Lori Meloche
search engine optimization strategies

Do you know the difference between mobile SEO and desktop SEO? For many businesses, the approach to both is often the same. After all, if you’re already doing desktop SEO, why should you need to handle your mobile SEO separately? Unfortunately, taking this type of approach can end in dismal results. Mobile SEO and desktop SEO are two entirely separate entities, and due to their distinct natures, they must be handled differently when it comes to search engine optimization.

The reality is that there are differences and even subtle nuances that are necessary when optimizing mobile websites that simply are not applicable when optimizing desktop websites. Many of those differences relate to how users interact with each specific device, the search terms used by individuals on each device, how people navigate websites, and the types of information people tend to look for most when using each device.

Differences in Search Results on Mobile and Desktop

One of the reasons that mobile differs from desktop is that mobile search results appear on smartphones differently than on a desktop browser. For instance, local results tend to be given more priority in mobile SEO. As a result, it is more likely that Google Places listings will appear higher in mobile search engine results than they would normally appear in desktop search engine results. This means that if you have a local business, it is essential to ensure you are optimizing local and business listings. Depending on your specific situation, you may even find it necessary to utilize geo-modified keywords. By comparison, this technique could actually conflict with traditional desktop SEO strategies.

Mobile websites also have different standards due to a differing user experience. Recently, Google has placed even more importance on websites being mobile friendly. If you choose to ignore those parameters, your website is going to suffer in search engine results rankings.

How Keywords Are Used on Mobile and Desktop Searches

When it comes to optimizing the text on a desktop website, a search engine optimization agency will generally focus more on using keyword-rich content in order to communicate the page’s relevance to search engines. Mobile search works differently. In fact, many mobile users do not even search using keywords at all. Due to the rise of mobile-first modes of search, such as Voice Search, mobile users do not even need to go to the Yahoo or Google home page to type in a query.

The Effect of Search Engine Ranking Algorithms

Mobile search also uses completely different search engine ranking algorithms than desktop search. The goal of separate ranking algorithms is to deliver an improved mobile user experience. What this means for you is that if you are relying on tried-and-true desktop SEO techniques that have worked well for your desktop website in the past, you will likely find they do not work nearly as well for your mobile website, if at all, due to these differences.

In considering mobile SEO, keep in mind that intent is typically different in mobile search and desktop search. This usually relates to the types of information the individual is searching for at that particular moment. In addition to using different keywords, mobile searchers will often have a completely different context when entering search terms.

Still confused about the differences between mobile SEO and desktop SEO and how to handle those differences in your search engine optimization strategies? Working with a professional search engine optimization company can help you leverage the opportunities offered by both mobile and desktop search.

SEO Expert
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