffic is growing at a staggering pace. The prediction of mobile users outnumbering desktop users is on the threshold of becoming a reality pretty soon. However, despite this fast paced development, not much is discussed about how SEO differs for desktop and mobiles. And more importantly, how next-gen brands can prepare themselves for the future mobile search wave.
So, What’s the Basic Difference here?
In a nutshell, mobile SEO is focused squarely on the mobile consumer and tailored to deliver better results in a mobile device. It takes into consideration the device, behavior of user, mobile web platform, user interface on the device and other technical perspectives.
In desktop SEO, the search results are more diverse with multiple options attached to them. For example, most desktop searches consist of ‘long-tail’ keywords since user most likely types on a keyboard. More unique searches are attributed to desktop users. On the other hand, mobile devices have restricted typing options, and this results in concise searches. The user wants precise search results and recommendations. The short tail nature of the search will be dominant until better Internet connections enable users to search through voice.
How to Target Mobile Users Effectively
The differences are subtle but the results can vary. The way services are presented to a client on a mobile may vary from a desktop user. A responsive website is the best option to approach a mobile customer. These websites adapt as per the device’s resolution and serve a more device-specific webpage of your brand.
Another key mobile search characteristic is the location. When mobile users undertake a search, they are most likely looking for recommendations nearby. For example, a search query such as “nearest pizza outlet” reflects user’s intent to find a local eatery nearby his current location. In this case, there is no point in getting a search result that shows types of pizza, benefits of pizza or history of pizza making etc. Serving the user with directions or nearby eatery or options of the closest pizza outlets is probably more helpful.
Some well ranking desktop search keywords of your brand might not be as effective in the mobile realm. The same ranking and visibility cannot be expected from the mobile traffic. So, you need to optimize your search keywords and content for mobile user base by taking into consideration the smartphone audience, web browsing platform and device restrictions. A high loading time of website can be detrimental for targeting mobile search traffic.
Suggestions Differ Wildly
Auto-complete feature in a device can be different from a desktop. Naturally, the search recommendations will also be different. CTR in case of interactive results can be lower. High priority content has to be optimized as per the mobile search suggestions to effectively target the concerned market.
iOS, Android and Windows platform can also differ in their search behavior. For example, android users are often logged-in more compared to iOS users. So, personalized search results can be better served.
Mobile SEO optimization is more about thumbs than ten fingers. Understanding the psyche of the mobile user is key to next-gen marketing in the mobile world. Start optimizing your website to take true advantage of the mobile revolution.